It takes a special combination of skills and qualities to be an effective leader in the financial services world. Jillian Morrow’s dynamic personality, deep subject matter expertise, driving ambition and steadfast commitment to both her clients and her team all make her a natural leader. As the youngest person to ever be promoted to a Partner position in firm history, Jillian is a bonafide rockstar at CFGI.
Taking the financial services world by storm
The key to success in any field comes down to confidence and ambition, and Jillian exudes those two qualities in spades. Once she sets her sights on a goal, nothing is going to stand in her way. Even going back to her college days, she knew she wanted to get her career started at a Big Four accounting firm. Wouldn’t you know it, her junior year summer, she landed an internship with PwC and had a full-time offer prior to graduating.
After a couple of years working in PwC’s asset management practice, Jillian realized that auditing wasn’t her passion, and decided to expand her skill set by moving over to Deloitte Advisory and rounding out her financial services subject matter expertise and technical accounting background. It didn’t take long for Jillian to stand out and make a name for herself: She was early promoted twice during her tenure at the Big Four firms.
Carving out a place at CFGI
Jillian’s drive, expertise and natural leadership ability were evident to everyone, including other accounting advisory firms. In 2017, CFGI approached her about taking charge of the growing financial services practice. It was a great opportunity to build out her own team, and Jillian didn’t hesitate to take it.
“The whole draw of bringing me here was that CFGI is going to give me the sandbox to really grow out this practice and develop it as I see fit,” Jillian said. “I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the firm’s exciting growth and work alongside an extremely talented Partner group.”
She wasted no time putting her stamp on CFGI’s financial services team, recruiting, interviewing and selecting each new hire herself. What does a successful leader like Jillian look for in a team member? They should be experienced and knowledgeable, yet have the flexibility to pivot when necessary with a “figure-it-out” mentality. Above all else, they need to share her drive to succeed.
“I always say sit at the table with winners, because the conversation’s going to be different,” Jillian explained. “Everyone on my team is super driven. They’ve all performed at another level.”
In just a few short years, the financial services practice has grown significantly. Jillian now oversees a team of 40 dedicated high-performing professionals she handpicked herself. It’s a very tight-knit team, thanks in no small part to Jillian’s leadership and dedicated support.
“I look at my team like they’re my family,” Jillian noted. “That means someone’s always in your corner rooting for you. When you’re connected to a bigger goal, the performance always follows.”
Giving clients a one-of-a-kind experience
Whether she’s managing her team or supporting clients, Jillian always displays a passion for her work that is downright contagious. A self-described “manifester,” she believes that no goal is too ambitious if you have the drive to see it through. That dedication is clearly evident in her approach to working with clients. For her, the experience and the journey is just as important as the destination.
“People will forget what you did or what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel,” Jillian explained. “If I can leave my clients better than where I found them, they’re going to remember that.”
In many ways, that commitment to the client experience is the key to CFGI’s ongoing success, and Jillian exemplifies that mindset and philosophy to a T. The other secret to a great client relationship? Listening and treating every client like they’re the most important client in the world.
“We should never be the one’s talking during introductory meetings,” Jillian said. “We should always be listening and figuring out how CFGI can help and best serve the needs of our clients.”
Building and growing for the future
Even though Jillian’s career has hit a high watermark now that she’s a Partner, her ambitions haven’t dimmed one bit. She’s got big plans for herself, her team and the entire firm.
“I want us to be the leading national financial services practice across all accounting advisory firms,” she said. “I want CFGI to become a household name.”
Boldly ambitious? Absolutely, but if anyone can make it happen, it’s Jillian.