A Peek Into Success After Rough Waters

Solid leadership and trust may be the most important factors for the success of a company. Take Essex Financial Services, for example, which was rocked by a company-wide crisis when its founder was accused of illegal activity and government investigations ensued. As a result, the firm lost several advisors and many customers.

To cope with the situation, Essex Financial elected Charles “Chuck” R. Cumello, Jr. to fill the role of CEO and president in John Rafal’s stead.

“We handled it the way we should,” Cumello said. “At the end of the day, this is a trust business; there is a right way and a wrong way… We navigated some rough waters, but we did what we had to do.”

Theday.com reported that “many of Cumello’s colleagues agree it was Cumello’s steady hand and insistence on transparency that earned Essex Financial their continuing trust.”

John Patrick, president and CEO if Farmington Banks, has also expressed this sentiment. The companies have a joint marketing arrangement. “Chuck kept me abreast of everything,” he said. “He’s done a terrific job considering the situation that he inherited.”

Despite its history, Essex Financial is one of the largest independent financial services companies in the state today. Patrick believes this has to do with the firm’s personal touch.

“Real people are assigned to accounts, and they require an ongoing dialogue with clients,” he said. “We don’t need somebody selling something just to get a commission… They react to the changing dynamics of clients.”