John Lefferts' Blog

Thursday, January 1, 2009

John Lefferts CV

John M. Lefferts

An award winning senior executive with a proven track record of leading and developing talent while delivering exceptional results in the financial services industry. He has a unique ability to create and instill vision in an organization through exceptional communication skills and is best known for leading transformational change. Look to John for identifying/building talent and leading organizational change with an objective for growth. Summary career highlights include:

Crisis Manager: Cut $50 million as President and CEO of AXA Advisors navigating the post 9/11 market downturn while simultaneously increasing productivity to all-time highs

Leader and Builder: Personally recruited, trained and developed the leading advisors and managers in the industry and is sought after domestically and internationally to teach and train on his systems for success.

Transformational: Successfully led a project to transform a product driven sales force into fee-based advisors changing licensing, training, product set, distribution processes, compensation and recognition

Integrator: Led a team to integrate MONY sales force with AXA sales force after merger/acquisition

Multidimensional: Expertise cuts across all disciplines of financial services including asset management, asset transfer, risk management and asset protection

Student & Teacher: Obtained CFP, CLU and ChFC professional designations in early career while writing articles, giving speeches and consulting within the industry later in career

Winner: As District Manager (#1 out of 600), Branch Manager (#1 out of 90), Regional President (#1 out of 18) and President, led each organization to the leading position in the company.


AXA ADVISORS, LLC, New York, NY 1982-2009

Subsidiary of AXA Equitable, Inc. and part of the Global "AXA Group", the 15th largest organization in the world on the 2008 Fortune Global 500 list (based on revenues) and worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management. AXA Advisors is the U.S. based broker-dealer and advisor to individuals, business owners and corporations on financial protection and wealth management through a network of over 7,000 advisors throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In 2008, AXA Advisors was ranked #3 out of 5,000 Broker-Dealers for number of advisors producing over $100,000 making them a serious player in retail financial services.

President-Western Division, Dallas, TX (2004-2009)

Oversight of all retail field operations covering 25 states spanning 5 time zones from Chicago to Hawaii with 3,000 employees.
• Successfully led the largest company division in geographic spread and total sales growing at an annual rate of 30% from 2004 to 2008 compared to national average of 13%.

• Led integration team for MONY acquisition including the combining of AXA and MONY staff, managers, producers and field offices.

• Created and implemented innovative Marketing Center concepts in Los Angeles and North Texas cutting costs in redundant staff/facilities while increasing sales growth. Strategy is currently being adopted nationally.

• Top Ranked Division by every key measurement of performance from 2004 through 2008.

• Recruited the largest ($20 mill+ GDC/yr) and most successful producer group in company history.

President and CEO, New York, NY (2001-2004)

Led 9,000 employee/advisor retail financial services company with $600 million in gross sales. Served dual role as head of retail sales force and broker/dealer (AXA Advisors) as well as serving on the executive committee as Executive Vice President of parent company AXA Financial

• Transformed field sales structure by eliminating 18 Regions converting to 6 Divisions which led to a bottom line savings of $20 million and increased organizational efficiency.

• Restructured and implemented new performance driven field management and field producer compensation aligning interests while reducing overall costs.

• Initiated "Field Optimization" strategy resulting a 20% increase in productivity (sales revenue per advisor), the highest level of field productivity in company history.

• Established internal producer groups (Paramount Planning Group/Sterling Group) successfully competing with independent retail channels which led to greater retention of top producers.

• Cut over $50 million in field/HQ infrastructure by eliminating non-essential functional departments, positions and real estate facilities while concurrently increasing sales.

• Created and successfully implemented new financed associate contract and training program which significantly increased 4 yr. retention and development rates of trainees from 15% to 30%.

• Participated in numerous global initiatives for AXA Group collaborating with colleagues in Europe, Asia and Japan on organizational and growth strategies.

• Left role personally in '04 to relieve weekly commute between Dallas and New York

President-Texas Region, Dallas, TX (1998-2001)

Responsible for retail sales and operations of 5 branches (Houston/Dallas/Fort Worth/Lubbock/Austin) in the State of Texas.

• Out of 18 Regions, Texas Region led in every major performance measurement from 1998 through 2001 under leadership.

• Served as leader of “Blueprint Committee” jointly with McKinsey & Co. to develop fee based financial planning strategy later adopted nationally.

• Successfully led a pilot project transforming a product driven sales force into fee based financial advisors. This massive project was done by re-licensing, retraining and changing the method and measurements of doing business.

Branch Manager, Dallas, TX (1989-1998)

Responsible for supervising and growing the branch office in Dallas, Texas
• Moved Dallas Branch from last ranked to #1 within 2 years and consistently ranked in the top 3 out of 80 branches of the company.
• Developed and promoted 9 District Managers to the Branch Manager position.
• Increased sales at a record growth rate from $2.4 million GDC to over $20 million GDC in 8 years.
• Recognized as fastest growing branch in the company throughout the decade of the 90's
• Voted by peers to serve leadership role in company’s “Old Guard” throughout tenure as Branch Manage
• Created and developed "WAVE" recruiting, training and induction system which has become an industry standard.

District Manager, San Diego, CA (1982-1989)
• Recruited and developed 40 financial advisors with over $2,000,000 in gross sales.
• Developed the largest sales organization in the company from "scratch" over a 5 year period ranking #1 out of 600 sales districts’ in 1987 and 1988.

FRITO-LAY, Dallas, TX 1980-1982
Wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., (NYSE: PEP) leading maker of snack food in North America.

District Sales Manager, San Francisco, CA

• Supervised and directed 15 sales people covering the San Francisco Bay area.

• Completed comprehensive sales management and supervision training

B.S., Business Administration, Oregon State University '80

Financial Planning, University of Southern California '87

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) '87
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) '91
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) '92
FINRA Series 7, 65 and Series 24 Registered Principal


• Honored as one of 100 "Top Business School Graduates" by Oregon State University at it's 100 year anniversary in '08 featuring a "who's who" of national and global business leaders

• Top ranked platform speaker at GAMA's LAMP conference with 4,000 in attendance

• Profiled in "On Wall Street" Magazine and Dallas Morning News

• Honored with company awards too numerous to list
• Honored as "Man of the Year" by New York Anti-Defamation League in 2002

Note: Willing to relocate or commute
AXA Non-compete agreement ends 1/2010

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