A Clear Emphasis: 
Working Only in the Client’s Best Interests

Lawrence J. Lazar, CFM knows the value of reputation. It hit home at a time when scandal began to shake the financial industry.

He realized that people might view his approach to financial advice as the same as that of his employer – even though he had always worked in his clients’ best interests. “The company I work for has really nothing to do with the way I conduct my business,” says Lazar. “My loyalty has always been to the client. My 100 percent commitment is to do what’s best for the client.”

To keep that commitment clear, he …Read More

Goodworth Kitchie & Associates, LLC


Financial Strategies for Today and Tomorrow

Planning for retirement has never been easy, but it is especially challenging in today’s uncertain economic climate. Increasingly, affluent individuals are finding themselves a popular target 
of politicians demanding higher taxes, leaving many to wonder about the safest ways to invest and protect their money.

From managed asset plans to investment portfolios, estate plans, 401(k) plans, individual stocks and much more, nobody knows more about seizing opportunities and avoiding potential pitfalls than Goodworth Kitchie & Associates. …Read More

Barry L. Finkelstein, New York Life


Helping Clients Prepare for Life’s Inevitable Changes With Insight and Compassion
Barry L. Finkelstein, Ph.D., MSFS, CFP®, CLU®
New York Life


It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know that changes and challenges are an inevitable part of every life.

But Barry Finkelstein believes his advanced studies and extensive reading in literature, philosophy and religion ­— along with 35 years in the insurance and financial services business — have given him unique insights into the human condition and deep compassion for his clients and their concerns. …Read More

OnPath Financial, LLC


Financial Planning Wisdom in Real Time

Millions of people suffered devastating financial losses during the market meltdown of 2008-2009. But for some investors, the crash turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to them. “For some of our clients, it was the best buying opportunity we’ll probably see in a long time,” says 
Daniel S. Tresemer, CFP®, co-founder and managing partner of OnPath Financial, LLC, in St. Charles, Ill.

Tresemer credits OnPath’s sophisticated financial planning and wealth management software, WealthVision, which updates each …Read More

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

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

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