Washington Evening Journal
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FAIRFIELD — Two Cambridge Investment Research executives took home some hardware from an industry awards ceremony in New York City this month.
Cambridge Investment Research is a financial services company located just north of Fairfield, and is the largest employer in the county with 945 employees. The company’s CEO, Amy Webber, and its President of Growth and Development, Jeff Vivacqua, were honored at WealthManagement.com’s 2022 Industry Awards on Sept. 8. Webber was named CEO of the Year in the Broker-Dealers category (1,000 advisors or more), and Vivacqua was named Chief Marketing Officer of the Year in the Broker-Dealers category.
This is not the first time a Cambridge executive has been honored at this national awards ceremony. Last year, Cambridge’s Nick Graham was named Chief Technology Officer of the Year.
Webber said she was extremely honored to receive the recognition, and noted that while organizations need strong leadership, behind every successful group is a “strong culture, dedicated team of people, and a passion for service.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with many talented and dedicated people, and learn from amazing mentors like Eric Schwartz,” Webber stated in a news release. “I love being part of this industry and helping others achieve success and fulfillment in their independent journeys. As I like to say, ‘We are stronger when united.’”
Vivacqua said it was a privilege to be selected for the award among an outstanding group of finalists.
“The WealthManagement.com team hosted an incredible event,” he said in a news release. “I am pleased to work with an outstanding group of people and serve financial professionals who are so committed to their clients.”
Vivacqua told The Union that modern technology has allowed a company like Cambridge to flourish in a small city in Iowa, and that it doesn’t have to be across the street from the New York Stock Exchange.
“Technology has given tech companies the ability to be positioned all across the country,” he said.
Webber noted that Cambridge is a different type of business than the financial service companies that serve large metropolitan areas.
“In our world, we serve middle America, Main Street not Wall Street,” she said. “Our customers are best served by our own independent contractors, who choose to work with us because we support their small business. We’re still working with people across the table who want to build a relationship with their financial advisor. In our sector of financial services, it’s often a benefit to be somewhere other than those large cities.”
Webber has spent the last 24 years building a great team of supporters at Cambridge. When she joined the company in 1998, she was employee No. 22, and now there are more than 900 employees.
Vivacqua has been involved in the financial solutions business for 27 years, including just over 12 years at Cambridge. He said it was nice to be honored among his peers, and he felt the recognition was due to the company’s ability to manage the pandemic and give back to the community.
Webber said Cambridge pulls employees from nine counties, including some who drive an hour or more to the office. They have made Cambridge a great place to work, something that the Des Moines Register has honored them for 11 years in a row. Not surprisingly, the company has seen tremendous growth year after year.
“When I started in 1998, we were doing $7 million in revenue,” Webber said. “When I became president in 2008, we were had $240 million in revenue, and when I added CEO in 2017, we were up to $807 million. Today, we’re at $1.4 billion in revenue.”
Vivacqua added that, in the time he’s been with the company, it has gone from 1,600 advisors to 3,900 advisors, and from 250 employees to 945 today.
“Our growth has allowed us to have a national presence with that many advisors across the country in different time zones,” Vivacqua said. “We opened a small office in Phoenix because we felt it was a strategic decision to have people in different cities, to make the firm better from a growth perspective.”
In addition to Webber and Vivacqua being nationally recognized, Cambridge also announced that three of its senior executive vice presidents would become presidents: Colleen Bell, Vivacqua and Seth Miller will all lead divisions in the newly created “Office of the CEO,” built on focusing strategic and operating management, financial success, and risk management for the firm.
Bell will focus on the Innovation and Experience division, while Vivacqua will lead Growth and Development, and Miller will target Advocacy and Administration.
“As we continue to navigate an evolving landscape and prepare for the many opportunities that lie ahead, it’s important that we provide Cambridge with a leadership structure that most accurately reflects our key business functions,” Webber said in a statement. “Colleen, Jeff, and Seth are among our most experienced leaders who have continuously proven their dedication to our firm and the financial professionals we serve. I believe this new structure will be instrumental in fulfilling our purpose and paving the way to a path of continued success.”
Bell, Vivacqua, and Miller have been part of the firm’s leadership team for over a decade, each bringing years of experience in the financial services industry.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at email@example.com