The Financial Communicator

B2B Wealth Industry Brand Storytelling Wrapped in Editorial Content Strategy for Messaging that Connects, Compels, and Converts

Dahna M. Chandler
The Financial Brand "Grand" Storyteller and Award-Winning B2B Journalist
Offering communications solutions since 1996.

Looking for my personal finance content? Click here.

Wealth Management Industry & Private Equity/M&A Content and Journalism

MiddleGround Acquires SixAxis as Part of its Commitment to ESG

MiddleGround Capital, the first industrials-focused signatory with assets under $1 billion for the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, acquired SixAxis as part of its ESG investing strategy. Founded in 2002, SixAxis is a maker of highly engineered, compliance-driven industrials safety equipment based in Andrews, SC. (About the story: Because the PE firm liked my first story on its acquisition of HLC so much, I got the exclusive on this, which means I had to turn the story around in 36 hours. I chose the ESG angle, which isn't part of the press release announcing the acquisition. This story shows my creativity as a writer and ability to choose subjects audiences appreciate. It also shows my understanding of ESG.)

What is a donor-advised fund?

[Note: While this is a B2C blog post, it represents my role in helping this bank build its private wealth content platform using my unique understanding of mass affluent and HNW audiences, economics, and wealth management.] If you have special charitable goals, consider a donor-advised fund (DAF). A DAF lets you set up charitable accounts at a variety of institutions — like community foundations, financial institutions, and national foundations — and donate money through them to your favorite causes. Here's what to know about the charitable and tax implication of establishing a DAF.

Why inflation happens — and the role of the Fed

[Note: While this is a B2C blog post, it represents my role in helping this bank build its private wealth content platform using my unique understanding of mass affluent and HNW audiences, economics, and wealth management.] Most people know that inflation — the gradual rise in prices over time — decreases your purchasing power. And the recent bout of inflation has certainly had a profound impact on most people's purchasing power. At 8.5%,1 it's at its highest since the 1980s. This comes after price increases holding steady at the Federal Reserve's prescribed rate of a 2% annually since the Great Recession ended in 2009. What is the role of the Fed in mitigating inflation? (Image: Pexels)

Position Paper: Reaching Executive Women An Overlooked and Growing Investor Segment

High-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth executive women often get overlooked by wealth management advisors as viable clients. But, this multi-trillion dollar market is a growing—and lucrative—investor segment. From this position paper, advisors learn why this important investor segment has value to them and how to reach this market. (Inclusion of this writing sample in my portfolio does not represent an endorsement of me or my work by FlexShares or Northern Trust. It is for demonstration of my skills only.)

Position Paper—Customize your clients' ESG experience: A playbook for financial professionals

Increasingly, investors are interested in aligning their investment portfolios around their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values. Savvy financial professionals are taking the steps necessary to identify their clients' interests and values to help them meet their investing goals. This research-backed position paper shows financial professionals how to provide customized client experiences that meet their ESG investing requirements.

Using ESG as a Core Investment Option

We believe that one of the biggest challenges financial advisors often face with ETF investors is the latter's belief that ESG investing only needs to be a small part of their portfolios. Often, they're unconvinced that ESG is an optimal core option, preferring other more “traditional" choices. [In this blog post that I pitched to FlexShares, I tell wealth advisors how to educate their ETF investor clients on the importance of using ESG as part of their core investment strategy. When I wrote this in 2016, there wasn't such a deep understanding of ESG as there is today, so my thinking and writing about the subject were still innovative.]

ESG and Social Labor Considerations

We believe that many of today's investors are seeking investments that put their hard-earned dollars into ETF portfolios that reflect their convictions about important social issues. They connect most with brands that apply ESG — or environmental, social, and governance considerations — in their daily operations. [This blog post pitched and written by me for FlexShares helps financial advisors inform clients how choosing ETFs that focus on ESG, particularly social labor considerations, align with their core value. When I wrote this 2016, there wasn't such a broad understanding of ESG as there is today, so my thinking and writing about the subject were still novel.]

How to Effectively Educate Your Bigger is Better Clients About the FlexShares ETF Difference

We believe FlexShares ETFs beneficial investor offerings include our growing innovative fund product lineup. Partnering with seasoned index investment professionals using quantitative research, our alternatively weighted indices and mixed asset classes provide investors with funds that are designed to help meet a variety of investor financial goals. But for many investors their most objective measure is quantitative—size. [This blog post, which I pitched and wrote for FlexShares, shows financial advisors how to educate clients on choosing measures other than size when evaluating ETF providers like FlexShares. When I wrote this 2016, there wasn't such a wide understanding of ESG as there is today, so my thinking and writing about the subject were still original.]

