Wealth Advisor, Thiensville office
Rich brings a breadth of knowledge to his clients having spent over 25 years in the wealth management industry. His clients sincerely appreciate his relaxed, no nonsense approach to the business and the time he dedicates to helping them understand, at times, very complex issues. Rich believes a well-constructed plan is critical to a client’s success and investment decisions should be the result of the financial plan and a true understanding of each client’s needs. Rich goes beyond risk management, tax efficiency, cost and planning and takes the time to understand his clients at a level not common in the industry. He prides himself on discussing the plan in depth, to ensure the client knows exactly what to expect, not only for themselves, but to their heirs as well.
Rich is honored to be recognized for the eighth consecutive year as a Five Star Wealth Advisor. *
Q: Who has had the biggest impact on your life and how have they influenced you?
A: I’d have to say my dad and mom. My dad came to America on a boat from Liechtenstein when he was 18 years old and shortly after arriving, served in the U.S. Army. He later married my mom and began raising our family all while working for the city of Harvey, Illinois on a garbage truck for 30 years. He instilled in me the importance of determination and a strong work ethic. By my mom’s example, I learned empathy and the importance of caring for others. I grew up in a trailer park with very little money, however, despite this fact, my parents always found ways to help others and share what we had with those who had even less. Finding a career where I could assist people was easy. My desire to help others achieve their financial goals throughout the different stages of their lives is a natural career for me to have chosen.
Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I don’t believe many people know I was a commercial pilot. I began flying in 1990 and eventually flew for Midwest Express Airlines out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With all of my flight hours combined, I’ve probably logged over 3000 hours of jet time!
Q: Are there any correlations between being a commercial pilot and a financial advisor?
A: Yes, there are quite a few. I credit my ability to calmly handle challenging market events with my simulator training as an airline pilot. In the simulator, pilots are repeatedly given emergencies and extreme situations until resolving them becomes second nature. When you anticipate emergencies or are confronted with an extreme situation, you need a cool head and someone who has navigated these situations. This approach made me a confident pilot and financial advisor. I have been able to take a 30,000-foot view and have guided clients through several significant life events and three considerable market downturns while handling these scenarios providing my clients with direction and support needed during times of uncertainty. Regardless of my role as a pilot or as a financial advisor, my responsibility is to get clients to their destinations successfully.
Q: What sets you apart from other advisors?
A: I’ve been told I am easy to work with, I’m approachable and extremely honest. I don’t get paid to tell clients what they want to hear! In an industry that is known for taking clients based on asset size, I pride myself on working with clients with whom I enjoy and can provide a meaningful impact. I know it sounds cliché, but I believe the relationships I build with my clients sets me apart. I get to know each client and their families really well. Money is important and you have to trust the person you are hiring to work with you and be comfortable “putting it all out there”. That’s not always easy. Because of my approach, I’m proud to say I have several clients who I have worked with for more than 20 years! People go through a great deal of changes in 20 years and to say I have helped them navigate the financial challenges and achieve their goals during those years, is humbling.
I also bring a great deal of personal experience and expertise to the table. Not only with the affiliations and licenses. I have a soft spot for anyone going through a separation or divorce. Having been through a divorce myself I know and understand firsthand concerns and fears clients face especially when children are involved. The financial side of divorce is extremely important to be aware of and understand. I feel I am able to guide clients through these often-emotional times helping them stay focused on the future.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not in the office?
A: When not in the office, it is quite likely you will find me at my cabin or roaming the area with my camera in hand! I live in Mequon and have three children Elyse (works at Lands End), Cole (sophomore in high school) and Chase (freshman in high school). I love spending time with them and often share our love of the outdoors together at the cabin in the Minocqua area in Northern Wisconsin. I am also able to combine my love of the outdoors, photography and helping others through my affiliation with Pineview Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. I am helping with their efforts to educate the community about their organization.
Wealth Advisor with Commonwealth Financial Network
Certified Estate Planner through the National Institute of Certified Estate Planners
Affiliate member of the CFLCW, Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin
Recognized in Milwaukee Magazine as a Five Star Wealth Manager award winner for the past 8 consecutive years* Based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations. 1,061 Milwaukee area wealth managers were considered for the award; 224 (21 percent of candidates) were named 2019 Five Star Wealth Managers. (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit www.fivestarprofessional.com.
Operations Manager, Thiensville office
Betty joined Rich’s office in September 2018. She brings with her a great deal of experience, having worked in the mutual fund industry for more than 18 years for a Wisconsin-based investment firm. While there, she managed a variety of departments within the main call center and functioned as the department’s communication strategist. Working in the Thiensville office, Betty has a great deal of variety in her day. She is responsible for many of the client-facing aspects, including responding to client requests, researching and following up with client inquiries, scheduling client meetings, and submitting and processing documentation. Betty also conducts client meetings to assist with completing forms, establishing Investor360 access, and aggregating accounts. In addition to managing the daily operations, she assists Rich with many aspects of the financial planning process, including preparing for meetings, data entry, and reporting.
Q: What do you most enjoy about your role as an operations manager for the Thiensville office?
A: I truly enjoy working with all our clients and getting to know them and their families. I try to make their experience, either over the phone or in person, as positive as I can. I also really enjoy working with Rich. It is very easy to work with someone who shares my same passion for the client experience.
Q: What is the most important quality to have in your role?
A: The ability to multitask! I’ve gotten very comfortable with having many irons in the fire!
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: My husband Mike and I have two college kids who compete for their universities. Adam is a catcher for the University of St. Francis baseball team and Abby is a heptathlete for the Saint Louis University track and field team. We love traveling anywhere they are competing and spending as much time as we can with them. I also enjoy outdoor activities…hiking, gardening (managing hundreds of perennials in my yard) and kayaking.
Q: Is there anything specific you’d like to accomplish in the next five years?
A: I’ve run two marathons so far, however, feel I have one more in me before I hang up my competitive running shoes! Our family has the goal to hike the entire Ice Age Hiking Trail. This very well may take us beyond five years with two kids out of state for good portions of the year but one we will accomplish some day!
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- B.A. Double Concentration in Communication and Political Science