In 2012, Michael Case was working in sales and looking for a new career. In the process of administering his father’s estate, he was working with several financial service professionals and found their work intriguing. After a few conversations with the managing director at Northwestern Mutual, he decided to join Northwestern Mutual as a financial advisor.
Making Connections and Finding Solutions
The most important quality for an agent or advisor, says Case, is a genuine interest in others’ visions and goals. He builds trust with his clients by showing that he truly cares about their well-being. Another important trait, he says, is having the knowledge and skills to find the right solutions—and being able to explain them in a way that clients can easily understand.
Now 10 years into his financial advising career, Case loves developing meaningful relationships with his clients over time. He enjoys the challenge of finding the right solution for each client’s individual needs. He relates one such instance—he had a new client who had had a family friend advising her informally for several years. While her friend meant well, the advice Case’s client received was piecemeal, not considering the big picture. In 60 days, Case helped his client craft a plan that both were excited about. She said the plan changed her trajectory. When their annual review came, she had changed jobs and was thrilled with how easy it was to update her plan. “[Our clients] feel like they have more than just an advisor," Case begins. “[They feel] that they have a friend in us, and we really understand what's going on in their lives.”
Most of Case’s clients are mid-career professionals planning for their retirement and their children’s financial futures. Case also helps business owners with their unique challenges, navigating the intricacies of executive compensation, exit planning, and succession planning.
NAIFA Membership and Advocacy
A loyal NAIFA member since 2013, Case says that NAIFA has had an immense impact on his career. His clients benefit from the connections he’s formed with other industry professionals through NAIFA. When a client needs advice on a topic outside of his expertise, Case has a network of colleagues to consult with. He also notes that professionals who work independently also benefit from the education and community NAIFA offers.
Case says the most important benefit of NAIFA membership, however, is the opportunity to learn about the legislation that affects his clients and meet with legislators to advocate for them. “I think this is the purpose that makes it essential for any practicing professional to participate in [NAIFA] membership—Having professional representation to help us gain a seat at the table when laws are being written and proposed that have an impact not only on our profession in our industry but also ultimately on our clients,” he says.
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Case enjoys spending time with his family, playing squash, and seeing live music. Case also stays active in his community. He volunteers with Pacing for Parkinson's and Friends of Patterson Park. Pacing for Parkinson's is a charity that raises awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease research, community outreach, education, and patient care. Friends of Patterson Park is a community organization supporting a park near Case’s home. He also serves on the board for his high school alma mater.
Thank you, Mike, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.
Michael Allen Case is a representative of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, Milwaukee, WI. Advisory services offered through Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.