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Creating B2B Thought Leadership Content That Connects, Compels, and Converts
Institutional Finance | Wealth Management & Private Banking | Business & Enterprise | Commercial Real Estate

Dahna M. Chandler
Award-Winning Global B2B Journalist and Brand Storyteller

Institutional Finance & Enterprise


Bridging the Gap Between Finance and Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it trying economic times for clients and their advisors. Like during the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, clients are rethinking their money decisions, monitoring their investments and rebalancing their portfolios to weather the current economic storm. Clients now depend widely on technology to reassess their financial positions and goals. Here's what opportunities that presents advisors.

How to Manage Money in Your Marriage

Consider these statistics on marriage and money. In a 2013 survey by National Center for Biotechnology Information, almost 36% of couples cited financial problems as the reason for their divorce, making money the fifth leading cause of divorce in the study. The same year, in an Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts study, 22% of advisors said financial difficulties were a root cause of divorce among their clients. Here's how to talk to clients—and get them talking about—money in marriage.

The Head, Heart and Hand of Financial Advice

In recent years, advisors have learned that there’s a strong connection between the head, the heart, and the hand when providing financial guidance. eMoney’s Heart of Advice Study identified ways the most successful advisors are using these concepts to deliver a great client experience. Getting to the core of what matters to your clients requires the right knowledge, technology, and personal connection. Here's how. (This project required turning a podcast transcript into a blog post.)

How to Prove Your Value to Retirement Plan Sponsors

The Tenth Fidelity® Plan Sponsor Attitudes Study, released in 2019, found that an all-time high of 93 percent of sponsors work with advisors, but that what sponsors want from a retirement advisor is changing. That’s because retirement is just one aspect of an employee’s overall financial health picture. This ghostwritten blog post shows advisors some other ways they can differentiate themselves to provide the support plan sponsors now expect advisors from them.

Accounting for Longevity in Retirement Planning

This ghostwritten blog post covers longevity as the focus of financial planning, and what today's clients want from advisors at different ages and life stages. That's no longer just retirement planning alone. Your clients are considering much more than what they must save discontinue income-producing work and live comfortably. As people increasing live beyond 100, they're focused on shifting gears later in life and funding a new life direction. How can you help?

White Paper: Reaching Executive Women An Overlooked and Growing Investor Segment

High net worth and ultra-high net worth executive women often get overlooked by wealth management advisors as viable clients. But, this multi-trillion dollar market is a growing—and lucrative—investor segment. From this white paper, advisors learn why this important investor segment has value to them and how to reach this market. (Inclusion of this writing sample in my portfolio does not represent an endorsement of me or my work by FlexShares or Northern Trust. It is for demonstration of my skills only.)

How to Effectively Educate Your Bigger is Better Clients About the FlexShares ETF Difference

We believe FlexShares ETFs beneficial investor offerings include our growing innovative fund product lineup. Partnering with seasoned index investment professionals using quantitative research, our alternatively weighted indices and mixed asset classes provide investors with funds that are designed to help meet a variety of investor financial goals. Combining our industry expertise with Northern Trust's 125-year reputation as a highly regarded institutional wealth manager, we believe helps to..

Giving young people skills to rebound and rise

One of the periodic posts I write for Barclays on its CSR activities, this is about a Barclays' partnership with Good Shephard Family services in New York City. Rebound helps urban young people learn financial and professional development skills and gets the matched to educational and work opportunities. As corporate citizenship/CSR communications is one of my primary offerings, I'm always pleased to be asked to write these.

What Does An ESG Investor Look Like?

Attracting ESG investors means understanding their mindset and their investor profile. Generally speaking, we believe that ESG investors are savvy people who are purpose-driven in all they do, including where they entrust their money. Here are four other important characteristics of ESG investors: Many ESG investors are Gen Xers or Millennials whose parents may have been socially responsible investors (SRI).[1] SRI investors aggressively sought to exclude any company or sector from...

