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The Model FA

Jun 14, 2022

Steve Atkinson is the Managing Director for Advisor Relations at Buckingham Strategic Partners, an investment management firm committed to creating a better wealth experience for financial advisors and clients. Steve previously worked as the Vice President of CLS Investment Firm LLC. for eight years before joining Buckingham Strategic Partners. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Banking. As Managing Director for Advisor Relations at Buckingham, Steve leads a team committed to helping financial advisors find their true passion by leveraging best practices for delivering wealth management.


Steve joins us today to discuss how financial advisors can turn themselves into admired leaders. He outlines his career progression in the financial advisory industry and explains how he encountered the concept of admired leadership. He differentiates results-oriented and follower-oriented leaders and describes why the former isn’t well respected by their followers. Steve also highlights why great leaders shine through times of crisis and underscores why leaders should always get feedback.


“Most leaders either get results or followers—admired leaders get both.” - Steve Atkinson


This week on The Model FA Podcast:


  • Steve’s beginnings in the financial advisory industry
  • What led Steve to Buckingham Strategic Partners
  • What admired leadership is and its history
  • The difference between results-oriented and follower-oriented leaders
  • Handling objections from prospects and how advisors can articulate the value of leadership to clients
  • The “UCLA style” and the characteristics that turn financial advisors into great leaders
  • The nature of markets and investing and how financial advisors can lead their team amid times of crisis
  • Why great leaders value getting feedback
  • Leadership red flags financial advisors need to avoid
  • Steve’s thoughts on turning clients into raving fans and the value of asking for help


Resources Mentioned:



Our Favorite Quotes:


  • “Clients are human beings—there’s a lot more going on in their lives than asset or portfolio allocation. So, start your conversations with a broad, big picture of the client.” - Steve Atkinson
  • “Leaders do a great job of setting expectations at the front end. That way, there’s less opportunity for miscommunication.” - David DeCelle
  • “Advisors, you can be a leader for your teams, you can be a leader for your clients, but you need to also be a leader for yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s going to be tough leading others.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Steve Atkinson:



About the Model FA Podcast


The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 


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Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


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