Attorney at Law Magazine Palm Beach Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Linda Buccilli to discuss Northwestern Mutual’s culture and how they stay involved in the community.
AALM: Tell us what first drew you to Northwestern Mutual?
Buccilli: I have always been an entrepreneur since the young of 19. I love helping people and owning my own business. It all started in 2011 when I sold my last retail business to be a financial adviser. I wanted more purpose in life and I knew most Americans are not saving enough for retirement.
AALM: How is your business different than other similar businesses?
Buccilli: Northwestern Mutual is relationship driven. We are owned by the policyowners and we have paid the highest dividends in the industry for the last 160 years.
AALM: How would you describe the culture or the brand of the company?
Buccilli: Great questions. Our HRC score for equality is 100. Our score speaks volumes about our culture. Our community responsibility is also impressive – to date we have raised over $14 million helping families fight childhood cancer. In addition, Northwestern Mutual was voted World’s Most Admired company by Fortune magazine in 2017 and we have the highest financial strength ratings.
AALM: How has the company evolved since its founding?
Buccilli: Technology has been tremendous in our growth. Our policyowners can install an app on their phones and watch their money grow. Paperless statements and state of the art planning process. All at the fingertips of our policyowners.
AALM: How do you balance your time between aiding clients and running a business?
Buccilli: I give myself weekly goals and I plan out my week accordingly. I have a set number of office days and a set number of client days. I run my business … my business does not run me.
AALM: What is the biggest challenge you face in your industry? How do you overcome it?
Buccilli: My biggest challenge is people are not educated enough to realize the need. Without a plan you plan to fail. While doing any planning you first need to understand the client and listen to their needs. Most people are so busy that they hardly ever take time for themselves to plan. Good communication and follow up is key because timing is everything.
AALM: How is Northwestern Mutual involved in the community?
Buccilli: I am on the corporate board for the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County and I am a sponsor for the AJC Foundation which is an all-boys orphanage.
AALM: Are there any changes coming in the future that you’re excited about?
Buccilli: I am very excited about my team growing. I currently have a team of eight amazing females and I am looking to add an additional five more by year end.
AALM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Buccilli: I am passionate about what I do. I believe every client should have a plan. My staff and myself treat our clients like family. Our clients know that if something were to happen in the future … the “what if ” that we planned for this and life will go on.