A recent issue of the Upstate Business Journal highlighted four women defining the future of banking and finance in Greenville. Nachman Norwood & Parrott’s Maura Copsey was featured.
Maura Copsey, partner at the Nachman Norwood & Parrott wealth management consultancy, once had to sit down with a client and walk through with her, in a detailed fashion, the plan for dealing with her husband’s death.
“I say that in our jobs, we really should have counseling degrees as well,” Copsey says. “That sounds like a joke or that I’m being dismissive, but I mean it sincerely.”
Money is tethered to all aspects of life, from the joyous to the tragic, she says. That client, for example — with whom Copsey had been working for many years — had just learned about her husband’s terminal pancreatic cancer. The two of them sat together and worked through the financial arrangements for when he would be gone. And after his death, Copsey helped this client get through her long mourning period. Then, years later, Copsey was still there when this client fell in love again and was getting married.
Whether it’s planning for a funeral or planning for a wedding, she says finances are always in play.
“There is so much anxiety in the world,” Copsey says. “If we can alleviate that, then that’s a good day for us.”
Copsey herself had her share of anxiety along the way. After all, major life events, she says, rarely work out exactly as planned. Back in the late ’90s, when she was pregnant with her second child, Copsey was laid off from her stable position at First Union Bank after 10 years on the job.
After a period of uncertainty, she managed to find a position working alongside Bob Nachman and Ben Norwood, who founded Nachman Norwood & Parrott with now-retired John Parrott. But with two young children to care for, Copsey knew in a few years that she would want a more-flexible schedule to spend time with them. Before joining the team, she made sure to be upfront about that.
“Back then, that was unusual, but I think now times have changed and there’s much more of a focus on work-life balance,” Copsey says. “Companies understand that people don’t exist solely to work.”
Whether caring for young children or aging parents, employees who get a chance to finesse their schedules to meet their needs are more loyal and determined, Copsey says, and that’s much more beneficial for companies in the long run.
“I feel like the culture now is such that you can be flexible and still succeed at whatever level you’re striving for,” she says. “Have the conversation.”
From her perspective, the key driver of that change is not so much cultural as it is technological. With the advent of the digital age, employees are no longer tethered to their desks. They can perform their duties outside of the office, on varying schedules.
On the same note, clients who once relied on advisers like Copsey can now find a range of advisement with a few keystrokes or taps on their smartphones. Therefore, what separates successful companies, she says, are the interpersonal relationships that are nourished along the way and the amount of investment made in the individual.
“More than anything, that’s what our job is all about,” Copsey says.
More About Maura
Alma mater: Vanderbilt University
Started career as: Trainee at First Union Bank
Best advice: “It never feels easy. There will be tough challenges and crazy times along the way. Set priorities and learn to balance things as they come.”
Spends free time: Traveling and attending art events
To read the full article, visit the Upstate Business Journal.