5 Ways First Rate Has Continued to Evolve and Expand Despite 2020

Recently, I attended a Texas Wall Street Women’s networking event where the featured guest said, “I have to remind myself how fortunate we are to be in the industry we are in. We live in a fake world, however, and our clients are the ones having to adjust supply chains, perform lay-offs, and pivot their business models in order to survive.” With that perspective always before us, we wanted to share an update about how things are going at First Rate and our gratitude for the ability to continue to grow and evolve even during global economic hardship.

  1. Remodel: First and foremost, we are fortunate to be located in Texas, a land of wide-open spaces and lots of available land. Our buildings don’t have to go up; they can spread out. (A.K.A. no elevators.) You may have seen the results of our office remodeling project. This has permitted us to be back in the office since May with adequate, collaborative spaces that permit social distancing. On average, 25-30 people show up each day to work ‘together’ even though our building has the capacity for 130 team members. Our latest renovations include innovative and interactive conference rooms allowing those that aren’t able to come into the office feel more connected than ever before.
  2. New Employees: Having this space has been so helpful as we have onboarded many new team members since the beginning of the year. Nineteen people to be exact! Using a combination of videos, Zoom-Common Time, daily stand-ups, and some onsite apprentice-style training, we have succeeded in getting everyone engaged in our day to day activities and processing cycles. There is nothing quite so energizing as having new, smart, caring talent join our ranks to help us serve our clients better.
  3. Innovation: We are also excited to be investing in new innovative solutions to help us bring many new technologies to our clients and the marketplace such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and new attribution and portfolio optimization tools which will ultimately help make wealth managers more effective in supporting your investors and stakeholders.
  4. Giving: Many of you know that First Rate’s values are Love, Give, Serve, and Enjoy. Early in the pandemic, we realized our fifth value of frequently eating together was going to be a challenge, so we turned our love of food into a love of community and supported our struggling local restaurants through an employee stipend. That also evolved into a program led by our chaplain wherein employees donated some of their lunch money each week to a hospital or non-profit serving those in need on the front line. Since the initiative started 27 weeks ago, we have donated over $14k, and we’re still going!
  5. Change from Within: Lastly, with the recent events occurring in our country we determined that we could do more to turn our values into action by creating a safe place to learn other perspectives and how to be a force for good through business. This is a place where all of our employees can engage in honest communication that is derived from passion with the intent to drive action into our communities.  Being a force for good is ultimately the reason for First Rate’s existance.

So, during this tumultuous year, we wanted you to know that First Rate is adapting, evolving, keeping our clients top of mind, and continually focused on providing best-in-breed service to the wealth management industry.

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