In this edition of Get to Know the Snodgrass Team, we interviewed Jeffrey “Jeff” Shifter, CFIRS, Manager in the Outsourcing Group.
How has working in a bank’s internal audit department prior to joining Snodgrass helped you in tackling the internal and compliance audits performed by our firm?
Having previously worked in a bank’s Internal Audit Department for two years was a valuable experience. While I was able to gain an understanding of the internal audit and compliance responsibilities, I was also able to see things from the other side of the desk. To someone who’s not involved in the banking industry, or just entering the field, things are much more complex than just deposits and loans. Learning the ever-growing list of banking acronyms can be frustrating for those just getting into the field. My time within the bank’s audit group allowed me to see the complete audit process, from audit scheduling and planning, all the way through to the reporting with the Audit Committee.
How has your Certified Fiduciary and Investment Risk Specialist designation assisted you in your role at Snodgrass?
The Certified Fiduciary and Investment Risk Specialist (CFIRS) designation has allowed me to carve my own path with the firm. Not only does Snodgrass promote personal growth, but the firm encourages employees to choose their own career path. Early on with Snodgrass, I was asked to assist with a trust audit and was immediately intrigued. It wasn’t long after that first audit that my superiors suggested I look into the CFIRS designation. With the encouragement and support of the firm, I successfully completed the classwork and exam to become certified. Moving to current day, I am now involved with all of the firm’s trust audit clients. This opportunity has allowed me to become a contact point for the firm and be instrumental in getting other team members trained in the trust area.
You’re Snodgrass’s trust department audit expert. What do you enjoy about performing this type of specialized audit?
Each and every trust is different. While something might look like an old dusty piece of paper, it’s the trust department’s fiduciary responsibility to administer the account to the client’s wishes and best interests. Behind each document, there’s always a story. I very much enjoy, and always look forward to, spending time with our clients’ trust officers to get the latest stories. A critical aspect of the trust function is connecting with clients and, from there, developing and maintaining a relationship with each client. As technology continues to evolve with robo-advisors, adding chapters to those stories is the key for our trust department clients retaining their clients and assets.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do at the firm or working for the firm in general?
I enjoy working for Snodgrass for many reasons, but here are just a few. First off, the firm has always promoted work-life balance. While the primary goal is to meet clients’ needs, there is freedom when it comes to life and family. Being able to work at home if a child is sick or lending a hand in getting a child to a doctor’s appointment allows my family and me better flexibility. Secondly, as previously noted, the firm allows individuals to take control of their own career path. Whether you want to carve your own niche or have interests in areas the firm already specializes in, the firm will support you and provide the necessary resources to attain those goals.
What are some of your outside interests?
My biggest interest would be spending time with family. I have two children, an 11-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter, who are actively involved in sports, so on free evenings and weekends, I can be found watching whatever sport is in season. I always enjoy a family trip to the beach each summer to escape reality. Last, I’m a big football fan, specifically the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Snodgrass team are industry-recognized experts who are highly sought after as speakers and trainers and for their leadership. Stay tuned for our next edition and get to know other members of our team!