PurposeCity
PurposeCity

Episode · 1 month ago

13: The EWM Story

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Bert Herzog, Founder of Executive Wealth Management, shares the story of how the financial planning firm continues to grow one relationship at a time over 20 years. He also discusses the value of building a business built on trust, compassion, and community in an ever-increasing digitally distant business environment and how the two can co-exist. Bert explains having compassion for clients means providing as many solutions to support them as possible and how EWM is embracing this challenge.

PurposeCity podcasts are presented by Executive Wealth Management and exemplify our core values of trust, community, and compassion.

PurposeCity podcasts are found at ewmadvisors.org and all major podcast platforms.

This is purpose city stories ofhumanity in action presented by executive wealth management. Guest onpurpose city do not necessarily reflect an endorsement of executive wealthmanagement. Wert welcome welcome yourself. Thankyou. Tell us what is executive wealth management. That's a great question.Can a executive wealth management is a wealth management firm that focuses inon all aspects of financial planning? We are a fiduciary fee based registeredinvestment adviser that really began in one thousand nine hundred andeighty five when we became a RIA under executive financial planning soexplained, fiduciary fiduciary is a you know where you have to keep yourbest, your client's best interest in mind, and I think it's important thatanybody working with an adviser works with a PADUCAR. It's very, veryimportant that they understand that whoever they're working with adheres tothat standard, yeah and then Ria you mentioned. What's our I, a a registeredinvestment adviser is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commissionand typically it's different than a broker dealer or a large warehouse.It's tends to be more independent if you want to call it that okay and theyare advisors that adhere to a higher standard instead of a suitabilitystandard, they adhered to a fiduciary standard, they must keep their clientsbest interests in mind. We've been around, we know what our clienteleneeds and were very, very professional...

...and delivering those souses. So you say:We've been around, but you've been around the longest you're aging me yeah. Well, as far asthe firm goes so tell us, how did? How did it go from one guy in Fenton,Michigan to where this company is at today? Well, I I new operations, as Igot out of college, wasn't for me. I wasn't really in tune withmanufacturing. I started with quaker roads and quickly went to PepsiCo La,and I knew that finance was where I wanted to land. Iactually wanted to be a stockbroker, and I studied back one thousand ninehundred and eighty one to achieve that and up and Actually Flint Michigan. Istarted with mutual New York money securities and that really began in onethousand nine hundred and eighty two and I have to really thank my wife here,I'm just blessed because she was the one that said: Look you do what youlove and that's where I went to, and fortunately she had a pretty good jobbecause she made the money for the first ten years. While I struggledbuilding a practice, I knew that the industry was changing.I did even in the S and I knew I had to go back and get my certified financialplanning designation in the mid S, because there was a new new process coming out and it was thefee based process and we weren't there yet. But I knew that it was going tohappen in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five. We set up on our IA withexecutive financial planning and that obviously turned into executive wealthmanagement twenty years later. But it was in my opinion where the industrywas moving towards and I think...

...obviously it. I was correct right and twenty years later, but it stilldoesn't just get there. You had to there's got to be some secret saucelots of hard work and lots of praying, but no, I I'll never I'll, never forget, and I tried to build this firm and Iwent out and and tried to find partners and developing this firm a couple timesand it didn't work out. I was very dejected by that, but my wife Judy said: Look now: You're notgoing to give up keep moving forward looking for the opportunities that arethere, and so through the s and ultimately, through this next decade Iwas blessed to find some partners that I have now and we've really taken off.It was difficult when we first started, and I tell you what I and this is for all the entrepreneursout there always always believe in yourself. There are times where thingsare going to be tough, but if you believe in yourself and if you have agoal and objective a clear golden objective, I did- and I obviously had agreat partner that helped me with that, and I got up every morning thinking now, I'mgoing to build this firm, I'm going to continue developing pieces of the puzzle, and I tell youwhat I am very proud of the old organization where we're at right now,but it has its challenges. It has its ups and downs, just believe in yourself,good advice. What made it successful is far as this is a relationship business. Why do people trust, and why did theytrust Bert Herzog, with their...

...retirement with their money and so on? That's a good question. I Itruly believe that, at the end of the day, it's a personal relationship inthis day and age where marketing is taking over. Where do a lot of business over videos andAPPS? I don't think anything replaces the personal relationship to face toface contact and I think that will continue in the future. I really dobelieve that in my first ten years in the business, I really wanted to find aniche where I could kind of separate myselves from the big warehouses andthat niche was dealing with executives. Hence the name General Motors town, lots of executives of that all across the country, so that nichewas wherever you go I'll, be there with you. I will travel with you. It's toughon the family, three kids, but I made sure that once a year I would have that face toface contact. I bowled the eye ball with each clime and I can't tell youhow how important that is, because, even today, clients want to see you. They don't just want to see you over thevideo right. I want to see you face to face now. Certain things are beyond ourcontrol because of what's happened last year and a half, and that too ishelpful. So that means that you still can conduct business and still havesome sort of familiarity, a client, but I don't think that the personalrelationships can replace the face to face contact that people need to haveright. I was telling you earlier: I compared it to if I have an ailment or my son has anailment I'll go to web m D, Get an idea of what I'm looking at or what'shappening. Maybe I'll even go on to...

