“Anyone that knows me throughout my career would see that it’s really been about trying to push the boundaries. And in our part of the market, I think we really are driving and pushing the boundaries of what is possible and what clients want,” explains Matt Saur, strategic and institutional advisor, co-founder and partner of Woolery & Co. Today, Matt shares his career journey, the challenges he faced while opening Woolery & Co., and his desires to push boundaries and change the dynamics of client service.
The importance of connecting with other people has always been emphasized in Matt’s life. This belief has followed him into his professional life and even inspired his company’s values. When he teamed up with Jim, a constructive activist, they both agreed heavily on the value of the human side of business, choosing to keep the firm smaller in order to better serve their clients. Their company’s main purpose is on building deep relationships with every client and their business matters, even partnering up with the client’s pre-existing stakeholders, advisors, and larger firms as needed. They help see clients through challenging situations such as dealing with shareholder activists, mergers and acquisitions, and crisis management without the conflicts typically seen at larger firms.
Serving family backed companies and family offices requires a different approach from dealing with larger companies and corporations. These smaller companies face unique challenges that are best met by an advisor who is really able to take the time to do a deep dive into their business matters, their needs, and their goals. Instead of shying away from this challenge, Matt chose to push boundaries and change the way things are done in the industry in the interest of bettering opportunities for everyone involved from the clients themselves to their stakeholders.
“The one thing that I’ve always tried to do is really go out on a limb and do things that are a little uncomfortable.” (10:39–10:51 | Matt)
“Anyone that knows me throughout my career would see that it’s really been about trying to push the boundaries. And, I look at what we’re doing in the legal world, and obviously, we have a small impact. We’re not a mega firm or anything like that. But in our part of the market, I think we really are driving and pushing the boundaries of what is possible and what clients want.” (11:02–11:31 | Matt)
“We value the human side of it, and you have to, I think, when you have a model like ours.” (13:19–13:24 | Matt)
“A lot of what the industry has gone towards is being reactive, and what we’re really talking about is shifting that to be proactive.” (39:32–39:42 | Matt)
“You have to connect with people in life if you want to do anything and if you want to enjoy life.” (41:24–41:29 | Matt)
“You have to develop that skill where the client trusts you when you’re a second year associate out of law school. And they’ll trust for part of the reason that they know the brand, and they know the firm, but at some point, it’s gotta be you.” (42:18–42:35 | Matt)