Coffee Break: Zac Larson of IntentGen Financial Partners in Naperville
Q: Describe your company.
A: People come to us for trustworthy financial guidance, solutions, and advice. They stay with us because we strive to deliver exceptional service and form authentic relationships. By guiding their financial decisions, we help them better live out their priorities and purpose.
Our company's shared history with Thrivent Financial (Fortune 500 financial services organization, www.thrivent.com) emboldens us to connect faith and finances for good. The story continues by serving our clients and the community in even greater ways as IntentGen Financial Partners. By empowering people to make wise financial decisions, we encourage clients to plan intentionally and live generously in order to maximize impact to their family, community and the world.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: Yes. We need more high-character, highly competent people to serve our expanding client base. We are also exploring acquisitions to help other financial advisors and businesses have more impact by joining our practice. Significant capital investments related to technology are also a big part of our future to continue improving our clients' experience.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: Finding talented, experienced, high-character people to serve and advise our growing client base.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: I see two trends and they are the following:
1) Fee-only advisors. An interesting concept, and a marketing trend, but the true value is yet to be determined. We believe people deserve objective, trustworthy advice and we seek to provide that through multiple channels, including fee-for-advice relationships. That being said, advice without implementation is worthless, so we not only provide advice but also can help them implement their plan. Transparency is key, so we help people understand what they're paying and why, so they're empowered to make informed decisions on their plan.
2) Robo-advising. We believe strongly in efficiencies and in minimizing costs and fees to clients whenever possible. We embrace and utilize a number of options that align with this trend and we also believe that there's more to a strong financial plan than just the bottom line. People crave relationships and want advice. It's hard to get that from an algorithm so we attempt to create a strong balance between efficiencies and relationships.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?
A: Be intentional with your time to align your schedule and your purpose.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: To have patience and persistence.
Q: From a business outlook, who do you look up to?
A: My parents, Ginger Anderson-Larson and Keith Larson, who taught me the importance and joy of living generously and serving others.
My father-in-law, Mark Bawden, who grew a great company while balancing family, career, and serving the community.
My friend, pastor, and business coach, Glen Wagner, who skillfully weaves together the importance of relationships, capitalism, faith, and spirituality into all he does.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: That faith and finances can go together.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I coach basketball teams for my four boys, serve in multiple roles at church, and golf, scuba dive, ski, and ride bike.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: I have a Bible App on my phone. I try to make it the first and last app I open each day.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: No time for that. When my head hits the pillow, I'm out. I sleep well ... for short periods!
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: I would be teaching.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: I ran a lawn mowing business from ages 10 to 22.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?
A: Wrigley Field ... or, maybe rename Augusta National.
Q: What is one funny thing that has happened to you in your career?
A: Several years ago, I was told by some people in their 60s that I was too young to manage their finances. I went home happily to play with my kids, and gave thanks that this was a problem I could eventually fix!
Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)
A: @GShepNaperville -- Good Shepherd Church -- positive/encouraging
@Cubs -- It's fun to follow an organization built on hope and optimism, and that also stayed patient and persistent on the way to greatness.
Founding Partner, Wealth AdvisorIntentGen Financial Partners 1460 Bond St., Suite 120, Naperville, IL 60540Industry: Financial Planning
Assets Under Management: Approximately $450 million
Number of employees: 8
Website: www.thrivent.com/fr/zachary.larson Age: 39
Family information: Married to wife, Kristin, for 15 years. Four boys ages 13, 11, 9, 7 (Noah, Alex, Charlie, and Logan)
Hometown: Davenport, Iowa
Current residence: Naperville