Welcome to the homepage of Value-Ability, a podcast for financial professionals, business owners and anyone interested in financial planning, business, leadership and personal development.
Each week we discuss a current and relevant topic in the field of financial planning: Articles and ideas you can share with your clients, methods to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your practice, and ways to build your skills as leader and business owner.
Whether you are new to financial planning or a long-time professional, there will be something for you with topics ranging from the old-school basics of a sound financial plan to modern, advanced concepts like behavioral advice.
“Value” in the series title is meant to imply a few different things. Of course it refers to "amount"or “price”, as in the value of an investment. But we also intend it to convey the concepts of “importance”, “significance” and “meaning”. This aligns with our most important value: creating a meaningful impact.
In our combined 60 years in financial services, we have learned that success is what one does for oneself, and it dies with you.
Significance is what one does for others, and it lives on when you are gone.
In this sense, we want to create “value” through helping you build your “ability” by sharing with you our accumulated wisdom and applied knowledge.
Philip Simensen has spent nearly 40 years in the financial services industry, holding a wide range of positions, including individual financial planning, field leadership, sales training, business development, and practice management. Throughout his career, he has successfully demonstrated the ability to create significant change and optimal performance within the businesses in which he has worked.
Philip began his financial services career in 1982 with American Express Financial Services as a financial advisor and registered representative. He moved on to work as a sales trainer and field leader before being chosen to help found Acuma, American Express’s subsidiary in the United Kingdom, in 1991. During five years in the UK, Philip held many critical roles in sales distribution, including divisional sales leader, regional vice president of 8 divisions, heading up a leadership management development program, and developing Acuma’s initial orientation and financial planning workshops.
Philip began a tenure with Financial Network Investment Corporation in 1996 as a regional sales manager, where he met Value-Ability co-host, Danforth Fleak. Under their leadership, the region grew to be first out of 37 in serving financial institution representatives, won the Chairman’s Award for most significant percentage increase in advisor production, and overall production increased over 400% with 130+ advisors and 35 banks and credit unions.
In 2001, Philip joined ING Advisors Network, sitting on their operating committee as senior vice president of field operations, and was responsible for directing field development and implementation programs for their four firms of financial professionals.
Philip served as an Associate Partner for Think2Perform, providing consulting services in leadership development, behavioral advice, and sales productivity for two years beginning in 2011.
Since 2013, Philip has led USAdvisors Network as President, managing broker/dealer, RIA, and insurance services for financial institution clients and financial advisors.
In 2020, Philip stepped back from his primary responsibilities with USAdvisors Network to found FS Consulting LLC and Value-Ability, with the focus of sharing his considerable experience and industry knowledge with individuals and business owners through online audio and video content, distance learning and one on one coaching, sales training, and leadership and team development.
Danforth Fleak’s career in the financial services industry includes a diverse variety of back-office roles in operations, compliance, and sales training and management, as well as sales positions as a financial advisor and product wholesaler. During his 20+ years working with individual investors and financial advisors, he has consistently focused on providing the knowledge and expertise his clients need to make sound financial decisions.
Danforth was tremendously fortunate to start his career in 1996 with Financial Network Investment Corporation under the tutelage of his Value-Ability co-host, Philip Simensen. He served as acting principal and operations manager for their region, managing the operations and compliance departments before moving on to lead relationship management for 35+ institutional clients and 130+ financial advisors.
In 2001, Danforth became a financial advisor with First Bank and Trust in San Francisco, CA, managing the investment program for five bank branches and serving both retail and commercial customers.
He then transitioned to the wholesale side of the industry, working as an internal wholesaler and sales desk team lead for Thrivent Financial (2003), internal sales supervisor and senior sales trainer for Allianz Life (2005) and retirement planning consultant for Transamerica Retirement Management (2007).
Danforth also held external wholesaling positions as divisional sales director with Protective Life and regional vice president with AXA Distributors for a combined ten years, covering independent financial advisors in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North & South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.
Danforth was the primary caregiver for his mother after she became disabled in 2002. After her death, he took a two-year sabbatical beginning in 2017, during which he traveled extensively in the United States and Europe to visit family and friends.
After completing his travels, Danforth reconnected with Philip in 2020 to found FS Consulting LLC and Value-Ability to assist in delivering online audio and video content, distance learning and one on one coaching, training, and development to individuals and business owners.