In a recent white paper by PFI Advisors, Exploring the Benefits of Professional Management for RIAs: A Deeper Look into Chief Compliance Officers, NNP’s Angela Sheppard was profiled for her success as a CCO and establishing a comprehensive compliance program.
Angela Sheppard’s journey into wealth management has been atypical, to say the least. Her career started as an elementary school teacher, where she taught first and second grade. In 2000, she interviewed to be John Parrott’s assistant when he was an advisor at First Union Securities. John and Angie then joined forces with Ben Norwood and Bob Nachman to become Nachman, Norwood & Parrott Investment Group. She remained with the team throughout mergers and acquisitions of the broker dealer – First Union Securities, to Wachovia Securities to Wells Fargo Advisors – and continued with the firm through May 2018 when they broke away to launch Nachman Norwood & Parrott as an independent RIA.
Angie first worked in client service before transitioning to financial planning and trading. John, like many partners in the RIA industry, had “drawn the short straw” and was named the compliance officer for the firm. When John announced his retirement after 43 years in the industry, Angie, who was looking to further grow with the company, seized the opportunity to use her diverse skill set and long history with the firm to work alongside John as a compliance officer for about a year before formally becoming the Chief Compliance Officer.
As Chief Compliance Officer, Angie actively considers each new request from her team within the boundaries of upholding the compliance and regulatory standards while still satisfying the client’s best interest. While compliance initiatives are bemoaned at some firms, Angie utilizes the positive reinforcement she learned as an elementary school teacher to help lighten her employees’ attitude towards them. For example, she does periodic scans of the office after hours to make sure employees have left their desks clear of any paperwork containing sensitive client data. When she finds a desk that has been left clean, she’ll leave a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a note saying, “Your desk has REESEntly been found free of sensitive client information.” She finds this method of positive reinforcement encourages her team and brings some levity to the cut-and-dry world of compliance.
When it comes to professional management, Angie believes the industry as a whole, “has to embrace it because everyone doesn’t have the same set of gifts. If we’re not putting the right people in the right places and not allowing people to do what they do well… we won’t achieve our targeted growth rates and we will not be providing the best for our clients.”
Her role as CCO involves nearly every aspect of the business. Angie’s experience in different areas of the firm has allowed her to better understand the what’s, how’s and why’s of a successful compliance program.
In order to stay on top of the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, Angie has joined a compliance professionals networking group that she was introduced to by her custodial Relationship Manager. She relies on them for peer feedback and collaborative sharing of best practices. Outside of the networking group, Angie has compliance consulting resources, and she finds significant value in the conferences and webinars she attends as well as the email blasts she subscribes to.
Angie’s involvement in Nachman Norwood & Parrot goes well beyond the typical responsibilities of a Chief Compliance Officer. Recently, she found herself mopping up after a water leak in the ceiling of the men’s bathroom, but Angie doesn’t mind. She’s been with the team for so long that she really views the firm as her family and takes a lot of ownership and pride in the work she does.
Headquarters Greenville, SC
AUM Manage $1.6 billion in client assets
To read PFI Advisor’s white paper in full, download Exploring the Benefits of Professional Management for RIAs: A Deeper Look into Chief Compliance Officers.