Helping families ‘grow’ their financial future
Helping families ‘grow’ their financial future
My objective in college was to gain a comprehensive education in finance, banking, and business administration. I was pleased with my coursework and degree in these areas at Northwood University. I also was very fortunate to obtain an internship with American Express, which I continued through college. I obtained my licenses and worked directly with several advisors on their marketing and prospecting programs.
But I also saw an opportunity that I thought could make sense for my own practice. I was a young advisor and asked myself, “Who in my area is actively targeting younger clients?” I thought it was an underserved area to explore, and it has since become the primary focus of our practice. Our ideal prospective clients are married couples with children, approximately 30 to 45 years old, with a relatively high income. They may not necessarily have a large net worth, but they are decades from retirement and have many financial needs other than pure retirement-income planning. As I develop clients of this type, I feel confident they will be working with our firm for many years to come.
We also work with clients that do not necessarily fit this profile. I have individual clients or couples who are close to or in retirement and also work with many small businesses, primarily on their retirement plans. I consider our firm to be a family-oriented practice that serves clients across a full spectrum of financial needs. In addition to my securities registrations, I am licensed in the areas of life, accident, health, and property and casualty insurance. I am also a licensed mortgage loan officer in Michigan. Between the resources our firm offers and our relationships with many third-party professionals, I believe we can offer clients a comprehensive approach that can address their many financial needs in a customized fashion.
Most of our clients start with us through the financial-planning process. We are very diverse in the number of products and services we offer, so our discovery conversations and data gathering will explore all appropriate facets of our clients’ financial lives.
Within the financial-planning process, we usually look at retirement planning, investment management, college funding, insurance planning, debt-reduction strategies, and tax-reduction strategies. We see many younger clients, especially physicians, who may have high incomes but are also carrying significant college-loan burdens—debt-reduction strategies are especially important for those clients.
Create an efficient interface for clients
Kevin Brennan, founder of Brennan Investment Services in Hartland, Michigan, says that his firm works with many affluent, younger working couples with children. These clients have busy lives, and one of his firm’s important objectives is to create an efficient and effective way of handling their financial planning and strategy implementation. His tips for doing so include the following:
- Employ a systematic and repeatable process for client onboarding that minimizes client time.
- Use paperless technology throughout the financial-planning process, allowing clients real-time access to their aggregated financial accounts and financial plan.
- Provide clients with an interactive calendar tool for booking client appointments and review sessions.
- Conduct client meetings via phone or online if that is the client’s preference.
- Empower team members to handle client requests/questions in a timely fashion and provide the tools/technology to facilitate ready availability of information.
- Use a robust relationship-management tool to continually update clients’ data and profiles.
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Kevin Brennan is the founder of Brennan Investment Services, located in Hartland, Michigan. He is an investment advisor representative and registered representative of Voya Financial Advisors Inc. Mr. Brennan says the overall objective for his firm is “to provide clients with unbiased research and the tools and service needed to help them achieve financial independence.”
A native of Michigan, Mr. Brennan was exposed to the financial world at an early age, with both his mother and father working in the industry. He is a graduate of Northwood University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentrations in banking and finance. Mr. Brennan worked as an intern throughout college for American Express Financial Advisors, assisting advisors on marketing and prospecting programs.
Joining Ameriprise as a full-time advisor after college, Mr. Brennan says he remains “grateful for the opportunity to learn how to effectively cultivate a client base early on.” He later decided to become an independent advisor and opened Brennan Investment Services in 2010, serving both individual and small-business clients.
Mr. Brennan participates in civic, volunteer, and charitable activities in his community. He is currently president of the Hartland Chamber of Commerce, Livingston County United Way Development ambassador chair, and previously held officer positions with the Livingston County United Way and the Brighton Jaycees. He was the 2014 recipient of the Charles W. Itsell Volunteer of the Year Award for the Livingston County United Way. He also is involved in youth sports and is an active member of his church.
Mr. Brennan and his wife have two children. They enjoy camping, hiking, and biking, and he and his family take frequent trips in their camper to northern and western Michigan.
Disclosure: Investment advisor representative and registered representative of, and securities and investment advisory services offered through, Voya Financial Advisors Inc., member SIPC. Brennan Investment Services is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors Inc. 36504864_IAR_0820D.
Photography by Richard Lim