Why Client Communication Is Key to Building Better Relationships with Women Investors

When working with any investor, financial advisors must excel at client communication. Clients generally want to feel that their financial advisors hear, respect, and value them—especially women investors. Women now control more than half of personal wealth in the US, roughly $22 trillion. As wealth is transferred to more women over the next four decades, that number is projected to rise to nearly $29 trillion. Financial advisors must shift their client communication strategies to meet women investors' needs. Here's how.

Giving young people skills to rebound and rise

As part of one its global CSR efforts, Barclays committed to ensuring students in its own US backyard get the support, tools, and resources they need to help end global youth unemployment. This post summarizes the Rebound Partnership the investment bank established with Good Shepherd Services in New York City. Rebound helps urban young people learn financial and professional development skills and gets the matched to educational and work opportunities. This piece profiles two of the program's most exceptional students.

The Elements of Exceptional Client Service

[Ghostwritten] Research from Cerulli shows client satisfaction is higher than ever—80 percent of investors are satisfied with their current advisor, while only one percent are dissatisfied. Yet, the exceptional client service bar is getting raised continually for financial professionals. Investors are pursing personalized advice more regularly since the pandemic began, and desire honesty and dependability from financial planners. Here's what clients expect from financial planners now.

How to Create the Foundation of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

Today’s financial planner faces multiple challenges in business development, especially when just getting started with digital marketing techniques. There are numerous digital channels that financial professionals can leverage to connect with prospective clients like never before, and create growth for their firm. Oftentimes, the key to success in any digital marketing initiative is taking a unified approach. This ghostwritten blog post shows financial planners the basics of digital marketing planning.

An Excellent Client Service Model for Financial Advisors

The client’s experience is more important than ever. It’s vital during times of disruption to retain clients, and it’s imperative for the future of your business as technology gives firms fresh capacity to engage and delight clients. Research by eMoney isolated a group of firms that offered exceptional client experiences and found that they saw impressive results over the past five years. They increased their AUM and compensation by 20 percent, more than double other firms in the study. Here's how those investment firms achieved that outcome.

The Importance of Data Aggregation Tools in a Virtual Work Environment

[Ghostwritten] The pandemic has propelled us into a virtual-first world, accelerating the need for firms to move to fully digitized operations. Research by Celent shows that as your clients commit to staying at home, they expect your digital technology to be exceptional. Despite your staff staying home, too, clients expect seamless onboarding and remote communication to get prioritized. This ghostwritten blog post shows financial professionals how to enhance technology to suit client needs in a remote work environment.

Building a Wealth Management Content Marketing Strategy

Current and prospective clients have a keen interest in educational content that helps them reach their financial goals, and they expect you to provide it for them. The pandemic also has driven clients’ appetite for timely content relevant to what’s happening to them today, causing them to eschew evergreen content. This ghostwritten blog post gives financial professionals the keys to building their digital marketing strategy around that content.
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Credit Union Marketing & Operations

(Each case study opens as a PDF document.)

Case Study: A New Approach To Pay Scales At Member One FCU

This Virginia credit union changed its mortgage lending paradigm to accommodate members’ availability and interests. By changing the pay structure for its mortgage loan officers, the credit union substantially increased both personal income opportunities for their mortgage lenders and revenue for the credit union. Moreover, member satisfaction for their mortgage loan clients is at an all-time high and those members maintain at least four personal finance products with the credit union.

Case Study: ACH Data Mean More Lending for a New York Credit Union (with Charts)

What happens when a small NY credit union uses its own ACH data and a small marketing budget to create a auto loan recapture promotion for its members? Phenomenal results happen, including $2.2 million in auto loan business in seven months, up to a 22:1 ROI for each marketing dollar and a jump in signature loan, HELOC, and new credit card account business. Read my case study and learn how, occasionally, marketing can produce magic (although planning took three years).

Case Study: X Marks the Spot: A Texas credit union’s marketing campaign for Gen X women speaks directly to the family CFO

This is a case study I pitched, developed, sourced, and wrote to show that Gen X, now the wealthiest generation and 81+ million members strong, is a market worth targeting for credit unions. It overviews a profitable marketing campaign launched by this Fort Worth, TX credit union and provides solid justification for why and how other credit unions should plan and launch similar campaigns targeting this generation which influences the two generations who precede it and the two who follow.

Employee Experience & Learning in Organizations

EMPOWER: Leadership Training With a Dual Approach

It's well established that corporate America, including the financial services industry, lacks diversity in management. People of Color are hired less frequently, experience lower promotion rates and voluntarily leave at higher rates in most financial institutions. And, when organizations do engage in diversity initiatives, they often focus on “fixing People of Color” as if they are the primary problem. Here's what The Hartford is doing differently that all organizations can.

Is Your Diversity and Inclusion Program Age-Appropriate?

Aging is an uncomfortable topic that people have struggled to discuss since ancient times. That same discomfort exists in organizational diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, too, and failing to face it head-on may result in age discrimination complaints. While many CEOs experience success with overall D&I programs, a PwC study found only 8 percent of CEOs target age-related D&I in their policies. Click on the link above to read more about how to address this issue.

