Case Study: Eric McDermott

Eric McDermott is a managing equity partner of Pacific Advisors, a financial services firm with a team of more than 150 advisors and specialists, 2,000+ active brokers, dozens of staff, and an international network of resources and support.

They bring in-depth knowledge and understanding of tax laws, financial services, investments, insurance, and countless strategies needed to build an effective financial foundation for their clients with a full range of investment, insurance, retirement, and enterprise products and services tailored specifically to their objectives.

The Challenge

Eric is in the business of doing his best to help clients live a good life. His firm recognizes that while money is no assurance of a good life, not having enough money for lifelong financial success certainly threatens a good life.

When Eric’s executive assistant of a decade went on maternity leave, he knew he didn’t have the time, energy and money to bring someone in-house – and certainly not for a temporary position as his EA was expected to return following her leave.

He knew he needed help, but he didn’t know how long he’d need it or how successful that temporary arrangement could be.

So when he came across BELAY, he admits to being hesitant because the thought of finding The One and training them seemed costly, not to mention daunting with the nuances of supporting him in his role.

The Solution

Further compounding Eric’s hesitation was the liability and compliance to consider when working in such a sensitive industry like finance.

But BELAY was able to address these very concerns.

“What BELAY provides is contractors that are absolutely not our employees; they’re yours,” Eric explains.

And when it came to his list of requirements in order to keep his clients’ information safe and compliant, Eric wasn’t taking any chances – and neither did BELAY.

“That means going out and getting fingerprinted,” he explains. “It means making sure background checks can be run. It means issuing a different computer than you might’ve normally have given them so that they can honor all of our information, security, cybersecurity regulations – and BELAY was the only organization that made it really clear that you’ll do what’s necessary to clear those hurdles; you didn’t balk at all.”

Once all hurdles were cleared, it was time to get to work.

Eric needed someone to manage a complex schedule and cast of characters. And BELAY once again delivered with Elizabeth Young.

“The CEO and I oftentimes – as partners in the firm – have to get bundled into certain meetings together,” Eric shares. “So it’s been helpful to have Liz. There are certain things she knows how to do now across multiple calendars.”

But, as it would turn out, one BELAY VA wasn’t enough for Pacific Advisors.

“That experience went so well – such a great demonstration of capability, support, enthusiasm, personality that, we decided to give BELAY an opportunity to help us with another virtual assistant that could help us in an area of financial organization where you have to collect a lot of the documents for our clients and organize them in a very certain way and do certain systems in a very organized fashion,” Eric says.

“I think that that’s a real testament to the quality of folks BELAY is choosing – their personality, their capability set.”

The Results

Eric and his team were so pleased with BELAY’s ability to accommodate their industry-specific compliance requisites, the matching and onboarding that they are now in the process of considering a third BELAY contractor.

“We could hire somebody – or we could consider BELAY again,” Eric says. “Because you guys said, ‘Hey, if that’s what you need, we stand ready to support you and – you did.”

“We’ve increased the times on both VAs – and I don’t rule that out as continuing to happen,” Eric says. “And the fact that we just got an email saying you’re launching a specialized focused social media service that fits a project is good news.”

“It is not lost on our leadership team that it is another way in which we can acquire great capability and be innovative and grow,” Eric shares. Not only were you, as an organization, willing to support us, all of the people that you bring in are enthusiastic – a big differentiator right out of the gate.”

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