Ilija Matoski, the newest addition to Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.’s team of financial advisors, conducts his business under three main principles: trust, integrity, and mutual respect. His years as an advisor taught him that following those basic values are the key to developing an investment approach that meets his client’s financial goals and objectives in a manner that leaves them feeling comfortable and secure.
Matoski’s background in the industry is somewhat different than many advisors. In college, he had studied criminal justice with the goal of becoming a lawyer, but shortly before graduating, realized that he did not enjoy the work at all. After graduating, he went golfing and thought about what to do with a degree he did not really want, and by chance, bumped into a team of financial advisors from American Express. They told him about the career and invited him to interview for a job – a week later, he was working in finance.
“They knew that I’d be good at it before I did, because I hadn’t even heard about this kind of work before I met them,” Matoski said. “But I knew right away that I loved the job. I just liked everything about the process. I really enjoyed talking to clients, that kind of interaction was what first grabbed me.”
About one month into his first job, Matoski met an older couple that was looking to retire. His relationship with them helped formulate the personable, client-focused approach that he uses to this day.
“The husband had been wanting to retire for some time, but had never had any kind of plan done,” Matoski said. “I looked through their finances, and it turned out that they would’ve been able to retire two years before. I remember that glow on his face when I told them. He was so happy, and she was so happy because he’d been working at the mills for so long.”
One of Matoski’s favorite parts of the job is that the relationships he builds with clients are unique and long-term.
“It’s about the meshing of personalities, different advisors have different personalities and that means they work with different kinds of clients,” he said. “For example, I’m not a deeply analytical type so I don’t get the more engineering oriented clients. I’m more of a type-a personality, I like to go out and talk over golf or cars, so I get clients that do the same. It’s all about building those relationships.”
Eventually, Matoski found himself working at Wells Fargo, but their corporate approach to financial advising clashed with his own passion to serve clients first. It was the same feeling that had driven Cliff Bryan to leave Wells Fargo and open the Chesterton branch of Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. After more rounds of changes at the bank, Matoski decided that it was time to move on, and Bryan was happy to welcome him to his team.
“I’d always admired him and his crew’s way of doing business,” Matoski said. “So, once I decided to make the move, I gave Cliff a call and said, ‘Hey, let’s do this,’ and here we are now. This is a firm that’s focused on the client, and focused on letting the advisor help them reach their financial goals.”
The new environment has helped Matoski develop better relationships with his clients, and given that same kind of energy for the job that captured him when he first started out years ago.
“Here at Benjamin F. Edwards, you can tell that they care about the clients and you being successful and that just really resonates with me,” he said. “It makes me happy to come to work. I was on vacation last week, and I kept thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get back.”
To learn more about Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. visit benjaminfedwards.com.
2021-0796 Exp. 04/30/2023