Episode 008: Technology has opened new possibilities. Advanced tools and digital platforms have empowered wealth managers to streamline processes, enhance client experiences, and optimize portfolio management. However, the heart of wealth management remains in its human touch.

In this episode of Connected, Kyle Van Pelt and Jud Mackrill are joined by Matt Sonnen, Chief Operating Officer at Coldstream Wealth Management. They talk about building better connections and achieving operational excellence in wealth management. Matt also shares his love for classical music and the story between his newborn son and Van Halen.

Also the founder of the COO Society, Matt discusses the challenges and opportunities in the financial services industry, including the impact of consolidation and the need for better technology integration. 

At the end of the show, Matt shares a story about his daughter, Layla Paige, and how his experience has led his family to be a part of TrinityKids’ philanthropic mission.

Join us as we discuss:

[01:35] – The story between the birth of Matt’s son and Alex Van Halen.

[04:02] – How Matt developed a love for classic rock.

[06:21] – Matt’s advice for building better connections.

[13:36] – The challenges and importance of operational excellence in firms.

[15:27] – Tips for hiring a COO.

[18:30] – The impact of consolidation on COOs and operations.

[21:57] – Data challenges in the financial services industry.

[24:57] – The role of technology in the lives of advisors.

[27:48] – Key KPIs for COOs.

[34:37] -The shift towards goals-based financial planning.

[44:31] – Matt’s story about Layla Paige.

[50:45] – Matt’s top advice for a company looking to supercharge its growth.

Key Takeaways

Building connections with others is best achieved through humor, simplicity, and genuine human interaction.
The role of a COO is multifaceted, involving managing technology, human resources, and day-to-day administration.
The challenge of data integration persists in the industry, and the key to solving it lies in finding tools that truly integrate and streamline workflows.
The industry is shifting towards a goals-based approach in financial planning, focusing on helping clients achieve their specific goals and providing personalized service.
Organic growth can be achieved by identifying a niche and providing value beyond investment management, such as specialized expertise and services tailored to specific client needs.


“Tech is great. But it has to be used to support the human interactions that we’re having with clients and prospects.” ~ Matt Sonnen

“If you’re solving unique problems for a small subset of the population, you’re going to grow exponentially faster than the majority of RIA that just say, we work with individuals and institutions ranging from 5 million to 25 million.” ~ Matt Sonnen

“Having a client niche and a focus on who your ideal client is and what you’re doing for them is how you supercharge your growth.” ~ Matt Sonnen


Matt Sonnen on LinkedIn
Matt Sonnen on Twitter
Coldstream Wealth Management
PFI Advisors
Vestia Wealth Advisors
Geometric Wealth Advisors
TrinityKids Care
The COO Roundtable Podcast

Connect with our hosts

Kyle on LinkedIn
Jud on LinkedIn

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