By Tim Leeds
Effective Jan. 1, the Havre branch of D.A. Davidson & Co. has a new manager in charge.
Havre native Steve Bebee became the vice president/branch manager of the Havre office when the former vp/branch manager, Scott Wink, left the position. Wink is still working as a registered representative at the office.
Bebee, who joined DADCO in May of 1985, said he likes his new position in the office.
"I enjoy it. It's a challenging job," he said. "Of course, I wouldn't have accepted the job if I didn't think I would enjoy it."
Bebee said his duties at the office have expanded since he took the branch manager position. He said he now has to oversee and maintain the day-to-day operations of the office as well as take care of his own clients.
Financial planning and the sales of securities are closely regulated under comprehensive rules and regulations. Bebee said part of his daily duties is to ensure compliance with these regulations in the office.
He said the main DADCO office in Great Falls is the ultimate authority over the Havre branch, but their office is generally able to operate as they need as long as they follow the rules and regulations.
Bebee said the staff at the Havre office are quite experienced and require little supervision on daily activities. He said the newest registered representative has been at the office for two years, and the tenure of the other four range from 11 to 17 years.
Bebee said he is also responsible for starting the hiring and licensing procedure if someone wishes to become a representative at the office, although that procedure is completed by the Great Falls office.
Bebee said his 15 years at DADCO have been interesting. He said when he started the Dow Jones Industrial average was about 800, and he has seen it rise to a recent high over 11,000.
He said when the market crashed in 1987, he spent a lot of late nights reassuring concerned investors. The market dropped over 700 points in two days that year.
Bebee said he has never worked in what he would call a bear market. He said any time the market drops over 10 percent it is considered more than a minor correction, but such drops have never been sustained long enough to consider them a bear market.
Bebee said the volatility of the market might require changes in terminology. He said billions of shares are now traded daily compared with millions when he started. Because of this, he said, the 10 percent change used to decide what is a minor correction and what is not may no longer be realistic.
Bebee said part of the change in market activity and volatility is due to the amount of information and services now available to investors. For example, the internet can now be used to watch market activity and trade shares almost instantly.
Bebee said most transactions are not truly people taking their money entirely out of investments. He said most of the activity is due to people moving money from instrument to instrument and to different sectors in the market.
Bebee, a certified financial planner and registered representative, received a bachelor of science degree in business finance from Montana State University in 1979, worked for First Interstate Bank in Havre from April of 1979 until he joined DADCO.
"Between the bank and this, I've been doing this work for 21 years," he said.
Bebee said he applied to work for DADCO while he was still in college. He said at that time, investment companies were hesitant to hire young people because investors tended to prefer older people as investment advisors.
He said after he worked at First Security Bank for six years DADCO approached him about joining the company and he's been there ever since.
His education continues to this day. Bebee said he has to fly to Billings today to take the Series 24 principles test, a test for the license to manage an investment office and brokers.