Stories of the Trusted Advisor

Read on for stories of the amazing advisors that work with Bridge. We’ll explore what made them want to become advisors, how they went about founding their firms, how they serve their clients in new and unique ways.

“Everyone deserves financial security” – How One Advisor Took an Uncommon Path to Founding and Growing Their Firm for Overlooked Clients

Leighann’s path to becoming a financial advisor was far from typical. As an advisor, Leighann found fulfillment helping clients secure a life she had faced uncertainty in achieving for herself.

“What makes me unique and helps me connect with my clients is my own story of how I grew up and where I came from. Because I know the fear and stress of financial insecurity, I can empathize with people who come from similar backgrounds.”

Leighann’s Showcase Highlights

Through her unique, thoughtful approach and a genuine care with clients, Leighann has grown her firm from only a couple clients to over 35 clients and $13MM AUM single-handedly with no support staff. 

Unique background allows for compassionate advising

Leighann grew up raised by a strong single mother challenged by financial uncertainty. Leighann recalls having no idea if she would ever be able to make something of herself. It would ultimately be those fears and challenges she faced as a child that inspired her to enter a career in financial planning.

Clear focus on niche client segment

When growing her own firm Leighann focused on serving her ideal client. Leighann works predominately with LGBTQ folks, many of whom are in the creative or entertainment industries. 

Unconventional approach to financial planning

Leighann’s unique approach focuses on people first, and money second. In her process, Leighann spends the first three meetings with clients not talking about money at all.

Tech-Focused Firm Scales With Digitally-Enabled Planning Focus

As the COVID pandemic unfolded earlier this year many advisory firms like other businesses were forced to move their operations remote either in part or in full. For firms that were unprepared, this was an unplanned, enormous undertaking. However, for Foothills Financial Planning (FFP), because they have always had such a tight focus on technology and streamlined operations, transitioning to the new virtual advising environment was second-nature to them.

“One of the [value add] things for us, especially this year, has been just being somebody to listen to what’s going on in the client’s life. And a lot of being an advisor is just that. Sometimes the client just wants somebody to walk them through significant decisions or be an extra ear for them when times are uncertain.” -Tim Carpenter, Foothills Financial Planning

Foothills Financial Planning’s Showcase Highlights

With a strong client base and operations running smoothly, FFP is positioned for continued scaling.

Clear ideal client persona

FFP has refined their persona of tech professionals, specifically individuals in the C-Suite of growing tech organizations.

Strong tech-first firm focus

FFP has always focused on building a tech-first firm. They had a tight focus on ensuring all their client onboarding and service processes were modern, streamlined, and able to be done virtually.

Hands-on approach to client management

FFP takes the time to understand each client’s specific situation and build a unique financial plan around that. 

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: Growing a Client-Centric RIA with a Culture of Service, Tenacity, and Trust

I came out of the broker-dealer world with a passion for serving clients and putting their best interest first. Lots of lip service is given in the BD world to ‘client -centered service,’ yet at the end of the day brokers serve brokers and the firms they work for. I was seeking a different feel, and I wanted an environment where individual advisors were empowered by ‘true’ independence to always do what’s best for clients.

– Daren, Sonoma Wealth Advisors


Daren’s Showcase Highlights

Daren founded Sonoma Wealth Advisors with the goal of developing a firm to serve clients’ best interest through independence, and to serve other advisors who wished to do the same. 

Empowered Advisors take ownership of their brand

Daren knows that advisors do their best work when they’re empowered to serve their ideal clients. At Sonoma, advisors have total ownership over their unique advisor brand and identity.

Thriving culture embodies what Sonoma stands for

The advisors at Sonoma are truly passionate about taking care of their clients, and have a deep sense of purpose and meaning through the work they do. On top of this, the firm in general has excellent communication with total transparency encouraged from the top down.

Expertise in helping exceptional advisors breakaway

Daren has helped dozens of successful advisors breakaway and is always seeking advisors that want to join a thriving, passionate group that’s intelligently leveraging economies of scale to offer an exceptional client experience.

How One Advisor Found His Calling to Help Others and Built a $100M AUM RIA Along the Way

Jesse founded his firm, Fortune 45, in order to help people. He prides himself on doing things the right way, as his firm has done since day one. Jesse has scaled his firm from 5M AUM to 100M AUM in just five years. He credits his firm’s success to their exceptional level of care and service to their clients.

Jesse’s passion for serving clients is unmatched

“People need people who are willing to help them without a hidden agenda. I knew I wanted to take care of people, charge reasonable, clear fees when folks could afford them, do things the right way, and never take commissions from investments. I was going to serve people and their finances the same way I would someone to do so for me.”

“It’s a delicate balance because established advisors often don’t do things the way we do things at Fortune 45. Usually, they come from a sales culture and we’re just not like that. We’re a people-first culture, we’re helpers, and we like things to be that way.”

“Most people need help with their finances, but they don’t know who to call and they think it’s going to cost them a ton of money. Fortune 45 has a solid reputation for offering no-pressure financial advice. This reputation has been all we need for growth.”

Jesse’s Showcase Highlights

Jesse founded Fortune 45 to help people, and through this mission has single-handedly and organically scaled the business to nearly $100M AUM. 


Life-long passion for finance transforms into a hands-on RIA

Since he was a child, Jesse had a strong passion for finance and investments. After becoming his family’s, friends’, and friend-of-friends’ go-to for all topics finance, Jesse finally took the leap and built Fortune 45 from the ground up.


Unique, no-pressure approach to client consultations leads to massive growth

Jesse has always taken a no-pressure approach to consultations with potential clients seeking advice. In his eyes, many people may not be ready yet to work with an advisor, and that’s okay. This approach has given his firm an excellent reputation and lead to rapid organic growth.

An unflappable spirit of excellence permeates all aspects of Fortune 45

Jesse prides himself on having done things the right way at Fortune 45 since day one. Every single advisor that joins Fortune 45 is trained with the same spirit of excellence and dedication to clients that Jesse embodies.

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