A Diverse Workforce Demands An Inclusive Workplace Culture

Diversity is incredibly important to a company’s workforce. Not only does it ensure that workforces reflect the populations they draw from, but it also helps drive innovation and supports revenue growth. But in pursuit of diversity, companies often focus only on representation when that is only part of the equation. Creating an inclusive culture where everyone in your company feels included, supported and respected is critical.

Close the Talent Gap with Credit Risk Training to Attract and Retain the Best Employees

Close the Talent Gap with Credit Risk Training to Attract and Retain the Best Employees Senior executives in the banking industry are retiring, and banks are hard-pressed to replace them. Intensifying the problem is the fact that during the Great Recession, financial institutions hired fewer bankers in their mid-30s and 40s. Moreover, technology has eliminated some banking tasks in recent years, causing bank hiring managers to believe that they could hire fewer professionals...

How to Reduce Credit Risk and Employee Friction at Banks

Determined to increase sales and market share, banks continue to focus on external communications. They develop marketing and corporate communications strategies designed to reach target audiences and convert them to bank customers. Undoubtedly, developing strong external communications programs to reach audiences continues to be critical to bank revenue growth. However, recent events in the lending community that led to significant loss...

How Credit Risk Training Reduces Financial Losses

The last decade in the banking industry has been challenging. The US economy has rebounded, however, and consumers are obtaining more products and services from banks. Banks remain overwhelmed by the aftershocks of the economic meltdown. Post-crisis, many financial institutions still are working through costly legal outcomes related to poorly structured lending policies and resulting wave of federal regulation enacted to prevent future financial collapses. Moreover, banks are facing increased c

Credit Risk Training for Bankers: The Robust Response to Aggressive Federal Regulation

This is a blog post that I pitched, researched, and wrote for a 40-year-old banking industry consultant that provides credit risk training. Here, I show senior banking leaders how banks can manage the regulatory environment while helping preclude future meltdowns by taking steps today to address rising credit risk. One critical way to confront credit risk is through investing in ongoing, robust credit risk training for bankers. While some banks are cutting back on this training, this post shows why it’s not advisable as regulation and risk grow.

Building a Strong Credit Culture as a Team: How HR and Credit Administration Can Collaborate to Train Bankers

Today, organizations must develop a collaborative leadership culture that facilitates employee engagement to achieve institutional goals and objectives. Commercial banks are no different, especially in the credit environment they now face. In the post-global financial crisis economy, alleviating financial threats is critical to preventing financial losses. All employees must work as a team and understand the key role they each play in...

Taming the Savage Culture: A Q&A with Tim Mulligan

When Tim Mulligan became chief HR officer at the world-famous San Diego Zoo in 2004, the workforce was tired, stressed, distracted and disconnected. That was bad for them, the customers and the bottom line, so Mulligan immediately began focusing on shifting the organization’s culture. He has helped remake the zoo into a place where its workers are more focused, healthy and engaged. Today, as the zoo celebrates its 100th anniversary, it does so in an award-winning environment that’s more profitab

SMB Finance, Development, & Operations

The Importance of Mental Health for Small-Business Owners

In 2022, Incfile, a business services provider, surveyed over 2,000 business owners, consultants, and freelancers across 13 industries and found that 20% of small-business owners are experiencing poor mental health. The survey also found nearly 65% of small-business owners have experienced anxiety and over 50% suffered from depression. This story provides SBOs guidance on how to address their own mental health challenges and those experienced by employees.

Financial Wellness for Your Small Business: What It Is and How to Create It

If you’re like most small-business owners, you may have gone into business because you’re passionate about the product or service you sell, and how it helps your target customer. While you may want to generate the highest revenue possible, you may prioritize excellence in serving your customers over managing business finances optimally. But generating the highest revenue doesn't always mean you're experiencing financial wellness in your business. Here's what small business financial wellness truly is and how to create it for your enterprise. [Note: This is an example of "pillar content," a piece that broadly overviews a subject creating a story to which multiple supporting pieces connect. I covered the other topics written for this new section on American Express Small Business on financial wellness for small business generally, and other writers produced specific content on those topics that link back to this "content pillar." It required an extensive understanding of small business financial concepts to write this piece, which I have. I can produce similar content for your organization.]

Does My Insurance Policy Cover a Flood on My Land?

Owning a farm can be a high-stakes enterprise, and you can't afford any event that would harm your business, especially flooded land. Inland flooding is one of the biggest risks to Americans. Many people don't think they need flood insurance, but if you're near a river, a creek and you suddenly have intense rainfall, there's a flood risk. Even when your farm isn't on the Gulf coast, seriously flooded farms can happen. That's why it's important your farm has flood insurance. Here's what to consider.

