Head to Head: A conversation with CEO Patti Brennan

Co-Heads of Distribution Kirsten Pickens and Ryan Robertson share their conversation with Patti Brennan, President and CEO of Key Financial.

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March 27, 2023 | 31 minute read

In a new episode of Head to Head, Co-Heads of Distribution Kirsten Pickens and Ryan Robertson share their conversation with Patti Brennan, President and CEO of Key Financial. Patti shares how she went from working as an Oncology and ICU nurse to being one of the top financial advisors in America.

About Patti Brennan

Patti Brennan, CFP®, is the CEO of Key Financial, Inc. While she is now recognized as one of the top advisors in America, her path was unlike anyone else’s. After graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in Nursing, Patti worked as an ICU nurse before channeling her compassion for others to work as a financial planner. In 1990, Patti founded Key Financial, Inc. while also raising four children. Thirty years later, the firm manages almost $2 billion assets under management with a retention rate of 99%.

Transcript excerpt:
Kirsten Pickens: Our guest this episode is Patti Brennan. Patti is the President and CEO of Key Financial. She is consistently ranked as one of America’s top financial advisors and is currently the number one financial advisor in Pennsylvania.

Ryan Robertson: We sit down with Patti and discuss how she went from having no prior experience in financial services to building her own business as a Certified Financial Planner®. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.

Kirsten Pickens: Patti, we are thrilled that you’re with us today. Thank you so much for joining us on Head to Head.

Patti Brennan: Oh, it is my pleasure, Kirsten and Ryan, what an honor it is to be on your show.

Kirsten Pickens: Thank you. Well, we’re excited. We have to start with asking the obvious. How did you go from a career with no previous financial background to becoming one of the top financial advisors in the country and number one in Pennsylvania?

Patti Brennan: You know, it’s kind of funny, I didn’t realize it at the time, but not having a financial background actually, kind of worked in my favor because let’s face it, this stuff can be really complicated, overwhelming, and I just figured if I could break things down so that a nurse like me could understand them, maybe I could help other people to understand some of the most important concepts. And that’s really all I’ve done is to be transparent. It is important to have substance. It is very important to have substance because I think people can read right through that. And at the same point, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated because then people get overwhelmed with it and then they can’t make a decision that ultimately is in their best interest.

Patti Brennan: I often say that, you know, God forbid if you or someone that you love is really sick, who’s that person that you know you can trust? It is the nurse at the bedside who knows everything about that patient. It’s the same thing with financial planners. Nurses advocate, so do financial planners. That’s what we do.

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Headshot of Kirsten Pickens

Kirsten Pickens

Co-Head of U.S. Distribution

Ryan Robertson

Co-Head of U.S. Distribution

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