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Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Department: Executive Team

Employment Status: Full-Time

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Alpharetta, GA

The Company:

Merit is a fast growing, pioneering financial services firm that invests heavily in the growth and development of team members. Merit seeks to establish, educate, and help individuals reach their financial goals as they transition into and experience retirement. With an unswerving commitment to excellence and reliability, Merit provides objective financial advice and believes in establishing long-lasting relationships. By offering an array of services, clients can receive tailored solutions that promote growth and help them achieve financial goals.

Merit believes in addressing the retirement challenges in America by helping clients reach financial freedom and confidence to the working population and retirees alike. This focus on comprehensive financial wellness enables us to deliver the ultimate client experience.

Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, with nine locations across the southeast and northeast, Merit balances tactical advice with innovative strategy. Our 100 hardworking employees are leaders rooted in humility and we are poised to grow. Merit is a multi-generational firm with a foundation built around servant leadership and total team leadership. We have been recognized as a “Best Places to Work” by InvestmentNews and have made the fastest growing companies list in both INC 5000 and Georgia’s Fastest 40. As we expand and work to bring our relationship-driven approach to the financial industry, we are looking for the right individuals to join our team.

Position Purpose

The COO is responsible for formulating and overseeing the execution of plans and activities that support the primary goal of enhancing the delivery of customer's onboarding experience and ongoing service quality as well as the efficiencies and ease at which the team members can deliver these services.   In this role, the COO has leadership responsibility for the daily operation of his/her functional area, which includes establishing operational plans, processes, procedures, and objectives and key results (OKRs), as well as planning staffing and other resources to accomplish business objectives.

The COO creates a work environment where professional learning occurs by helping others produce ideas, designing and implementing procedures to help others, creating confidence in those learning new skills, and providing constructive feedback (verbal or written) when evaluating the work of others.

Responsibilities (Not limited to)

  • Daily management of business functions, processes, and associated staff.
  • Ensuring tasks and resources are assigned, monitoring progress to ensure OKRs are on track, proactively identifying and minimizing issues/risk, and providing management and status reporting (i.e. quality controls, delivery timeframes and service levels.)
  • Set team goals, manage performance, hire and train staff, coach staff and people development activities.
  • Responsible for maintaining staff levels as required for executing business objectives; this is accomplished by interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training new employees, or by retraining and developing incumbent employees.
  • Collaborate with the CEO in setting and driving organizational vision, operational strategy, and hiring needs
  • Translate strategy into actionable goals for performance and growth helping to implement organization-wide goal setting, performance management, and annual operating planning
  • Analyze internal operations and identify areas of process enhancement
  • Develop actionable business strategies and plans that ensure alignment with short-term and long-term objectives developed in tandem with the CEO
  • Aggressively manage capital investment and expenses to ensure the company achieves investor targets relative to growth and profitability
  • Monitor performance with tracking and establish corrective measures as needed, and prepare detailed reports, both current and forecasting
  • Maintain and build trusted relationships with key customers, clients, partners, and stakeholders
  • Oversee planning, maintenance, and efficiency of operational policies.
  • Prepare operational reports and management reports.
  • Ensure compliance on a company, state, and federal level.
  • Drive sustainable growth and minimize losses.
  • Head outreach and business relations.
  • Review budgets and staffing.

Departments under the COO’s direct supervision:

  • Technology Department: Focus on making sure the technology stack is providing the effectiveness and efficiencies for the team, monitoring training and adoption and working with our technology leadership team on ongoing improvements and enhancements
  • Client Service: Working with our VP of Operations on establishing and refining the “Merit way’ as it pertains to workflows, methods and procedures. Setting the stage for a best-in-class client experience that is consistent throughout the organization
  • Custodial Platform Relations: Serving as our main point of contact for all custodial platforms. Negotiating terms, building relationships with key contacts, overseeing billing and move money procedures
  • Compliance and Risk Management: Working with our CCO, making sure that all technology systems and client service procedures are compliant with industry (SEC and FINRA) regulations. Establish and serve as a key member of the risk committee.
  • Transitions and Integration: Working with our Chief Transitions and Integration Officer, you will strategize and allocate resources as needed for our merger and acquisition activities.

Possible additional departments under the COO’s direct supervision depending upon previous experience:

  • Human Resources
  • Legal


  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or business-related area of study.
  • At least 10 years' experience working with systems in an investment, securities or financial institution.
  • Experience in an investment firm managing +$5 billion AUM with an operations and trading team of six or more, preferred.
  • Experience working with a range of client types from high net worth to institutional, preferred.
  • Familiarity with Orion and Salesforce and previous supervisory experience preferred.
  • Strong attention to detail, project management and the ability to insure both accurate and timely completion of tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate and solve problems and issues that arise, dealing with team members, clients and custodians.
  • Outstanding teamwork and time management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and operate in tight deadlines.
  • Record of accomplishment in leading multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Program management expertise.
  • Experience leading project scope, planning, and resource allocation.
  • Strong wealth management industry expertise and acumen, preferred.
  • Advanced knowledge of computer and technology systems.

Salary + Benefits

  • Competitive salary based on experience
  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Life & Personal Accident Insurance
  • Short-term Disability Insurance
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA) or Dependent Care FSA
  • 401(k) Plan with company matching
  • Paid holidays

Best Places To Work for Financial Advisors 2018-2021: Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021 – Recognized firms were required to be a registered investment advisor (RIA) that has been in business at least one year and having a minimum of 15 full-time/part-time employees. The assessment consisted of a questionnaire on benefits and policies completed by human resources staff along with an engagement & satisfaction survey completed by a minimum of 40% of staff. 50 firms were selected for this award from an undisclosed list of submissions. There was no charge to be included in this award listing.

Georgia Fast 40 2019: The Georgia Fast 40 for 2019 was awarded by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. To be eligible companies must be for profit and headquartered in Georgia and the most recent year-end revenues ranging from $15 million to $500 million and have three years of verifiable revenue and employment growth.

Inc 5000 2019 & 2020: The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, which consists of more than 5000 companies, represents virtually all of the capitalization of the entire U.S. stock market.


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