The future of wealth management will be won by advisors who value both modern technology and traditional relationship building, says Tim Gerend, executive vice president and chief distribution officer at Northwestern Mutual.

And that approach is leading to record results at Northwestern Mutual. The company last year welcomed more new clients than ever before and saw record growth in net cash flow and insurance premiums, proving the value of advisors who can help clients make sense of their complete financial picture, he says.

In the following interview, Gerend discusses the mix of traits and abilities that define top wealth advisors—and how those characteristics help foster long-lasting advisor-client relationships.