HighPoint Planning Partners


Fostering Individualized Client Service Through 
a Unique Open-Architecture RIA

HighPoint Planning Partners has sought to create a unique open-architecture Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model offering myriad opportunities to independent advisors, and in turn, to their clients.

Though the company is still in its youth, Brad Schaffnit, Principal, has been in the industry for more than a decade, and in that time, he has observed an inherent need among advisors in the captive environment to find a more open platform on which to build their advisory businesses.  In that regard, …Read More

Gummow Wealth Advisory Group of Wells Fargo Advisors


Retirees Brace for Change, 
Look for Personalized Services

Despite unprecedented market volatility, one group of investors is unusually confident about their life plans. When asked, 91 percent of Wells Fargo Advisor clients said they believe they will be able to retire on their own terms and 92 percent agree their plan provides the guidance they need to succeed financially.*

Bradley Gummow, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry and Managing Director – Investment Officer, PIM Portfolio Manager of Gummow Wealth Advisory Group of Wells Fargo, transitioned his national practice to Wells Fargo Advisors in late 2012 …Read More

BalancePoint Corp.


Building on Transparency and Trust, Firm Reinvents IT Consulting

When a passion for reform manifests in the marketplace, it’s heartening to see—particularly in an industry begging for change.

Consider the IT consulting industry, which enjoyed astronomical profits in the ’80s and ’90s thanks to a client base all too willing to pay big money for technical talent. Then something changed: Buyers became savvier, and IT consulting firms became more brazen, sinking to new lows to stay profitable. Rate negotiations reflected a win-lose mentality on both sides.

For a time, the industry’s reputation seemed beyond repair. Based on its survey of corporate CIOs, the IT consulting firm BalancePoint Corp.—whose inception in 2004 held the promise of fundamental change—understood what it was up against.

“Our industry earned a C+ at best,” says BalancePoint principal and founder Michael Sommers. “CIOs were tired of being manipulated and mistreated. We, too, bemoaned the industry games and the lack of trust. That’s the problem we set out to solve.”

New Business Model Offers Welcome Change
When BalancePoint’s principals introduced the firm’s signature “market-driven transparency” model in 2004, they had little interest in marketing it. Instead, they sought to prove it—one client at a time.

The model was an instant hit, thanks to its open-book, market-driven rate structure; its uncompromising standards for quality and results; and its focus on value-added, long-term client relationships. Today, on the eve of its 10th anniversary, BalancePoint can point to tremendous growth—averaging nearly 70 percent per year—as well as many loyal CIOs eager to spread the word.

“Our financial transparency with the labor pool and with clients reflects our passion for win-win-win relationships,” says principal and founder Scott Lippert. “Ours is a mutual value proposition: maximum ROI, minimum risk and enduring peace of mind.”

Success and Responsibility Go Hand in Hand
From day one, BalancePoint’s founders were committed to achieving responsible growth. They were also determined to lead responsibly. So they built into the firm’s business model a steady stream of charitable support, with gifted amounts scaling along with top-line growth regardless of quarterly performance. Supporting clients’ charitable causes remains an equally high priority.

“Wanting to give back is certainly not unusual,” says principal and founder Jacquie Morgan. “But we did our thinking in the early days, weaving this responsibility into our model so we’re not making decisions on a quarterly basis. It’s just the right thing to do.”

9201 Ward Parkway | Suite 200 | Kansas City, MO 64114 | 816-268-1400 www.balancepointcorp.com

Burns & McDonnell


Employee Owners Build and Share in Engineering Firm’s Success

When a company’s culture is seeded by the self-determination of its employee owners—from mail clerk to CEO, all with a stake and a say in the company’s future—magic happens. Work isn’t a daily grind, but a wholehearted pursuit. The future is boundless in opportunity, its contours shaped by those who are vested in it.

And so it is with Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell, an engineering firm whose 4,000 employee owners design and build engineering marvels and meet some of the world’s most complex challenges. …Read More

FishNet Security


Cyber-Security Threats Are Real FishNet Security Has Your Back, as Your Trusted Cyber-Security Advisor

Hardly a day goes by without news of yet another cyber-security breach – a theft of confidential employee or customer information or a leak of trade or government secrets. And for every breach you read or hear about, there are countless others that go unreported, says Gary Fish, founder and CEO of FishNet Security Inc. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company is the country’s largest “pure-play” integrator of cyber-security products and solutions, focused exclusively on cyber-security. …Read More

Horseman Group


Built on a Tradition of Trust


By some estimates, 80 percent of Americans believe they won’t have enough money when they retire*. Indeed, approximately one-third of retirees currently rely just on Social Security, and depending on which politicians or pundits you believe, even that source of income may not be reliable within a few years.

The Missouri-based Horseman Group strives to help clients achieve their financial goals in retirement, regardless of ever changing political and economic winds. Using complex strategies honed through years of experience, this independent firm …Read More

Argos Partners, LLC


Family Wealth Management for the Generations


No two families are alike. That’s an especially important truth for those who work for families in what Paul Vogel calls the ultra-high-net-worth space.

From taxes to insurance to business operations to estate planning to investments, these clients have unique situations and needs. One specific need is an advisor who sees how all the pieces fit together and offers educated, experience-based guidance and solid, reliable performance in its fiduciary responsibilities. …Read More

Sappington/Shaw/Watkins Wealth Advisory Group


Wealth of Experience Helps Lead to High Level Service and Risk Management
Sappington/Shaw/Watkins Wealth Advisory Group of Wells Fargo Advisors


Clients who place their trust in the Sappington/Shaw/Watkins Wealth Advisory Group of Wells Fargo Advisors gain much more than investment advice—they partner with a cohesive team committed to the ultimate client experience.

Led by Managing Director and Branch Manager Dennis Sappington, a 20-year industry veteran and successful small business owner, the team brings …Read More

Archer Wealth Management


Integrated Family Wealth Management – 
Now and Into the Future

Early in her career and working with a Fortune 500 company, Barbara Archer sought the advice of a financial planner. Soon thereafter, she took over the conversation.
With her business education, she asked probing questions – so probing that the planner advised: You should do this for a living.
Archer Wealth Management just celebrated its 30th year in business with an anniversary party for its clients. Those clients are families, and to a large extent, the firm is a “member” of each. …Read More

Means Financial Group


Retire With Confidence

You’ve been preparing for years, faithfully putting away money in 401(k) plans, IRAs and other investment accounts in anticipation of the time you would no longer have to work. Now comes the hard part: generating a retirement income that will meet your needs and last your lifetime.

“While ensuring a secure retirement may have been easier for previous generations, a comfortable retirement can still be within reach for those who plan carefully and follow a sound strategy,” says financial advisor Jerry D. Means Jr., president and founder of Means Financial Group, a financial planning firm that specializes in  …Read More