Stearns Financial Group Recognized by Citywire RIA Magazine as a 'Future 50' Financial Advisory Firm

Stearns Financial Group Recognized by Citywire RIA Magazine as a 'Future 50' Financial Advisory Firm

North Carolina Fee-Only Wealth Management Firm Named to Citywire's Future 50 List

​​​Stearns Financial Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor based in Greensboro and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was named to Citywire’s 2019 inaugural list of RIA Future 50. At a special gathering in Austin earlier this month, Citywire recognized 50 firms that best represent its vision of the future of the industry.

According to the Citywire website, “The RIA Future 50 firms represent a group of finance professionals who are collectively creating this new investment landscape. They have their own unique story to tell, are driven to succeed on their own terms and, most importantly, are in charge of their own investment decisions.”

There are many firms out there who are putting lipstick on this pig, but through our women's platform - conceived of and managed by our women advisors - we believe we are giving women what they want - an offering that meets their needs, delivered in a holistic way.

Dennis Stearns, Founder and President, Stearns Financial Group

Citywire measured Stearns Financial Group’s independence, how they manage their own investment practice; what percentage of their income is fee-based; how inclusive, diverse and sustainably-minded they are (including sustainability programs and diversity initiatives; processes in place for attracting and maintaining talent; succession planning; staff credentials); how much they have grown as a business in recent years; firm service offerings and capabilities; client education and charitable work.

“There is no question that the millennial generation is making an impact on the advisory services industry,” said founder and President Dennis Stearns. “They are digitally savvy, more socially conscious and often prefer to do their investing themselves. But a one-size-fits-all model isn’t going to work in this new era. Similarly, we believe that women, who currently control somewhere between 51 to 60 percent of the nation’s wealth, are demanding much more than the traditional advisory experience. There are many firms out there who are putting lipstick on this pig, but through our women’s platform – conceived of and managed by our women advisors – we believe we are giving women what they want – an offering that meets their needs, delivered in a holistic way. We are honored to be recognized among the firms that are tackling these challenges and striving to create a different client experience.”

OBJECTIVE AND METHODOLOGY OF AWARD

  • The objective of the RIA Future 50 award is to highlight the leaders of a competitive and growing industry.
  • Unlike other industry awards, the award didn’t target the biggest firms by assets or profit growth in recent years. 
  • Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) were invited to fill out a survey asking about their firms’ growth trajectory, degree of independence, what percentage of their income is fee-based, as well as how inclusive, diverse and sustainably-minded they are.
  • For firms to qualify, they must be registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an RIA with between $250 million and $2 billion in assets under management at the end of 2018. 

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

According to the Citywire website, “Future 50 RIAs are rethinking what the advisor-client relationship should look like and promoting company cultures that reflect the diversity of life experience that their clients have.”   

“We as a firm decided that in order to meet the unique planning needs from a growing number of younger professionals with high earning potential, we needed to hire our next generation of advisors,” explained Stearns. “By successfully recruiting a team of insightful millennials, we are now able to deliver services that are more comprehensive than a robo-advisor but do not require the high minimums expected from a traditional wealth management firm. This has set us on an exciting new trajectory for growth.”

Stearns is also responding to increasing demand for sustainable investments from retail investors. The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement has exploded in recent years, led primarily by the institutional investor. The objective of Stearns’ offering is to make comprehensive ESG investing available to individuals who want to align their values with their investment dollars.

While Stearns Financial Group has long worked with successful business owners, high net worth individuals, women in transition and families interested in multi-generational planning, the firm is actively embracing the next generation of leaders within the firm as well as the next generation of clients via their Emerging Affluent service model. Read the article "$1.4bn RIA preps millennial-focused planning" for a more detailed narrative.

ABOUT STEARNS FINANCIAL GROUP

Stearns Financial Group is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm with offices in Chapel Hill and Greensboro, North Carolina. Firm leaders have authored several books and are often quoted in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Kiplinger Finance, Forbes, Barron’s, the Financial Planning magazine and the Journal of Financial Planning. Visit www.StearnsFinancial.com to learn more.

ABOUT CITYWIRE

Citywire provides impartial financial and business news, data and research for professional investors and advisers around the world. Citywire publishes news, analysis and unique fund manager performance information that helps its readers make the best decisions about where to place their clients’ money. More info here: www.citywireusa.com. To learn more about Citywire’s journalistic coverage for RIAs, visit https://citywireusa.com/registered-investment-advisor/.

The Future 50 list is not indicative of future performance. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients. Individual account experience may vary from other client accounts. The Future 50 is an independent survey produced by Citywire to recognize 50 of the RIA firms that best represent Citywire’s vision of the future of the industry. The firms are measured in terms of their degree of independent ownership; AUM growth; percentage of fee-based business; approaches to sustainability, including green and diversity initiatives; processes in place for attracting and maintaining talent; succession plan; staff credentials; investment offerings and capabilities; client education and charitable work; and firm service offerings. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to Citywire in exchange for inclusion in the Citywire Future 50. SFG-19-118.  

Media Contact:        
Karen Embry​
Impact Communications
913-649-5009
KarenEmbry@ImpactCommunications.org

Source: Stearns Financial Group

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