consulting & Coaching


WEALTH MANAGEMENT Firms & Individuals

Uncommon Creativity. Communication that Connects.

Syncopate Advisors helps ...

Wealth Management firms retain, expand, and deepen client relationships.

Syncopate Advisors, LLC (“SYNCOPATE”) offers a unique approach to helping wealth management firms retain, expand, and deepen existing client relationships.  To accomplish this, SYNCOPATE:

1.     Helps firms expand a planning practice, or establish a practice where none currently exists.  Wealth planning advice is a key differentiator for clients in assessing the value they receive.  It also helps to acquire new clients in less time.  As a result, a properly-structured and managed planning practice will yield increased revenue while reducing risk. 

2.     Coaches advisors how to communicate with clients, with particular emphasis on preparation, strategic white boarding, and the art of asking questions.

3.     Equips advisors with actionable insights to enhance the quantity and quality of advice provided to clients. 

SYNCOPATE (a musical expression meaning "off-the-beat") is comprised of a diverse group of consultants and coaches with impeccable credentials and deep expertise.  Of course, many consulting firms can make that claim.  But our philosophy offers something new and different.  First, we have years of experience at the executive level, as well as working directly with clients.  We know what works.  Second, our team brings together an eclectic array of varied disciplines.  By leveraging what we refer to as Uncommon Creativity and Communication that Connects, clients benefit from more meaningful and memorable experiences, and wealth management firms stand to grow revenue and maximize profitability.

Syncopate Advisors also helps ...

Anyone communicate in a manner that is clear, compelling, and authentic.

Communicating ideas that connect and persuade has never been more important, with many people overwhelmed with the chaos of information and underwhelmed by its usefulness.

Whether it's a job interview, sales opportunity, small group presentation, or formal speech, we are all competing for “shelf space” in the marketplace of getting our ideas heard.  Why do some messages resonate and “stick” with us, while others quickly vanish into the abyss?  Why do people who are otherwise funny, charming, even captivating often struggle when presenting in a “professional” setting”?  

From large group presentations to individual coaching, including video feedback, we help clients:

  • Design, practice, and deliver a compelling presentation;

  • Integrate individual talents and passions into their message; and 

  • Employ practice techniques used by professional actors, musicians, and athletes to elevate performance.


Have only 2 minutes and want to get the "Syncopate Story"?


As Managing Director for Wealth Planning for 15 years at one of the country's largest trust and investment firms, I was drawn to creative people and innovative thinking.  As our group of attorneys, CPAs, and CFPs grew from 12 to more than 100, I had the privilege of leading and coaching many extraordinary professionals, including those who did not report to me.  I found it especially rewarding when coaching advisors to have more meaningful and memorable experiences with clients.  Doing so began to reveal my own shortcomings.   As a former new business officer and then attorney, I would often ask a few questions and then launch into speaking at, rather than with, a client.   

It became apparent that the most effective communicators, whether in wealth management or any other field, established a deep connection wth their clients or audiences.  First, they listened intently and without assumptions, asking more and better questions.  Second, they spoke in a manner that was clear, compelling, and authentic.  Third, they evoked trust, likability, and a lack of self centeredness. 

Committed to self-improvement, I read voraciously (especially David Maister) on professional services firms, studied with speech coaches, and worked directly with clients.  It really "clicked" for me when I read the book, Made To Stick.  Its authors, Chip and Dan Heath, identified six communication traits that dramatically altered whether an idea would resonate (or "stick").   I became convinced that effective communication can be taught, learned, practiced, and perfected.  That there were processes on how to best design and deliver a presentation, whether to one person or hundreds.  


I know the wealth management industry well, but regardless of profession, each of us articulates ideas every day, and in many different situations.  Why then, are so many presentations predictable, shallow, poorly structured, colorless, and ... well, just plain boring?  The same person, ironically, plodding through the "blandisphere" with abstractions and deadly dull visuals may otherwise be witty, insightful, charming, even dynamic when not in "presentation mode."  

As co-founders of Syncopate Advisors, Valerie Gay and I are dedicated to liberating and empowering those who communicate ideas (i.e., all of us).  We want to free people from the misguided notion that their personal passions and talents cannot be integrated into a business presentation or a job interview.  We see ourselves as part of a movement to banish boring and help people and ideas flourish and realize their full and wonderful potential.   That is why Val and I started this firm.  And why, to paraphrase the Pointer Sisters, "We're So Excited"!       

-  Steve Pappaterra