Building a better future
Victor Hugo once said, "There is nothing like a dream to create the future." For MB Financial's Anita Bruno, his statement rings true as her talent for creating a solid financial future for her clients has assisted a great many of her own dreams to come true.
After moving back to Carbon County in 2000, both Bruno and her husband, Scott, have been able to cultivate successful businesses thus adding youth and drive to a business community that struggles to get the best of its young people back after college.
According to Bruno, making her living in the financial world is something she wanted from a young age. While it would seem natural that her father, Eastern Utah Community Credit Union President Mike Milovich, would push her in that direction, the case is not necessarily so.
"I was the science sterling scholar at Carbon High School my senior year, and my teachers had told my parents that I needed to go into the sciences or engineering. I attended Engineering State, which was fun, but I got stuck in a traffic engineering class that was really pretty boring. I remember asking myself, 'do people really spend their whole lives doing this?'"
That notion was compounded when her father took her to Engineering Day at the University of Utah where she was taken aback by other students at the event. "I remember telling my dad, 'Come on. We're leaving. These people are nerds,'" she said laughing. "I considered myself more of a people person. But then I married an engineer, so what does that say about me?"
Bruno, who had spent time with her father at various banking events and business functions, found that she got along well with the people she found there and was drawn to the amount of personal communication that is vital in the business world. "I loved the grocery store when I was a kid," she continued, speaking of the Helper Foodtown which her family owned and operated during her youth. "Working there taught me how to communicate with people. It taught me the importance of knowing a customer's first name. Actually, several business relationships I have today began in that grocery store."
After graduating from Carbon High in 1993, Bruno attended the University of Utah where she obtained Bachelor of Science in 1996. And while she was working toward a career that would be best suited to a big city and surrounded by literally thousands of potential suitors, it was a home-town boy that stole her heart.
"Scott and I both went to Carbon High but never really knew each other. We actually started talking at a party here at home while both of us were on Christmas break from college," said Bruno discussing the events that would lead to her wedding day. "We figured out that we actually lived about a block away from each other in Salt Lake. I invited him to dinner when we went back to school, and there you go."
The couple dated and studied, dated and studied some more, obtained their respective Masters degrees and joined the professional working world in 1999.
Bruno was recruited straight out of school by AXA Advisors and took to the bustling world of finance like a fish to water. Life, however, was about to see if she could hit a curve ball as a developing opportunity in the Castle Valley called the young married couple home.
"Scott walked in during November of 2000 and said, 'we're moving home.' His dad was ready to move forward with some changes at Bruno Engineering, and they needed Scott to be there," she explained. "I knew when we got married that we would be going back to Carbon County; I just didn't see it coming that fast. I thought we had five more years in Salt Lake."
Bruno stayed with AXA for a short period before making the call to strike out on her own once and for all in 2003 with LPL Financial. "It really takes about five years to get a respectable client list together. When I started, we had no idea that things would go so well for Scott and his dad, so to tell you the truth I was terrified," she said. "But going with LPL Financial allowed me to build my business the way I wanted to without having someone in the background telling me, 'you need to sell this.' That made all the difference."
According to Bruno, her relationship with LPL Financial gives her the freedom to focus completely on clients as the financial firm provides her with a "back office" which furnishes research, monitors compliance issues, clears all of her trades, and deals with all manners of government red tape. "I have been with LPL Financial for nearly ten years now, and it has been an great relationship," she continued. "With their help, I have been able to do well for my clients."
Although Bruno wouldn't share the number of assets she has under management, she did indicate that she has had tremendous growth and is fortunate that her clients have trusted her with some of the most private components of their lives. With the growth she has added additional resources for her clients including hiring another licensed trader, Senior Assistant Stephanie Vuksinick, who has been with the company since 2009. "She makes what we do here possible," said Bruno. "Because as your business grows, your community commitments grow as well. She keeps me sane and the office running smoothly."
In 2012, Bruno took time to complete the coursework and achieve the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation - CFP Â®, which has moved her to the top of her field. Along with the designation, CFP certificants voluntarily subject themselves to the CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct. These standards didn't differ from the way Bruno managed and established her practice. "When I joined the financial world, I promised my dad that I wouldn't muddy the Milovich name, and now being a Bruno, I would never want to do anything to damage their reputation either," she said. "Working in finance can be difficult, but the litmus test for me is this, when I go to the grocery store I don't have to hide from anybody."
While Bruno's personal accomplishments are many, it is immediately clear after talking with her that family and her community are the main source of her pride. "When I look back to us coming home, I am amazed at what Scott and his father have been able to do with Bruno-BODEC. I have watched their company grow from three to over eighty employees with clients all across the United States," she said. "When Scott came back in 2000, Bruno hired their first drafter, and they have never looked back."
From working as an Adjunct Professor at CEU to spending two years as the President of the Friends Board at the Family Support and Children's Justice Center her commitment to community is evident and unwavering. She is very proud of the involvement she's had with the "Cherish the Children" Art Auction that has raised over $35,000 in the past three years for the CJC. "The people of our community are so generous. I'm proud that we can live here and be a part of that."
That commitment grows outward from her nuclear family. The Bruno family grew by one in 2004 with the birth of Scott and Anita's daughter, Gianna. Her presence has given Bruno a kindred spirit.
"Gianna grew up in the office, and she is very adult. She can answer the phones and has a firm handle on technology. She knows people already and calls them by first name," Bruno said with pride. "She has her own little social network."
As MB Financial and Bruno-BODEC continue to grow and thrive, both Anita and Scott will likely take even larger roles in the Castle Valley community. In an area that struggles to retain the best and brightest of its post-graduate community, their template for success demonstrates that the future can indeed be both what and where you make it.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. MB Financial, Bruno Engineering-BODEC are separate entities and not affiliated with LPL Financial.