Maximum Impact Partners brings deep financial service industry and functional expertise to the marketing and distribution challenges our clients face. With more than 21 years of experience in making change happen, we have developed approaches to mobilizing and enabling sales organizations that are unique, practical, and proven.
Since founding the company in 1998 with marketing expert, John Lotka, Ami has worked in collaboration with each client to develop new insights about the sales strategy and mobilizes the organization to act knowing that even a small change can lead to a big impact on results.
Ami started in the financial services industry in 1982 on the inbound sales desk for Nuveen Investments, then spent years as a regional wholesaler, key account manager and went on to serve for 10 years as National Director of the Independent Dealer Division for Nuveen. Ami was also the first National Sales Manager for Fidelity’s Plymouth Funds, now the Fidelity Advisor Funds, building a sales team from scratch.
Ami has worked with over 100 financial services firms in the U.S and abroad, conducting sales and management training and distribution strategy consulting. Ami has helped shape distribution initiatives for leading financial services organizations in Canada, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, and India as well as the U.S. Clients have included Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Nuveen, MassMutual, AIG, Sun Life, Prudential U.K., Manulife, John Hancock Funds & John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, MFS, AXA Japan, Transamerica, Allianz and Pacific Life. Ami works to align the efforts of wholesalers, key account managers and sales managers at product firms, but also speaks regularly to and with advisors at national conferences and regional meetings on topics ranging from target marketing to making better connections with clients to improve sales results. Her strong belief in human potential for success sets the tone and drives our enduring client relationships at Maximum Impact Partners.
Ami received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Indiana University. She completed a Graduate Certificate in Business from Harvard Extension School in 1986. Ami holds the CFP and CIMA designations and was a founder and first President of the 1700+ member Women in Pensions Network. She is a mentor to business executives in the Menttium 100 program and an avid community volunteer in Phoenix, AZ, where she lives with her husband.
Website: Maximum Impact Partners, Inc.
CEO, Sondhelm Partners
Dan Sondhelm is the CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm designed to help investment managers, mutual fund and ETF firms, wealth managers and fintech firms attract and keep investors, strengthen distribution and build brands through sales, marketing and public relations strategies.
Dan has been instrumental in helping boutique and larger firms develop and execute strategies for growth since 1990. Dan was nominated by MutualFundWire in 2009 as one of the Most Influential People in Fund Distribution for his guidance and perspective in helping companies grow. Dan also frequently contributes to the financial news media and presents or moderates at industry conferences and webinars.
Prior to founding Sondhelm Partners, Dan was a senior partner and senior vice president at SunStar Strategic. Dan is a member of the Third Party Marketers Association and participates in the strategy and membership committee. He holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses.
Dan earned an MBA from the Kogod College of Business Administration at American University in Washington, DC. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Jenna, twin children Madeleine and Gabriel, and cat Remy.
Gretchen Radach, MBA is a sales and marketing professional with 15 years experience in the financial services industry. At JP Morgan, her award winning sales presentations and communication strategies influenced large companies, such as Fortune 500, in the management of their retirement plan assets.
At John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, Gretchen worked to increase interest and sales of the group annuity product by transforming retirement plan marketing strategies into effective presentations she shared with financial advisors within an assigned territory, as well as nationwide. A frequent presenter at industry conferences, Gretchen also provided coaching to industry recognized leaders to help fine-tune their delivery.
An active volunteer in her community, Gretchen resides with her husband,Brandon, and two boys in the Chicagoland area.
Principal, Kringdon & Associates/HMC
Given my nearly 40 years in the business, I am a proven Sales and Marketing Leader with a wealth of experience on both the Asset and Wealth Management sides of the business; thus, I understand the process and dynamics of a successful client experience/journey in the Business to Business (B2B), as well as, the Business to Consumer (B2C) setting in these worlds.
Having worked in a plethora of firms of all sizes and complexities, I am highly attuned to the need to assess an environment, set strategy, implement process and create accountability in a march toward progress and success (as defined and aligned). As an individual contributor, a team leader and as an Executive, I actively managed the functions…systems, reporting, compensation, human/financial capital, Sales/Marketing Leadership…that are critical to an organization’s decisioning and execution toward success.
I believe this ‘first hand’ experience is invaluable and can have an impact on any organization, and it’s clients. With the proper direction, resources and opportunities, my contribution on most assignments can be immediate, tangible and worth much in improving productivity and aligning messaging, which ultimately increases the ability to attract/retain clients and assets.
The HMC** in my firm’s name refers to the fact that I approach each assignment with the “Heart & Mind of Champion,” focused and driven!
**HMC is the Kringdon Family motto
John brings his clients over 45 years of diverse business leadership experience in various organizational settings including:
Over his career John has served as Chief Marketing Officer for Cole Capital Markets, as Director of Marketing Administration at John Nuveen & Co., as Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer of United of America Bank, a $35 million community bank and as a Partner at Frankel & Co., formerly the nation’s largest independent marketing services agency, now part of Publicis.
In 1988, John joined Nuveen Investments to create a new blueprint for the marketing function. He established functional capabilities for database management, marketing research, distribution marketing support, advertising and financial management for marketing. While at Nuveen, John served as a member of the ICI Sales Force Marketing Committee from 1990-1997 and was a founding member of the Mutual Fund Forum, now known as the Forum for Investor Advice, a trade association that represents the interest of advisor sold fund groups whose members currently account for 80% of all mutual fund assets.
At Frankel, John established a new industry practice from scratch, targeting the top financial services companies. New clients included 5 divisions of Citicorp and Visa USA. Group client billings were exceeded only by the group managing the agency’s longest tenured client, McDonald’s Corporation.
