The Keener Financial Planning firm ownership team has grown again this year. Samuel Pond, CFP®, became an owner effective January 1. He joins Kelli Hinton, Rachel Songer, and me. I now am the 97% owner and Rachel, Kelli and Samuel each hold 1%.
Why we are expanding firm ownership
We want the firm to be around for the long-term – far longer than any one of our individual careers. When clients choose to work with our firm, one of the key goals for many of them is planning for a secure retirement. This doesn’t just mean getting to retirement; it means managing all of the distribution, tax, investment, housing, and healthcare-cost-related planning that comes during retirement. To support that goal, we want to have a diverse age range of owners to ensure that the firm continues to thrive and client service is uninterrupted even when one or more of us is ready to retire.
We want to retain what makes us special. As you may know, we are quite unusual in the financial services industry. In addition to being fee-only (which is still surprisingly unusual), offering our services on an as-needed basis is truly rare. As a financial planning firm ownership group, we are 100% committed to maintaining our accessibility by offering services on an as-needed or ongoing basis, depending on the needs and desires of our clients.
We have observed other firms in the industry sell out to larger “asset gathering” firms as they grow or when the founder is ready to retire. We don’t want to do that because what makes us special would likely be lost. By broadening our ownership base now, we can preserve and deepen our commitment to our core values of accessibility, best interest of the client, respect, competence, work-life balance, and professionalism.
We want to attract and retain the best employees. Many financial planners join the industry because of the entrepreneurial opportunities. By offering our team members the chance to become owners of the firm, we strengthen the caliber of our team and the quality of our advice and service.
Samuel joined Keener Financial Planning in 2020. He was the first person we ever hired without an in-person interview because of COVID. In the brief time Samuel has been with Keener, he learned our planning style and became a lead planner. He also has led our internship program for 2 summers, and has participated in multiple pro bono planning opportunities through the Financial Planning Association. As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Samuel says one of the most satisfying things about working at Keener is getting to help people with decisions well beyond their investments – like deciding how much home to buy, whether to change jobs, and other big life decisions. Samuel shares about this passion in this 2021 video.
We’re delighted to have Samuel on the ownership team. To get to know more about him and our other owners, visit the Meet Our Team page.