They say two heads are better than one, yet many people stick to the norm and hire a single person to control their financial future. Unlike the traditional model, full-service firm Private Wealth Management (PWM) provides clients with a team of financial experts, each in their own area of expertise working to assist clients in whatever way necessary.
“As long as I’ve been in financial services, it has always been about someone’s cut of the commission—it’s all diced up,” says Tripp Gebhard, PWM wealth manager. “We don’t get caught up on splitting client control—we focus on getting the job done.”
The seven PWM professionals each work together on accounts, with different people being utilized depending on the issue at hand. For example, PWM founder and managing director Joseph Altic credits one team member as being excellent in research, and another at all things related to estate and tax strategy. “I grew up under the traditional models of the financial planning world,” Altic says. “At the end of the day, it felt like you were competing against each other—no team approach.”
Focused on providing value to customers, Gebhard explains that expansion has been “a process of growing the firm with the right clients.” He notes the dual interview process, saying that new client relationships are based around fit, which includes areas such as the ability to assist the client and the client’s expectation of the firm.
“When we look at a client’s situation, we want to see where can we add value—and that’s different for every single client,” Altic explains. “We put on that ‘consulting hat’ first, and drill deep into their situation to figure out, from an independent standpoint, what is the best strategy.”
PWM works with institutional finances, as well as family wealth. “A lot of what we do is look at multigenerational planning: We create family mission statements and educate the younger generations to make sure the value of that money doesn’t get lost over time,” Gebhard says. Other services include an on-staff Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, who helps make sense of finances before or during a possible divorce, as well as a rapidly growing 401(k) practice.
The small firm is looking to grow without losing its deep-rooted team approach. “It’s putting people in the position to succeed,” Gebhard explains. “When we look at bringing somebody on as an employee, we focus on hiring for their strengths.” The dedication to individuals includes not just clients, but any future team members. “Maybe they’re hired to be a business development person and they end up being a planner, because that really fits their personality better.”
With everyone working the correct job, PWM is able to focus on its mission of providing an outstanding financial experience to the clients it calls family. “At the end of the day, it’s about creating a great experience to clients and bringing value to their situation,” Altic says. “We get these clients who feel like family, and we have invested interest in making sure they make great financial decisions.”
On the Cover: Private Wealth Management is a full-service financial firm. Pictured on the cover: Bryan Sherwood, Joseph Altic, Tripp Gebhard, Colleen Chance, Andrew Ruzicka and Daniel Hammerman. For more information, call 888-878-1804 or visit pwm-stl.com.
Securities Offered Through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.