ESG and Social Labor Considerations

We believe that many of today's investors are seeking investments that put their hard-earned dollars into ETF portfolios that reflect their convictions about important social issues. They connect most with brands that apply ESG — or environmental, social, and governance considerations — in their daily operations. Many investors may seek out investor-centric firms that provide advisors with investments that recognize those convictions and values. Some may even expect advisors to help them...

Using ESG as a Core Investment Option

We believe that one of the biggest challenges financial advisors often face with ETF investors is the latter's belief that ESG investing only needs to be a small part of their portfolios. Often, they're unconvinced that ESG is an optimal core option, preferring other more “traditional" choices. But in 2016, more than $8.1 trillion was invested into various ESG strategies, an amount that's equivalent to one-fourth of all investments professionally managed in the U.S. [1] That number suggests to...

Banks Must Update Digital Infrastructure to Improve Customer Experience

Consumers have been banking online for more than 20 years, yet they regularly face outdated technical infrastructures. That frustrates users who expect digital experiences with their banks to be exceptional. Centering the banking model around brick and mortar branches is leading to lower consumer satisfaction. According to J.D. Power, customers who exclusively use a branch scored 804 on a 1,000-point scale while customers who used both branches and online and mobile tools scored 823. Your bran

Credit Unions

Case Study: X Marks the Spot: A Texas credit union’s marketing campaign for Gen X women speaks directly to the family CFO

This is a case study I pitched, developed, sourced, and wrote to show that Gen X, now the wealthiest generation and 81+ million members strong, is a market worth targeting for credit unions. It overviews a profitable marketing campaign launched by this Fort Worth, TX credit union and provides solid justification for why and how other credit unions should plan and launch similar campaigns targeting this generation which influences the two generations who precede it and the two who follow.

Case Study: ACH Data Mean More Lending for a New York Credit Union (with Charts)

What happens when a small NY credit union uses its own ACH data and a small marketing budget to create a auto loan recapture promotion for its members? Phenomenal results happen, including $2.2 million in auto loan business in seven months, up to a 22:1 ROI for each marketing dollar and a jump in signature loan, HELOC, and new credit card account business. Read my case study and learn how, occasionally, marketing can produce magic (although planning took three years).

Case Study: A New Approach To Pay Scales At Member One FCU

This Virginia credit union changed its mortgage lending paradigm to accommodate members’ availability and interests. By changing the pay structure for its mortgage loan officers, the credit union substantially increased both personal income opportunities for their mortgage lenders and revenue for the credit union. Moreover, member satisfaction for their mortgage loan clients is at an all-time high and those members maintain at least four personal finance products with the credit union.

Employee Experience & Learning in Organizations

Is Your Diversity and Inclusion Program Age-Appropriate?

Aging is an uncomfortable topic that people have struggled to discuss since ancient times. That same discomfort exists in organizational diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, too, and failing to face it head-on may result in age discrimination complaints. While many CEOs experience success with overall D&I programs, a PwC study found only 8 percent of CEOs target age-related D&I in their policies. Click on the link above to read more about how to address this issue.

A Diverse Workforce Demands An Inclusive Workplace Culture

Diversity is incredibly important to a company’s workforce. Not only does it ensure that workforces reflect the populations they draw from, but it also helps drive innovation and supports revenue growth. But in pursuit of diversity, companies often focus only on representation when that is only part of the equation. Creating an inclusive culture where everyone in your company feels included, supported and respected is critical.

Close the Talent Gap with Credit Risk Training to Attract and Retain the Best Employees

Close the Talent Gap with Credit Risk Training to Attract and Retain the Best Employees Senior executives in the banking industry are retiring, and banks are hard-pressed to replace them. Intensifying the problem is the fact that during the Great Recession, financial institutions hired fewer bankers in their mid-30s and 40s. Moreover, technology has eliminated some banking tasks in recent years, causing bank hiring managers to believe that they could hire fewer professionals...

How to Reduce Credit Risk and Employee Friction at Banks

Determined to increase sales and market share, banks continue to focus on external communications. They develop marketing and corporate communications strategies designed to reach target audiences and convert them to bank customers. Undoubtedly, developing strong external communications programs to reach audiences continues to be critical to bank revenue growth. However, recent events in the lending community that led to significant loss...

