Retirement sales is a lucrative field, with new talent clamoring to be a part of the ranks of vendor firms. It is a highly lucrative industry, and there is seldom a shortage of professionals who seek these positions. 

However, finding someone who can handle an executive leadership role, such as managing director, requires a little more effort. There are certain qualifications and traits an employer will need to look for when they start looking for a new managing director. If a candidate does not meet certain requirements, they might not fulfill the responsibilities a company requires. Here are the top four traits to look for in your next managing director:

Excellent Communication

There is nothing worse than a leader who does not communicate with their team. While a managing director may not necessarily be the director of operations, they are still leaders and must communicate effectively with staff and clients alike. When there is an issue or a complication, they need to concisely explain it to those involved to resolve it as soon as possible lest efficiency decline as a result. When looking to hire a managing director, look for someone who is a solid communicator.

Critical Thinking

For any leadership position, taking the easy way out is never an option. When a problem presents itself, they need to hunker down and work toward a solution. Some issues are more complicated than others and require a little more effort to find an effective solution.

In addition, managing directors need to guide the company in response to economic and business trends that might impact business flow. 

When a company-wide issue presents itself, the managing director might be the one tasked with the responsibility of neutralizing it before it spreads out of control. Therefore, finding individuals with good critical thinking and problem-solving skills is crucial when seeking a candidate for this type of role. 

Public Speaking

While this might seem like the same thing as “communicating,” public speaking focuses less on dealing with complicated conversations and more on being a team’s confident face. A managing director of retirement sales addresses employees and clients alike when major announcements are made. This expectation means candidates for the position need to be calm, collected, and confident while addressing large groups and not be outwardly intimidated by crowds.


The concept of being a leader has been confused as someone who instructs others rather than guides them. Managing directors need to inspire their teams to go above and beyond the standard call of duty. If they cannot motivate their team or only use their position to boss employees around, they most likely are not the best fit for the role.

Feel Confident in Your Candidates

Hiring a managing director or equivalent role for a retirement sales team is not a simple matter. It will require searching for a candidate capable of filling the roles of communicator, critical thinker, public speaker, and leader. However, no matter how you look at it, a managing director is a leader and needs to handle all the associated leadership responsibilities.If you are having trouble finding an executive you can trust to fill leadership roles, there are many resources you can utilize. At Preston & Company, we work tirelessly to help find qualified executive talent to fill the roles you need. Contact our team today and see how we can empower you to find your next leader.

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