Banking & Finance

One financial industry veteran believes collaborative teams are better

August 12, 2019
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ARGI FInancial Group Grand Rapids team members
Left to right: Shari K. Hooper, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Bill Walker and Ray Llewellyn, CFP, CFA. Courtesy ARGI Financial Group

For consumers, the world of wealth management can be daunting. Financial advising, financial planning, wealth management, investment management, financial wellness, strategic wealth strategy, asset management — the industry jargon can seem endless.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Over the last 30 years, Bill Walker has seen many of these takes on financial services. Throughout his career, Walker has been in roles as an investment adviser, portfolio manager, and even president and CEO. He’s witnessed advisers coming and going in the industry, but he’s noticed a trend in advisers who he believes are the most successful.  

His belief is that wealth management — or whatever you call it — should have one focus: clients.

“My philosophy over the years has been that providing an exceptional client service experience, that focuses on the individual and anticipates their needs, will lead to a deeper, long-lasting client relationship,” Walker said.

This idea of putting clients first isn’t anything new, but its simplicity can be hard to find.

“After spending the last two years as a consultant to individual investors and financial advisory firms, I came across a firm that shared my same belief in providing all-inclusive financial advice with a client-centered mindset — and ARGI was just that,” he said.

In 1995, ARGI was founded with one employee and a small office in Louisville, Kentucky*. Today, the firm has grown to nine regional locations, including here in Grand Rapids. The firm manages more than $2 billion in assets through ARGI Investment Services LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Throughout it all, ARGI has embraced a holistic approach to wealth management with one central mission: improve lives with every relationship.

Early on, the leaders of the firm embraced the benefits working as a collective team to serve client needs.

“We realized that the more you work as a team, the better service you can deliver,” said Joe Reeves, CEO of ARGI. “In many large financial firms, every adviser is in it for themselves. At ARGI, we’ve encouraged a collaborative environment that allows advisers to embrace and develop their individual areas of expertise. This approach provides clients with specialists in all areas of financial planning: retirement planning; investment management; tax, estate and legal planning; risk management; and even business consulting. We firmly believe in the old saying that two heads are better than one — especially for the client.”

Walker will serve as a senior financial advisor at the Grand Rapids office. He is joined by Shari Hooper and Ray Llewellyn, CFA, CFP.

“With Ray and Shari by my side, I believe we have a great team to be a resource for the people of Grand Rapids and beyond,” Walker said. “Together, we hope to live out ARGI’s mission and improve the lives of our clients, our co-workers and our community here in West Michigan.”

Respective services provided by ARGI Investment Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser, ARGI CPAs & Advisors, PLLC, SCA CPAs & Advisors, PLLC, ARGI Business Services, LLC, and Advisor Insurance Solutions. All are affiliates of ARGI Financial Group. *ARGI was established in 1995. In 2001, it was renamed Advisor’s Resource Group, Inc. In 2003, we began using the name ARGI Financial Group, which became the official name in November, 2005. In January 2010, ARGI Investment Services LLC officially became a SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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