In the early 1980s, when Mike and Lon started in the financial services industry, the basic business model for a Financial Advisor (more commonly known as a Broker) was to sell an investment product and earn a commission. The idea of servicing a client mostly revolved around seeking additional opportunities for Brokers to make more sales, and, of course, earn more commissions.
Mike and Lon founded GBB in 1987 with a different vision. They wanted to put the clients’ interests first and build up as much expertise in the firm as they could. This would allow them to truly be Sacramento Financial Advisors to clients at a time when that idea was more a concept than a business model.
There were a few basic principles they worked by: charge a clearly disclosed fee, operate without conflicts of interest, invest money prudently, and provide competent ongoing advice to their clients. They started a fee-based independent advisory practice in 1993, one of the first in the region, operating under the promise to work in “Your Best Interest. Always.”
It's all built on a foundation of hiring great people and building trust in the community every day. GBB has grown from just three advisors starting out more than 32 years ago to more than 35 co-workers advising more than $2.9 billion of our clients’ savings today.
HOW OUR TEAM IS COMPENSATED
We believe our financial advisors, management, and support staff should have financial incentives that align with the interests of the clients and the firm’s long-term well-being.
Every employee earns a competitive base salary and generous benefits for performing their job function. All team members can earn a bonus each year, based on their role and delivery of individual objectives that advance the firm. Our advisors earn a percentage of the fee generated by his or her service of each client, providing the advisor incentive to retain and grow the relationship. Because we’re primarily fee-based, we earn more only if your assets grow. If they lose value, our fee decreases.
When financial planning reveals a need, we will offer life, disability, and long-term care insurance products to clients. We will always disclose the fact that we’re discussing a commission bearing product and discuss alternatives before making a recommendation. We believe that, if we decide together to proceed, we can more effectively seek out cost effective options that meet client needs than an independent insurance broker who does not have a fiduciary relationship with the client.
Eighty percent of GBB’s ownership is with active employees of the organization, and the firm is 100% locally owned. We offer an opportunity to earn ownership to any co-worker who is able to establish a consistent track record of strong job performance, of creating and deepening key client relationships or of adding value above and beyond expectations in a leadership position, and has established him or herself as a flagbearer of our culture.
How We Handle
Our value rests on thoughtful investment management, independent fiduciary consulting, and on promoting informed participant engagement with their plans to make good saving and investing decisions.
Serving our retirement plan clients requires deep knowledge of ERISA law, the retirement plan regulatory and service provider landscape, skill in investment management as a fiduciary, and the ability to provide participant advice at a personal level. Our growing Retirement Plan Management team forms a core part of our business and now serves over 120 participant directed corporate retirement plans and nearly $1.0 billion in assets.
HOW DO WE CREATE
VALUE FOR CLIENTS?
We believe our financial advisors, management, and support staff should have financial incentives that align with the interests of the clients and the firm’s long-term well-being. We recognize that other firms offer many of the same services, and we believe the quality of our people, the commitment to expertise and continual improvement, and our team approach sets us apart.
We care about our clients and are passionate about getting to know them. We believe knowing our clients deeply is essential to giving them the right financial advice. Many of our client relationships have lasted for decades and our client retention rate is better than 98.25%.
Financial planning is the process we use to help our clients clarify their priorities and put our expertise to work in their lives. With a clear, living financial plan, clients always know where they stand and where they’re headed.
We believe that putting in the work to achieve investment expertise and to build a comprehensive view of the world and markets helps us make the right investment management decisions for our clients. We know our clients and their investment needs, so we don’t outsource the thinking on asset allocation and investment management selection to others.
Quality People, Team Approach, and Expertise - Serving the interests of individual clients requires quality human beings with skill in investment management, financial planning, insurance, estate planning, and tax. We have worked hard on our hiring processes to find and attract the best quality people and most capable servants in the market. We build our team of broadly technically proficient financial advisors, and most also have an area of focused specialty. Our advisors are incentivized to be leaders in their specialty area and to work in collaboration with other advisors to serve the needs of our clients.
THE FUTURE OF GBB
The opportunity for GBB to serve clients is greater than it ever has been. We have established a culture and team which we believe set us apart. We are preparing for the next chapter in the firm’s history. Now, shaped by forces like technology and regulatory complexity, financial advising is changing in more rapidly than ever, but the need for personalized advice delivered inside a trusting relationship has not.
The future of GBB is about evolving to the forefront in client experience, access, transparency, risk management, and value offered for fees charged. We are also committed to growth. We have been investing in expanding the ranks of our advisor and supporting talent, opening new offices to take advantage of opportunities in Northern California and to be closer to our clients, and as always, striving relentlessly to improve our firm and ourselves.