Coffee Break: John E. Chapman

John E. Chapman

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Strategist

Clearwater Capital Partners

2800 W. Higgins Road, Suite 1025 Hoffman Estates, IL

(847) 841-8650

Industry: Wealth Management / Registered Investment Adviser

Annual revenue: $7,500,000

Number of employees: 22

Age: 60

Family information: Married, four adult children, one very spoiled Chiweenie.

Hometown: Palatine

Q: Describe your company.

A: Founded over 17 years ago, Clearwater Capital Partners is a client-focused, fiercely independent wealth advisory firm. We serve successful individuals and families, currently managing about $1 billion in client assets across 37 states. Our clients are entrepreneurs, doctors, senior level professionals and serious investors from all walks of life. Our mission is to deliver life-changing outcomes to our clients with the utmost discretion.

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 are in the middle of a meaningful growth initiative. Over the past several years we have made significant investments to our technology stack and in every functional area of our operating model. Attracting talented professionals is now our top priority and we are actively pursuing conversations with like-minded, culturally compatible advisers.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: Successfully managing accelerating growth, as we continue to scale our organization.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Industry trends come and go on Wall Street. Our unwavering focus is on our clients and exceeding their growing expectations. Our industry is one in which the pace of change has never been faster and will never again be this slow. Delivering sophisticated advice that empowers our clients to live their lives with confidence is the only trend that matters to Clearwater Capital.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: Commit yourself to doing the right things, with the right people, for the right reasons. Embrace lifelong learning for yourself and your team. Personal integrity and intellectual development must be approached intentionally. Align yourself with others who share an unambiguous commitment to personal character and competency.

Clearwater Capital regards character and competence as our two non-negotiables. One without the other is powerless when it comes to achieving excellence.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: What got us here won't get us there. We must never rest on past achievements and always embrace the innovation that is happening all around us.

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: Arthur Laffer, PhD. He was the first person to hold the title of Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget and was a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board. He is a creative and independent thinker who has been entirely relevant over his ongoing career, which now spans over 50 years.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: Every single employee of Clearwater Capital has an equity interest in the firm. We are a single collaborative team and ownership fosters a very special level of commitment and responsibility across our entire organization.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: We founded our firm just before the Global Financial Crisis, which sent the country into the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. It turned out that starting a wealth management firm during a meltdown of the global financial system was less than ideal. The lessons that came our way involved our commitment to a long-term vision and working alongside people who simply were never going to give up. We learned that it is true how people say, "adversity does not build character, it reveals it."

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy reading, hanging out with my dog Sophie, and family time at our rustic cabin in the North Woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell's books, and this particular work resonates on so many levels. I remember the Sunday school lessons that position David in this story as the woeful underdog who did not stand a chance against the indomitable Goliath. The reality, as explained so eloquently by Gladwell, was just the opposite. David was fast, nimble and embraced the new way of doing things. He had all the advantages.

We at Clearwater Capital see our firm as a David in a world of Goliaths. Our size, independence and commitment to innovation give us the advantages we need to compete quite effectively with the many Goliaths of our industry.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: My love for ideation; I enjoy developing new ideas and solving problems - especially when it comes to elevating our client experiences. Sometimes I get carried away and end up sacrificing a full night of sleep.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: Oh, so many things come to mind. I have often wished I could live many lives in which I would be an author, a professor or even an astronaut. Several years ago I had the good fortune of conducting a live interview of astronaut Scott Altman and was truly inspired by his stories and adventures. It was a fascinating evening, and the video is available on our website for any of your readers who may also have dreamed of venturing into space.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: Washing windows at a hair salon with the impressive salary of $3 a week.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Naming rights for a sports venue wouldn't really fit our firm. Our firm's name appearing in the community is more commonly associated with the Clearwater Capital Foundation and our support of women and girls, veterans and people in need. If our firm's name were to appear anywhere, I would hope it be in celebration of our serving and empowering others.

Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)

A: Dr. Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist, and associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has an intriguing podcast discussing optimizing personal performance, the human brain and the brain's connection with every part of our body, our behavior and health.

Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust. His wisdom and insight provide a refreshing alternative in a world consumed by conventional thinking.

John E. Chapman

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Strategist

Clearwater Capital Partners

2800 W. Higgins Road, Suite 1025 Hoffman Estates, IL

(847) 841-8650

Industry: Wealth Management / Registered Investment Advisor

Annual revenue: $7,500,000

Number of employees: 22

Age: 60

Family information: Married, four adult children, one very spoiled Chiweenie

Hometown: Palatine

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