Logan C. Marcus, Esq.
Logan Marcus is a progeny of legal minds whose deep-seated sense of justice is at the core of her being. As general counsel and chief compliance officer for Appreciation Financial, she is a young, female powerhouse determined to bring fairness to all. In her words: “Impartiality is a business skill that can be learned by anyone with the commitment to justice and equality.”
Tell us about your work for Appreciation Financial and how this sense of justice plays into your roles.
I have many duties and responsibilities, but everything I do, every decision I make is a guided by my profound sense of objectivity. I view it as my duty to support our agents, and I believe that an environment in which all are treated equally allows them to focus on helping our clients. In-house, I’m a Jack-of-all-trades. I negotiate contracts, M&A with executive teams, and dispute resolutions, which spans across diverse areas. I am the liaison for outside counsel on litigation matters, and I represent the CEO as well as our subsidiary and parent companies in contract negotiations. I basically do everything that comes my way, whether it falls under the rubric of “legal” or not. As the chief compliance officer, I travel the country to our different offices and give legal/compliance presentations on the “do’s and don’ts,” titled “How to Keep Your Job and Avoid Jail Time.” When I joined the company in 2015, I designed the infrastructure of our legal and compliance departments based on what made sense to me and implemented new processes. Prior to that, our company relied on outside counsel for legal work. The regulations and protocols that we follow are derived from putting into place guidelines that meshed with our structure and our culture. I ensured the foundation upon which we built was substantial and strong.
What does Appreciation Financial do?
We’re a nationwide financial services agency. The company was founded in 2008, and we have more than 1,000 independent agents in our sales force. We have offices in almost every state. We focus on retirement planning and life insurance sales, primarily in the k-12 sector. Our CEO started the company with a clear intention to help our educators retire with dignity. When teachers retire, typically their pension is about 57% of their working income, which is a travesty. Our primary function is to ensure the teachers and staff retire with their full pre-retirement income. After all, these are the people who tirelessly educate our children, and they are underpaid and underappreciated as it is.
One of the products our agents sell is called a 403(b), it is an annuity that helps public employees put away money now for when they retire to bridge the income gap. We are number one in the country in this space, and we are very proud of the more than 100,000 teachers we’ve helped. Our agents also sell life insurance products, which provide living benefits, so it’s helpful for people of all ages. Appreciation’s mission is to help protect people and provide solutions for unforeseen circumstances that may arise as they do throughout life.
You won the Servant Leadership Award for your selfless devotion to the company, clients, and relationships. How does the importance you place on fairness inform your leadership style?
I’ve always made a conscious effort to practice fairness in my daily life, personal and professional. People come to me as a resource, even in areas unrelated to the law, because I’ve established myself as someone with a deep-rooted level of trust with our sales force. I’m grateful that I have been exposed to many cultures and people throughout my upbringing, education, travel experiences, and social circle, and I pride myself on making sure everyone feels heard. I consider myself to be the resource and the voice for people that don’t have a voice. This ideal is engrained in me. As general counsel, I handle a multitude of issues that don’t necessarily always pertain to “law” as the construct most people think it is. It is for this reason that every day of my past five years with this company has been radically different from the day before and from the next day. And I love that! The CEO puts a lot of trust in me and is comfortable knowing that I am protecting the business that provides for his family. This is an incredible vote of confidence that allows me to straighten up and do my job with the vigor and strength I do. I receive tremendous support from the CEO as well as our leadership team and the field.
The law seems to be your natural calling. Tell us about your journey and how it led to Appreciation Financial.
I come from a family of lawyers and after Syracuse University for undergrad, I worked for four years in the legal field before going to law school. After getting my J.D., I started my career in criminal defense—interning with the California Innocence Project at my law school—and then worked in civil litigation for about five years. Before I joined Appreciation Financial, I was working for a renowned firm specializing in copyright infringement for high-profile musicians. The cases I worked on were extremely interesting, and one led to a precedent-setting ruling in the court. However, it led me to realize that litigation was not where my heart was. After I figured out what I did want to do, which was to be more involved in the business and transactional side of law, I made a career leap and found the perfect fit as general counsel with Appreciation Financial.
You are a young, successful woman in both a role and an industry traditionally dominated by men. How do you navigate this unique position?
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry—not only financial services, but also as a general counsel, which is known to be a position held by more senior men—is unique. I think one of the reasons that I am an effective leader and comfortable in my role is that I’m not afraid to have an unpopular opinion. In my career, I’ve been in a room with men who were not used to being in the room with a female leader. There is a double standard for men and women. Men are lauded for speaking their mind and regarded as “determined” and “strong” whereas women who assert a strong opinion can be labeled as confrontational or the “B” word. One of my strengths is not being intimidated and having the confidence to speak my mind. This confidence comes from my dad, who was a litigator and passed away when I was 18. He instilled in me a sense of purpose and fight, to always stand up for what I believe in, even if that opinion is unpopular. Another important element to navigate in this male-dominated industry is the ever-present dichotomy between being a strong woman and still having a soft side, which is the ultimate tug of war.
Logan has been featured in Modern Counsel and Vanguard Law Magazine. She is licensed in Nevada and California.
Logan C. Marcus, Esq.
General Counsel — Appreciation Financial
2485 Village View Drive, Suite 190
Henderson, Nevada 89074
LinkedIn: Logan Marcus
Facebook: Logan Marcus