Best Small Business Loans for Women 2022: Expert Reviewed

This project overviews loan providers and grant makers, and the process for getting funding. •• About the Project: As an expert reviewer for this website, I substantially rewrote, updated, and expanded this review, which was the equivalent of 13-15 pages of text. I also used my doctoral-level research skills, employed my substantial expertise in SEO, small business operations and lending, and U.S. politics and economics, and I provided editorial direction. This project, which was the equivalent of 15 pages of text, took 30 hours to complete. The editor was an SEO expert and said the end product met his high SEO standards for content. Because of my work and extensive expertise on the two original reviews I wrote to the site, he made me an expert on the site. Click my name in the review to see why this website made me one of its experts. [Note: Clients pay me by the hour for projects like this.]

Business Insurance for Beauty Salon Contractors

You have many things to consider as a hair or nail salon contractor working under a salon booth rental agreement. You only get paid based on the number of clients you service as an independent contractor, so making your revenue stream consistent is important. But there are plenty of other aspects of business operations to think through, too, and getting the right business insurance in place is one of them. Here's what to consider.

A Balancing Act: Cash Flow Management | 100 for 100 | American Express

A high volume of sales may make you feel profitable, but that’s not the same as having strong cash flow. After all, you can appear profitable at certain times, but be in the red in others. It’s only by proactively balancing how you manage your cash flow—revenue, expenditures and profits—that you have cash to maintain business operations consistently. That allows you to take advantage of opportunities to invest in expansion efforts. Here's how to manage your cash flow in a balanced way for small business growth.

The Best Crowdfunding Platforms for Your Business

Crowdfunding combines crowdsourcing and microfinancing. It does that by allowing individuals to invest small amounts in businesses that interest them. Sometimes, funders may outright donate money to your business. In others, they expect something in return, like equity, loan repayment, products or services. It is a way a small business owner can finance a new or existing enterprise without going to the bank. Here's how to find the best crowdfunding sites for your business.

How to Get a Small Business Grant | Small Business Startup Grants

Have you been thinking you want to start a business? So much planning goes into following your dream, and we know it can be a struggle to finance its startup and daily operations. We also know that finding funding opportunities for your enterprise can be harder during a global pandemic. You may not be eligible for small business loans. But you may be qualified for grants. Here's how to learn if you are.

How to Outsource: 6 Tips for Successfully Outsourcing Tasks

Usually, when you start your freelance writing business, you wear all the hats. You not only complete writing assignments for clients, but you also conduct all marketing and administrative tasks, from blogging to bookkeeping. If you hope to develop your dream writing business, however, you must outsource some tasks at some point — and not just once in a while. This goes beyond using apps to manage your business yourself to hiring other humans to help. For many, this is a scary prospect because

How to Keep Your Business Entity Legitimate As a Freelancer

Debate rages around the liability freelancers accept when they agree to contracts that hold them liable for their words using indemnity clauses. Other contract terms related to confidentiality violations, libel or defamation committed while writing give freelancers pause. Wanting to protect their business or personal property in lawsuits related to business activities, writers can establish an entity with a state government agency. Here's how to register your entity and keep it legal.

Life After Newsrooms: Starting a Full-Time Freelance Writing Business

These days, layoffs in journalism are regular news. Journalists find themselves the targets of budget cuts as publications routinely cut work budgets, pay, schedules, head counts or go under altogether. Journalists exit their newsroom jobs for other reasons, too, like changing family obligations. But, how do you make this change successfully? Let these former full-time newspaper journalists turned freelancers tell you.

How to Get Better Pay, Build Bridges for Your Freelance Writing Business

If you’re like most freelancer writers, you’re savvy enough to know before starting a writing project, it’s imperative you put in place a solid contract that sets clear client expectations. However, that’s not always easy even when you recognize that as a freelance writer, you’re a small business owner in the sales business. Because sales mean negotiating, one of the most asked questions I see on freelance writer forums relates to negotiating work terms, especially pay. This blog post tells you how.

A simple breakdown to the working capital formula.

If you want to know how well you're really operating your business, you'll need to know your business's working capital, also known as net working capital. It's a moment of truth for your company's financial health – telling you the difference between what you owe and what your business owns at any given time. Plus, it's one of the most important numbers lenders often rely on to decide if your company is worth financing. My blog post breaks it down to make it super simple to compute.

5 Common Sales Tax Mistakes Every Reseller Can Avoid

Taxable situs can be challenging. The jurisdiction that has the right to tax a transaction depends on situs, or the legal location of the transaction. “This can get very complicated depending on states involved, where the buyer is, where seller is and if the product is shipped,” says Hutchinson. He adds that interstate ecommerce transactions further complicate things. For Metoyer, it depends on where she is in the Miami area when she’s selling ice cream. “I make sure I charge sales tax...
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