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Prosek’s Partner Reflections – Part One

Mark Kollar,  Mike Geller,  David Wells,  Caroline Gibson

As we close out a monumental year, we asked our team of Partners to share their reflections on 2021 and what they are looking forward to as we ring in 2022 next week. This is the first part in a two-part series. Stay tuned for more!

Mike Geller:

2021 was both a fulfilling and volatile year that reinforced how important is to be nimble and resilient. As we embark on a new year, these same qualities will continue to be important as we all learn how to persevere in an up-and-down Covid world. I am particularly grateful for the support and partnership I have received from my colleagues and clients. I am proud of how we’ve come together as a firm and have collectively rallied around some tough times all while continuing to do great work on behalf of those we serve. Prosek is a unique and special firm, and it is a privilege to work alongside what I believe are some of the brightest and most talented financial communications advisors in the industry. 

Going forward, I believe the “emerging market of marketing” will continue to accelerate for financial services firms of all sizes. Many are reaching the conclusion that the stakes for building trust, brand differentiation, and reputation management have never been higher. It’s both an exciting and important time for many firms. Here is to a very healthy and prosperous 2022! 

Caroline Gibson:

2021 has been a rollercoaster of a year. We started it with optimism, the end of the pandemic, massive economic growth and the biggest vaccination rollout of our time. We wobbled in the middle, as vaccine take up stalled, Delta took hold and global supply chain issues started to impact growth. And, we end it with a new challenge – Omicron. Overall, though, despite the challenges of 2021, it was an outstanding year for business, a relief for many who were reunited with family after over a year apart, and a chance to reconnect in person with colleagues, clients and friends!

I have high hopes for 2022. However, with the introduction of Omicron, I believe we are in for a volatile year driven by supply chain issues and workforce interruptions and shortages. That being said, I think it will be temporary, as the world adjusts yet again and businesses figure out how to cope with the step forward, step back world.

My hope is that 2022 is the year where we learn to live with Covid versus letting Covid dictate how we live our lives. Stay healthy and happy holidays!

Mark Kollar:

I have no doubt that the ESG spotlight will shine brighter and broader in the year ahead, with more and more financial institutions making bigger commitments to environmental, social and governance. We saw evidence of that at COP 26 in Glasgow last month, with some calling the event the financial services COP 26. But what does that mean and how does that translate in the months ahead? A few potential outcomes to consider:

Call to action on action:  The years of talk have ended, and companies will be expected to show near-term plans and metrics on how they themselves are operating sustainably and how they are integrating frameworks into their partnerships, investments and supply chains.

Better and more transparent data for all: It's not just investors asking companies for ESG data; it's customers, employees and regulators.

ESG as an ethos: In the best of all possible worlds, ESG will become the “spirit” of a company and not just a program.

David Wells:

I remember 2021 the same way I remember my wedding 25 years ago. Both were monumental in terms of the impact they have on my personal history, and felt in the moment like they happened in fast forward, at 2X speed.

I am lucky that I can play them back in my mind in slow motion now, because it is at half speed that I remember the smaller, but key and comforting, details. It’s these quotidian moments that make up our life and life’s work, layer-by-layer, day-by-day, and we tend to miss them when we’re trying to pack too much in.

We celebrate the accumulation of small moments at key junctures like weddings and anniversaries, but I fear we take them for granted most days unless they feel threatened or are taken away. What I mean is this: my wedding kiss was unforgettable, but I value a daily hello or good-bye kiss from my wife more. My hope for 2022 would be that we all show more gratitude every day for getting to do our day-to-day and for whom we get to do it with.

If 2021 represented the “roaring” return that marked a year of insularity and kicked off the “Great Resignation,” I hope 2022 is a year to savor all the moments that make our life so rich. I’d like 2022 to be a year of “savoring” and for it to kick off with a moment of “Great Reflection.” For our clients, that means talking more about the outcome of work than the how-to. Excite your staff about what they do. Let them figure out the how. It also means managers must put their effort into rewarding those that know how lucky they are to be with your firm every day and setting the others free to find a new and better quotidian for them.

Let’s hope 2022 plays out in real time. Save 2X for podcasts.

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