...some kind of website you can put inyour blood pressure. You can do the self modernite you get a calculation ormy BMI, you know. Am I in the right, no matter how thin I get, it always says Iwot Bes. I don't understand those being my calculators, but but there's nothing like with a littlebackground. Information from the web is still going in and talking to a reallicensed physician. Who knows your name knows my son's nameand his history and giving you advice is that where it with finance, Icouldn't agree more. There is a lot of information out there today. Obviously,and there are a lot of people that think that they can do it themselvesuntil something like two thousand and eight and two thousand and nine happensright. I truly believe that every person every successful familyneeds an adviser, some one who can guide them through the process ofgetting to retirement. How does Compassionate Community Fall intoexacte oath management? Well, I think that's a part of where we've headed asa firm, and I think it represents the company as a whole. We want to be verycommunity minded because that's important if you have a business in acommunity, it's important that you serve that community and you serve itwith integrity and you serve it with giving not only the financial end of itwith time, I'm very proud of our company, because our partners in ourfirm that's what they believe as far as compassion, if you're not compassionatein this business and you're in the wrong business. I can't tell you howmany times I've been in situations where I just melt, because my clients aregoing through a difficult time and they rely on me to help them out relyon thefirm and my team to make sure that we...

...can get them through this time, whetherit's death in the family of a job change. Something joyous. Like awedding right or a birth of a child were an injury, you know. I know, physicians have avery important part in our society, but a good financial adviser is about liferight, it's about life, it doesn't it play into where the industries headed and then were,executive wealth management is headed to help people's further into their life needs than aportfolio. I couldn't agree more with you it it develops just like in the swhen fee based advises advisory, businesses were developing, I think itkind of moved and eventually the big warehouse has got into fee based moneymanagement. Now I think it's evolving into the total solution, and I believethat as a firm were there, we have instituted wm tax solutions. Most people want tohave their taxes done in house because we have all their financial information.It makes it very very simple. We also have added WM legal solutions, we'renot again we're not looking to compete against other attorneys, but forsimplify to state planning. That needs to be done. We need to make it happenwhere, if they have someone they're working with that, they trust. That'sfine will work directly with them, but you be surprised. Most clients haven'tdeveloped that relations, and I mean large clients. Where do you see in a general sense, the industry, ormaybe a specifically executive wealth...

...management being in the future? Maybewhere would you like it to be five? Ten years down the road? Well, I'd like tocontinue to grow, I've got teammates and partners, and- andactually my son is in the business right. I very proud of him as I am with thewhole firm and we want to continue to grow. We want to continue to serviceour clients the best way we can, and we can do that by providing a moresophisticated services and financial instruments and professional moneymanagement. We got a great investment team, it's a great business and I'mproud to be a part of it. Well, I am blessed to have you, as is our teammate thanks as fishing forthem. We are in a period of time of intenseand continuous change. People who want to build wealth need to know that aninvestment philosophy and process is critical to any long term investmentstrategy. So clients, when they're, looking at their portfolios and they're,seeing the markets move in a very negative fashion or even in a positivefashion, and we want to make sure that we're taking advantage of what themarket of doing so we're, building we're defending and we're advancingthat strategy through compassionate growth. We build defend in advance.That is the founding principle of our investment philosophy, clients, knowingthat they can be up at one level of risk and very gradually reduced, as ona non emotional analysis, is mathematically driving. It is based ona e system that is built for a very large community. Our team is built upof not just a couple advisers with their assistance like you'll see in alot of offices, we have our investment team here in Investment PolicyCommittee. We have our operations department. Here we have our compliancedepartment. Here we have a technology department here which allows ouradvisors to have more direct access...

...which allows them to not ave to jumpthrough as many hoops when that just leads to a more efficient clintexperience. I wanted to be part of a company that had and fostered that teamwork that had regular meetings like the case studies, the collaboration, thepractice management- I saw a ton of value in that being part of a team iscrucial for me. I came from almost twenty years in the banking channel.Thinking about why I came here was specifically to do with the way thatthey treat the employees as family. We have a great culture here. That's oneof the things I really take pride in. It is about chemistry. You need peopleto want to be here. The fact that we're treated so well allows me to focus andother things for our clients and how I can help them, and what I really foundspecial about this place was that the emphasis I'm building relationships-and that is something that I've carried into my practice as an advisor. I wantto build that plan and then obviously allow us to defend it, but ultimate lyis that peace of mind that we're in helpen advance going forward, I'm thepartner to the investor. With inside the firm, I really enjoy answeringclients questions a lot of our clients like to read thoroughly through ourdisclosure documents, and they have a lot of excellent questions, and part ofmy job is to ensure that the client is informed and has access to thatinformation. So, if there's ever a time where a client has a question and ifthey just want to give me a call, they are always welcome to do that. Wecommunicate with our clients. We are following up with clients when they askquestions, we want to make sure we're proactive and doing that, and that'spart of our strategy of building and defending an an advancing or ourrelationship. I've been working for executive welth management for over tenyears. I love the people that I work with with great clients, our clientstrust us. We care about our clients, building report folio and yourretirement, defending it when it needs to be defended in difficult times andadvancing it...

...when things turn build, defend, advanceschedule, an appointment to day and meet with an executive wealthmanagement adviser to learn how we can build defend in advance. You areinvestment future O.

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