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The Model FA

Oct 26, 2021

Andrea Lopez-Schlapia is the founder and CEO of IronstoneHQ, an organization that helps financial advisory professionals design, develop, and sustain their businesses. After rising through the ranks of several global investment firms such as Dreyfus, Prudential, and Deutsche Bank, Andrea founded IronstoneHQ in 2008 to help financial advisors. She is the creator of IronstoneHQ’s Fundamental 4 scorecard and blueprint, a system she designed to help financial advisors grow purposefully, operate more efficiently, and continue their business’s legacy.

Andrea joins me today to discuss the Fundamental 4 blueprint and how organizations can leverage it for exponential growth. She explains why businesses should cast a vision through strategic planning and outlines how leaders can put those plans into action through business development. She underscores why it’s important to systematize and standardize a company’s systems and processes. Andrea also highlights why it’s critical to cultivate the human element of an organization and shares some of her strategies for developing company culture.


“Cast a wide net at the beginning of your career. Explore what you like—what becomes your sweet spot is your growth.” - Andrea Schlapia


This week on The Model FA Podcast:

  • Andrea’s background and the catalyst behind IronstoneHQ
  • The leap from being a great financial advisor to becoming a great business owner
  • What the Fundamental 4 blueprint is and how it was created
  • How often the Fundamental 4 should be implemented in an organization
  • How to fall in love with your business again
  • Being strategic and protecting your energy by working with people who give you energy
  • The 10:3:1:Q method for casting your company’s vision
  • The importance of having a clear vision for your business and writing it down on paper
  • Picking and refining a niche and what it means to be a small giant
  • How to pick a niche when starting out
  • How to quickly build up trust with clients
  • Operational effectiveness and the power of consistency
  • Segmentation and why it’s important to document your business’s services and operations
  • The psychology of selling
  • The human element of culture-building and strategies for improving culture
  • What development days are and why you should implement them monthly


Resources Mentioned:


Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “When you build a community, you start educating people on what you do. Then it becomes an automatic referral-generating machine.” - Andrea Schlapia
  • “Trust isn’t something that just takes time; it’s based on the accumulation of experiences.” - David DeCelle
  • “Serving your clients better starts with serving yourself and your people.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Andrea Schlapia:


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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