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News You Can Use

FINRA and SEC Announce 2018 Exam Priorities

J.D. Power and Associates Releases 2017 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power and Associates Releases 2017 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power and Associates Releases 2017 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power and Associates Releases 2017 Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study

Sales Quality Group Launches Online Branch Audit Services

OCC Updates Retirement Plan Handbook




Our Team

The Sales Quality Group Team has been working since 1993 to provide the financial services industry with comprehensive and industry-consistent methodology and systems for performing periodic performance measurement, quality assurance, and compliance evaluations for all types of investment, insurance and retail bank sales programs. Sales Quality Group has conducted thousands of sales, service, compliance, and customer satisfaction studies for the financial services industry over the past decade.

Jim Rensel is the co-founder and president of Sales Quality Group.  Jim has over twenty-five years' experience in banking and investment/insurance product sales. He has helped establish, manage and support investment and insurance product sales programs for over a dozen banks including Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank and Washington Mutual Savings Bank.  He also has a background in strategic planning and product development with several banks.  His company provides on-going research and consulting services for over three dozen major banks, credit unions and insurance companies.  Rensel is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has authored or co-authored several articles on investment product sales and compliance practices.  He has a degree in Mathematics, has held a variety of insurance and securities licenses (including a General Securities Principal’s license - series 24), and is an honor graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School.

Dr. Kenneth Kehrer is the co-founder and a part owner of Sales Quality Group. Dr. Kehrer is the nation’s leading consultant for bank investment and insurance product sales programs. His studies on sales penetration, profitability, productivity and compensation have helped many banks benchmark their program’s performance and better understand the key drivers of success. Dr. Kehrer has also served as an expert witness in some of the most important litigation involving bank broker dealers. His firm, Kehrer-Bielan, publishes the highly regarded Kehrer-Bielan Report, as well as case studies and regulatory analyses of the retail financial services industry. Dr. Kehrer holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.

Click here for additional information on Kehrer-Bielan.

Bill Gutkowski is the Director of Operations for Sales Quality Group. Bill has extensive experience in all aspects of project administration, including project design, quality control, analysis, and reporting in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, banking, packaged goods, fast food, and health care. He served as the Director of Operations for Insights & Solutions, Inc. prior to joining Sales Quality Group. Bill was also an analyst for the National Research Group and a Senior Account Executive for Walker Research. Bill has a degree in Education from Fitchburg State College.

Suzette DrakeSuzette Drake was recently named Field Research Director for Sales Quality Group after 8 years of working with us as an independent contractor. Suzette is a 15-year veteran of the market research industry and has first-hand experience as a mystery shopper, trainer, editor and scheduler. She has conducted mystery shopping studies for a number of full-service research firms and businesses from across the country. Suzette studied Journalism at Riverside City College in Southern California and honed her writing skills as the Lead Editorial Writer for TV Guam Magazine.

Chip MorganChip Morgan is a Senior Project Manager for Sales Quality Group. Chip is a 17-year veteran of the Information Technology industry who has provided expertise in technology research, complex data analysis, business intelligence, and consultative project management for companies ranging in size from large enterprise to innovative technology start-ups. Prior to joining Sales Quality Group, he served Executive Director to a private technology research and consulting firm. Chip holds a bachelors degree in Economics and Communication from Arizona State University and is working toward a PhD in Economics from Arizona State University.

Valentina ZeffValentina Zeff is a Senior Project Manager for Sales Quality Group. She has over 20 years' experience in process improvement, project management, communications, and marketing/development for several firms, ranging from educational and non-profit organizations to small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining the Sales Quality Group, she worked as a systems analyst and consultant for W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., where she designed a sophisticated centralized tracking system for three of their top-selling medical devices. She attended U.C. Santa Cruz and holds a bachelors degree in Humanities from New College of California.

Catherine (Katie) Hanks is an independent contractor and owner of Strategic Compliance & Governance, a compliance consulting firm.  Katie is a senior securities compliance professional with 30 years in broker-dealer and investment adviser regulatory affairs.  She has worked for Calvert Group, Northwestern National Life Insurance Company, Citibank, and most recently for Credit Suisse in Zurich, Switzerland.  In her role as Compliance Consultant, Katie has established broker/dealers, and Registered Investment Advisers and assisted those companies in the creation of sound compliance processes and cultures. She works with Sales Quality Group to help its retail bank and investment clients improve and refine their compliance policies, procedures and sales practices.

Click here to visit the website for Strategic Compliance & Governance.

We are sad to report that Sparky, our 15 year-old purebred Shih Tzu, has gone to the great doghouse in the sky. As many of you know, Sparky served as our mascot and had been coming to the office every day since he was a puppy. In addition to his mascot duties, Sparky served as Vice President of Security and Morale and even had his own business cards. Sparky had been trained to bark at unwanted door-to-door sales people, but he readily identified the UPS driver, who brought him treats daily. Sparky will be missed by all who knew him.