Prior to Frankel, John ran the core operations and financial management of several community banks. As COO and CFO at United of America Bank, he led a turnaround in profitability ending four years of losses and enabling the bank to be sold at a considerable profit to a private investment group within 2 years.
When John founded Maximum Impact Partners in 1998, he recognized that senior sales and marketing people need a flexible outside resource that can sit down with them and go right to work. To meet that need John assembled a team of experienced professionals who have years of experience on the client side creating success in their companies. He views the starting point of any client relationship as focusing on what needs to happen right now, eliminating the learning curve and leveraging the good work that has already been done by the client. John is a graduate of University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. John lives in Phoennix, AZ with his wife/business partner, Ami Tully Lotka. Contact John Lotka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark’s focus at Sun Life Financial International is to set the strategic direction, distribution model and competitiveness for the offshore Investment products. As Vice President of International Investment Distribution, Mark ensures Sun Life Financial International products are appropriately positioned within a firm’s portfolio to be successful while maintaining corporate relationships.
Under Mark’s leadership there is a specialized team of internal and external wholesalers that market Sun Life Financial International products in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. As a leader, Mark is known for his passionate vision and beliefs in the company and the products distributed, as well as the importance of anticipating firm, broker, and client needs. Mark brings a range of experience since 1977 that helps him balance risk and opportunity for the division.
Prior to joining Sun Life, Mark served at MFS as President of MFS International, Director of the Independent Dealer Distribution Channel and head of the Insurance Products Division. He also served as Managing Director of Retail where he spent five years in London establishing a distribution team for Europe.
Mark often participates in international conferences as a speaker as he is a recognized industry expert and thought leader in the offshore marketplace.
Mark received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Suffolk University, MA and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University, West Virginia.
Outside of work, Mark enjoys fly fishing and family time with his wife and two children. Mark is also actively involved with a charitable organization that sends refurbished ambulances to Afghanistan.
You can contact Mark at email@example.com
Matt brings over 25 years of financial services sales experience to Maximum Impact Partners as our newest Partner. He is responsible for Sales Development Programs. In his career Matt has been a consistent top producer for great sales organizations at MFS, John Hancock Funds and Legg Mason. In his career as a wholesaler, his goal has been to build long term client relationships through honesty and integrity. His personal interests include tennis, golf and standup comedy. Comedy has enabled him to use his fabulous sense of humor to persuade and engage all types of audiences.
At MFS, management saw his strengths early on as a leader, trainer and mentor. Matt quickly distinguished himself by taking on sales territories no one else wanted and turning them into sources of new production while helping him to achieve the status of the leader in sales volume. He was awarded the Heritage Award twice for team contributions; he was consistently in the top 5 in sales for over 10 years and was #1 in the country in 1999.
At John Hancock Matt received numerous top producer awards and recognition for highest increase in year over year sales and highest number of net new producers in 2007.
At Legg Mason Matt doubled sales in less than three years and ranked third in total market share. Also, Matt was #1 in sales for Royce Funds (Legg Mason subsidiary) for calendar years 2012-2014.
A graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Economics, Matt holds Series 6, 63 and 65 NASD licenses and holds the CIMA® designation. Matt lives in Fishers, IN with his spouse Kiersten and their three children.
You can contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Wilke is the president of Wilke and Associates, Inc and an industry known practice management consultant and leader in professional development. She works closely with distribution teams and financial advisors to take their business to the next level. She is the author of The CONNECTED Advisor business systems for financial advisors and a contributor to industry publications, including Morningstar’s practice management webcasts. The goal is to maximize a team’s effectiveness and organizational structure, brand the practice, retain top clients and automate referrals.
Maureen is known internationally for delivering dynamic workshops and presentations at financial advisor meetings and sales conferences. She combines her over 20 years of sales, marketing, and training experience with the best practices from the many financial advisors and distribution groups she has worked with, to build proactive financial teams. Her new book The Connected Advisor is coming soon.
Website: Wilke & Associates
For over three decades, Russell M. Parker has helped some of the biggest names in financial services build market presence, grow distribution and drive profitable results. Firms like Janus, Nuveen and Natixis have all been beneficiaries of Russ’s innovative ideas and forward thinking, not to mention a better bottomline.
In 2013, Russ founded rpmAUM® and RPM Distribution, LLC to provide strategic brand and product consulting services to the leadership of asset management firms and to offer unconventional ideas and non-traditional distribution methods to their asset gathering efforts.
Additionally, Russ can also provide a complete roadmap for those managers that are seeking entry to the advisor assisted space for the first time.. Russ built these organizations to share his creativity, innovative strategies and informed opinions to help clients achieve accelerated growth through non-traditional distribution methods and outwitting the status quo.
As those who have worked with Russ will tell you, he was born with a natural drive to make things happen. His strong senior management experience, coupled with his extensive background in sales and marketing, provides him a unique opportunity to lead through success across multiple disciplines such as sales, marketing, operations and product development. He has worked with blue chip companies and small boutique firms. This range of experience has given him a leg-up in putting investment products and services within arm’s reach of investor desire. Today, he brings his expertise and institutional knowledge to other financial service firms “helping them achieve positive results more efficiently” saving them time and money.
Russ has been an active volunteer for many years with both the local and national MS Society. He currently serves as Chairman of the National Campaign Chapter. A graduate of Villanova University, Russ has also earned the CIMA® designation through the Wharton School of Management and holds the Series 7, 26, and 63 licenses.
With all of Russ’s credentials, successes and achievements through the years, his most unique attribute isn’t one that can be experienced on paper. It is his unique ability to energize, motivate and lead others to improve organizational performance, which in the long run makes his client’s job, a whole lot easier. rpmAUM® and RPM Distribution, LLC clients can always expect creative, innovative strategies and tactics when engaging his team.
Russ can be reached at Russell@rpmaum.com.