Credit Risk Training for Bankers: The Robust Response to Aggressive Federal Regulation

This is a blog post that I pitched, researched, and wrote for a 40-year-old banking industry consultant that provides credit risk training. Here, I show senior banking leaders how banks can manage the regulatory environment while helping preclude future meltdowns by taking steps today to address rising credit risk. One critical way to confront credit risk is through investing in ongoing, robust credit risk training for bankers. While some banks are cutting back on this training, this post shows why it’s not advisable as regulation and risk grow.

Building a Strong Credit Culture as a Team: How HR and Credit Administration Can Collaborate to Train Bankers

Today, organizations must develop a collaborative leadership culture that facilitates employee engagement to achieve institutional goals and objectives. Commercial banks are no different, especially in the credit environment they now face. In the post-global financial crisis economy, alleviating financial threats is critical to preventing financial losses. All employees must work as a team and understand the key role they each play in...

Taming the Savage Culture: A Q&A with Tim Mulligan

When Tim Mulligan became chief HR officer at the world-famous San Diego Zoo in 2004, the workforce was tired, stressed, distracted and disconnected. That was bad for them, the customers and the bottom line, so Mulligan immediately began focusing on shifting the organization’s culture. He has helped remake the zoo into a place where its workers are more focused, healthy and engaged. Today, as the zoo celebrates its 100th anniversary, it does so in an award-winning environment that’s more profitab

Commercial Real Estate & Design

Using Natural Stone in the Minnesota State Capitol Restoration Project

After a century of active use, almost any building will begin expressing the groans of advanced aging, with internal and external structures steadily failing. The Minnesota State Capitol building was no exception. In 2013, the centenarian structure, constructed in 1905 by Cass Gilbert, had reached a severe deterioration point. Its crumbling façade, with chunks of marble threatening to fall and injure visitors, became particularly dangerous. To preserve the architectural integrity of this historic building, the structure underwent a three-plus-year extensive renovation, repair, and restoration and became an award-winning project.

The Importance of Quality Furniture for Your Small Business

The way you design your office reflects on your brand. Employees and clients alike determine the value of your business based on the feel of your office environment. Its design and organization determine whether you'll keep current employees and clients happy while attracting new talent and customers. So, to convey that you're a quality business worth the fees you charge, you'll want to go with quality furniture and organized space. This blog post tells you how.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Small Business Trends into Your Office Design

Small business trends in office design come and go. But it's important to follow them to know which to implement and when to keep employee and client satisfaction high. You also have to do it in a cost-effective way that leads to high ROI. This blog post tells small business owners how to maintain critical long-term strategies in office design while still incorporating the latest ones with ease. That way, you can keep your employees, customers and bottom line happy.

SMB Finance, Development & Operations

How to Outsource: 6 Tips for Successfully Outsourcing Tasks

Usually, when you start your freelance writing business, you wear all the hats. You not only complete writing assignments for clients, but you also conduct all marketing and administrative tasks, from blogging to bookkeeping. If you hope to develop your dream writing business, however, you must outsource some tasks at some point — and not just once in a while. This goes beyond using apps to manage your business yourself to hiring other humans to help. For many, this is a scary prospect because

How to Keep Your Business Entity Legitimate As a Freelancer

Debate rages around the liability freelancers accept when they agree to contracts that hold them liable for their words using indemnity clauses. Other contract terms related to confidentiality violations, libel or defamation committed while writing give freelancers pause. Wanting to protect their business or personal property in lawsuits related to business activities, writers can establish an entity with a state government agency. Here's how to register your entity and keep it legal.

Life After Newsrooms: Starting a Full-Time Freelance Writing Business

These days, layoffs in journalism are regular news. Journalists find themselves the targets of budget cuts as publications routinely cut work budgets, pay, schedules, head counts or go under altogether. Journalists exit their newsroom jobs for other reasons, too, like changing family obligations. But, how do you make this change successfully? Let these former full-time newspaper journalists turned freelancers tell you.

