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Demetrius Grooms - Edward Jones Principal, Retirement Services

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Location

St. Louis, Mo.

College

Webster University

Degree

MBA

Year Started

1998

Demetrius Grooms

Principal, Retirement Services


Describe your role within the firm.
I am responsible for the service and support of our employer-sponsored retirement plan business, the oversight and reporting of our firm's self-directed retirement accounts, Retirement Services associate training and communication, as well as the regulatory and project responsibilities for Retirement Services.

Describe how your division contributes to the firms success.
The Operations division contributes to the firm's success by delivering exceptional service and support that strengthens trust.

What did you do prior to joining Edward Jones?
I joined the firm immediately after graduating from Saint Louis University in May 1998.

Are there any memorable experiences you'd like to share that Illustrate what it's like to work for Edward Jones?
Any trip to a Branch Office Administrator (BOA) Regional Meeting exemplifies the sense of community that the BOAs and financial advisors have. We experience the same thing in the Home Office, but it's easier to understand given our close proximity to each other. In the field, as we like to say, it is almost like witnessing a family reunion--watching the BOAs interact with each other, asking how family members were doing and celebrating successes, both personal and professional.

What does the firm being a partnership mean to you?
The firm being a partnership means that I have the opportunity to own a piece of the company I work for and benefit from its success. My contribution has a direct impact to my personal bottom line which is very unique in this industry. It also shows up every day as we put the act of partnership to the test by collaborating across the firm to accomplish shared results.

Before you came to Edward Jones, what did the name mean to you? And after you came on board?
I didn't know who Edward Jones was before I joined the firm. After joining, I quickly began to recognize that it is by far one of the few firms in the industry with a clear focus on the long-term individual investor as its client. That focus is important to me because I frequently refer family and friends to our financial advisors.

Articulate the spirit of volunteerism that exists at Jones. How have you been involved and what was that experience like?
The opportunity to serve the communities we live and work in is a core value of our firm. Associates see service as a responsibility to the greater good, rather than a mandatory activity. Over the years, I participated in community recruiting events and fund raising opportunities for various charitable organizations, in addition to chairing a committee for a nonprofit board I currently serve on. All of these experiences align with my core values and help me better understand the role Edward Jones plays in the communities we serve.

Do you feel you are rewarded for taking initiative and "going the extra mile" at Edward Jones?
Yes. The real reward for "going the extra mile" is the value it adds to our clients. Satisfied clients provide us with opportunities to continue to grow, which in turn creates opportunities for associates seeking more responsibility.

What qualities do you think a person needs to have to succeed in the home office environment?
Successful Home Office associates understand that our clients' best interests come first, manage relationships for mutual benefit, show respect for others and possess a willingness to learn and grow.

As you go through your daily activities, how do you know you've achieved success at Edward Jones?
As long as I continue to contribute to value added results that our clients view as significant, then I feel that I have achieved some level of success. From a career perspective, I view success as being able to increase my contribution by taking on a broader scope of leadership responsibilities beyond my current role.

There are very few offices at Edward Jones, with nearly all the firm's leaders located in cubicles. What does this structure mean to you?
This structure supports our "open door" policy, making associates feel more comfortable approaching leaders at all levels which speeds up execution of results.

How has the firm supported your professional growth via training opportunities?
There have always been structured leadership and other skill development training available to all associates. In my career, I have been able to take advantage of a combination of classroom and on-the-job training that has been crucial to my growth and development.

Describe the training you received when you started.
I joined the firm as a Rotational Development associate, which provided me training in multiple areas within the Operations Division, numerous leadership training classes, associate recruiting and hiring experiences, exposure to clients and branch teams and community service opportunities.

In terms of ongoing training, are you able to use either internal or external continuing education to continue to grow your career at Edward Jones?
Yes. The firm supported me as I pursued my MBA. In addition, I have been given the opportunity to participate in a variety of internal and external leadership development programs that have been instrumental to my growth and development.

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