After eight interviews, Peter F. Striano III, was told by former Managing Partner Charles E. McIntyre, CLU®, ChFC®, "If you want, I'll give it a shot." These words marked Peter Striano's entrance into Northwestern Mutual as the office's first financial representative intern. And, after developing a strong relationship with then Managing Partner, Chuck McIntyre and working through the ranks of leadership positions, Peter Striano was appointed managing partner effective January 1, 2008.
Following a Family Career Path
Pete Striano's mother and father provided him with the strength needed to start the career – and stick it out. "My father was in sales his whole life. He taught me a valuable lesson to always do what's right for the customer. I would watch him go out and sell and watch the way he interacted with people. He taught me not to worry about the deal or the size of the deal because it was all about the company." And as his father's namesake, working in the area he was born and raised, Pete said that meant everything at the start of his career. "People knew I was honest and loyal because of my father."
His mother provided the support when things got tough. "She remembered my father's first years in sales and she told me it would get better if I just stuck with it.” And now it is his wife, Aline, who provides the constant encouragement. “I am so grateful for Aline's support over the years. She has been the one that I bounce ideas off of and talk through ideas. Her encouragement has meant the world to me."
Working his way to the Managing Partner Position
Pete Striano has been an asset to Northwestern Mutual since he joined as a college intern in 1992 in Boca Raton. He entered management quickly as he was promoted to College Unit Director in 1993 and later Field Director in 1997. Pete advanced to the position of Managing Director in 1999, which was a time marked by great accomplishment for his office. He distinguished himself as a successful leader by earning many company honors and reaching achievements such as the Managing Director Growth award and the OARS award, which recognizes exceptional performance in balancing both management and personal production.
Supporting those New to the Career
Because Pete was the office's first financial representative intern, the program holds a special place in his heart. While the program had little structure when he first entered it, he has worked with others to bring the program to a level that offers extensive training, assistance and support. "I didn't want them to relearn my mistakes. This is my way to give back to the office for their belief in me and letting me come on."
The biggest thrill of Pete's job is seeing people join the organization and succeed. "My favorite thing is watching the field directors and college unit directors build their units and find success. It's the same way I built my practice and it feels like it's coming full circle." That circle often involves change, something Pete Striano embraces. As a field director, Striano also had the opportunity to build his team and eventually move out to his district network office. He enjoys watching other leaders do the same. "I started at the most junior level," Striano recalled. "And now when I look at our territory, I see others that I have brought in working their way up as well."
Pete Striano credits the love of leadership to a culture that supports one another. "It's part of the culture in our office. We have an office of high integrity, high loyalty and high accountability." To encourage members to feel like part of the team, Pete often suggests joint work and involves people in meetings to create accountability. "People feel connected here versus as if they are on an island."
To those who are dipping their toes in the leadership waters, Pete encourages them to fully engage and take advantage of the resources around them. "I tell people to attend Northwestern Mutual’s corporate office leadership meetings, and always do the job that you say you are going to do. And I tell them to recruit and mentor others. This will make them more successful financial representatives and the opportunities will start opening up. They did for me."
The Network Culture
Some representatives may not have expertise in all different product or service areas, and that's all right with Pete Striano. "We encourage joint work between representatives. You don't have to be great in everything. Our most successful representatives do joint work and utilize the specialists available in the Network. I tell representatives who feel like they are on a plateau to always challenge themselves. If you expose yourself to an unknown area, it may bring your business to another level.
Outside the Office
Pete Striano and his wife, Aline, have a son named Peter (IV). Pete has spent all but one month of his life in South Florida. He takes great pride in being part of this great community. He is an alumnus of Florida Atlantic University. In his spare time, Peter enjoys fishing and spending time volunteering with the National Alliance for Autism Research.
The Striano Financial Group
Through Northwestern Mutual, The Striano Financial Group has over 100 full-time representatives offering services in the areas of life and disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities, investments and other products for personal and business needs analysis. "I am very committed to our representatives' success. It is my dream to watch these people grow around me, because they have helped me grow so much and now I get the opportunity to help them."
This Network Office has been active since 2008.
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