How to Get Better Pay, Build Bridges for Your Freelance Writing Business

If you’re like most freelancer writers, you’re savvy enough to know before starting a writing project, it’s imperative you put in place a solid contract that sets clear client expectations. However, that’s not always easy even when you recognize that as a freelance writer, you’re a small business owner in the sales business. Because sales mean negotiating, one of the most asked questions I see on freelance writer forums relates to negotiating work terms, especially pay. This blog post tells you how.

A simple breakdown to the working capital formula.

If you want to know how well you're really operating your business, you'll need to know your business's working capital, also known as net working capital. It's a moment of truth for your company's financial health – telling you the difference between what you owe and what your business owns at any given time. Plus, it's one of the most important numbers lenders often rely on to decide if your company is worth financing. My blog post breaks it down to make it super simple to compute.

Guide: Fundbox Small Business Loans Review

Launched in 2013, San Francisco-based fintech lender Fundbox has rapidly become an industry leader, raising more than $100 million from such prominent investors as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit. The award-winning lender provides invoice financing and lines of credit to healthy small businesses. Here's what to understand about getting invoice funding and lines of credit from Fundbox for your small business.

Bank of America Small Business Loans Review

As a traditional bank lender, Bank of America’s lending criteria is typically more stringent, making it harder for small businesses with borderline credit to get loans or lines of credit from the bank. It also originates fewer loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration than its major competitors. For example, as of March 2018, TD Bank approved 2,206 SBA loans; Wells Fargo approved 1,848; and Chase approved 1,307. In that same period, Bank of America approved only 111. Here's how to get a small business loan with Bank of America.

How Sales Tax Nonpayment Can Hurt Your Business and Personal Credit

Outright fraud aside, failure to satisfy sales tax obligations is far more common than most sellers think. Usually, it’s due to lack of understanding of tax requirements. But even if the crime isn’t malicious, the consequences are high. The state can seize seller assets when sellers don’t remit the required sales taxes. And, it can ruin your personal credit, too. Read this blog post and prevent these and other negative outcomes by getting your sales taxes paid properly and on time.

Stop Making These Common Sales Tax Management Mistakes

This mistake can cause all kinds of problems. In fact, says Dr. Shireda Howard a tax attorney and CPA in Atlanta, “Businesses shouldn’t register to collect sales tax in states where they don’t need to register, or register too early in one. Both of those mistakes could result in unnecessary costs and time spent on sales tax compliance.” And, adds Dallas, Texas CPA and Partner at Peisner Johnson & Company, L.L.P, Jerry Piesner: “In addition to having to prepare and file sales and use tax returns...

5 Common Sales Tax Mistakes Every Reseller Can Avoid

Taxable situs can be challenging. The jurisdiction that has the right to tax a transaction depends on situs, or the legal location of the transaction. “This can get very complicated depending on states involved, where the buyer is, where seller is and if the product is shipped,” says Hutchinson. He adds that interstate ecommerce transactions further complicate things. For Metoyer, it depends on where she is in the Miami area when she’s selling ice cream. “I make sure I charge sales tax...

Is Shipping and Handling Taxable?

As a meticulous ecommerce seller, you’re doing all you can to track sales, apply appropriate sales tax, submit your quarterly tax reports, and render tax when tax it's due. It seems straightforward but determining what "appropriate sales tax" is in every scenario can be complicated. Is every aspect of each transaction taxable, including shipping and handling? The answer depends on your nexus and the location of the buyer, but also the way shipping and handling is applied. Is it included...

How to Avoid the #1 Sales Tax Bookkeeping Mistake

Small businesses have plenty of tax records to keep. Avoidable business bookkeeping mistakes can lead to nasty consequences, like tax audits, fines, and penalties. The IRS and many local tax authorities provide plenty of guidance on business tax record-keeping, and they expect you to understand and carefully follow their rules. Ecommerce sellers have a special burden in keeping sales tax records because they are usually conducting transactions in more than one state. They must maintain sales...
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