A Journey Ahead: J.D. Bruce’s Future and Career at Abacus

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Please note the publish date of this blog. Financial information, market conditions, and other data mentioned in this post may no longer be accurate or relevant.

After fifteen years of service, J.D. Bruce will be transitioning from his full-time role at Abacus to focus on consulting to financial advisory firms around the US and internationally.

J.D.’s greatest passion is helping fast-growing professional services companies innovate and adapt to new opportunities and challenges, something he’s done exceptionally for Abacus since 2007. Given Abacus is in the business of advising our clients and not other advisory firms, it seems a natural time for J.D. to independently follow his passion.

Here are a few of the highlights of how J.D. has helped Abacus: 

Client Service

With his Masters Degree in Information Technology, J.D. helped Abacus incorporate technology to make our clients’ lives better. Thanks to him, Abacus was one of the first advisory firms to incorporate Salesforce for client information storage, allowing our advisors to answer client questions much more readily. The portfolio management and reporting systems that J.D. discovered and in many cases, improved by working directly with the software developers, ensure timely and tax-efficient rebalancing as well as portfolio information available to clients on any device, any time. Before any of us had even heard of cloud computing, J.D. had removed servers from all Abacus offices and made sure all our data was securely encrypted and available at any Abacus office. 

Talent

J.D. adapted and implemented an innovative advisory team structure to service clients and train future generations of advisors. Most firms don’t create this robust pipeline of talent and thus, when company founders and senior advisors retire, clients most often transition or the firm as a whole is sold. The implementation of this particular team structure helps to nurture talent and provides Abacus with a robust succession plan.

Independence

J.D. oversaw the creation and administration of our Abacus Partner Program. The Partner Program allows Abacus to continue to be owned by the people who do the work day in and day out, rather than taking on financial investors or needing to sell when founders retire. 

Mergers and Acquisitions

J.D. creatively pursued an M&A program which has brought in talented staff and beloved clients through ten M&A deals since 2012. 

Expanding What’s Possible

J.D. has advocated for serving those who are neglected by our industry time and again, including having Abacus get rid of asset minimums, launching our initial pro-bono program, and overseeing our BLX Internship, which increases the representation and skill levels of Black and Latinx financial planners in our profession.

Governance

J.D. helped Abacus establish sound governance practices including establishing our Board (with election procedures that protect minority shareholders) and overseeing constant improvement of our Operating Agreement.

Mentorship

J.D. has been the primary mentor and advocate for several of our most skilled people, and many of those in the industry. He always had time to help anyone who needed it. 

J.D. will be working with Abacus to transition his responsibilities and small group of clients to other Abacus advisors and staff before he formally resigns on January 31, 2023. J.D. will remain an Abacus partner, and will retain the title of President Emeritus.

We look forward to a long working relationship and believe that we can continue to benefit each other in many ways going forward. We hope you’ll join us in wishing J.D. great success and impact in his forthcoming endeavor.

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