John C. Pastore is a senior vice president at Integrated Partners. He helps support Integrated Partner’s network of more than 200 advisors by connecting them with CPAs nationally.
Russ Alan Prince: Why CPAs?
John Pastore: I give Paul Saganey, Integrated’s CEO, so much credit. He has always been two steps ahead of the crowd. When he hired me, I worked at Marriott International handling the biggest accounts, and Paul said, “We need to do the same thing here. We must connect with the biggest players and take that same concierge mindset.”
Prince: Did you think it was going to grow into the engine that is now, a $17 billion firm?
Pastore: Honestly? We could never have thought it was going to grow this big this quickly. But that concierge mindset? That spirit to serve? We always knew that that was going to deliver no matter what the industry. Paul always saw the potential. He knew what I could do, and he always supported that.
Prince: Why do so many advisors struggle when it comes to finding great CPA partners?
Pastore: It always comes down to fit. Too many people want to find a partner instead of the partner. Advisors need to stop trying to sell products. They need to understand that they are a solutions provider. When you find the right partner and you are both putting the client’s plan first, success is the result.
Prince: What’s your secret sauce? How do you find great CPAs?
Pastore: Finding the right CPAs begins with great introductions from other professionals. We are talking about attorneys, estate planners and people in the payroll profession. Relationships foster growth. It sounds simple, but successful relationships are anything but simple. They take years to cultivate and a moment to disrupt. Trust is earned, and we are proud to earn our partners’ trust every day.
Prince: How do you make sure that the fit is there? How do make sure that the personalities match and that these advisors and CPAs are good long-term partners?
Pastore: It’s funny. The first thing that many advisors do is canvas their clients or the Yellow Pages for CPAs that are in the backyard. It is about way more than geography. The advisors and the CPAs have to have a need for one another. They both need to have a similar growth mindset. You see, advisors and CPAs know that the world is changing, and they need to change with it in order to thrive.