A Better Way to Serve Clients: An Interview with Brent Whiddon
What can we accomplish if we are just willing to take the risk? Brent Whiddon, Senior Lead Advisor for OneAscent Wealth has been serving clients in the financial services industry for over 25 years. Through it all, his decisions centered around one question, “How can I serve clients better?”
We interviewed Brent to hear more about his story and how his desire to serve his clients better led him to the OneAscent Wealth team.
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An Introduction to the Industry
Brent’s first introduction to financial services was through his father, who owned an insurance agency that served his community for over 25 years. With business always at the forefront of his career interests, Brent graduated with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia.
After graduating, Brent started as an adjuster before taking over his dad’s business a few years later. He later became a broker-dealer for a well-known financial services firm until he decided it was time to go out on his own.
Serving Clients Better
While Brent loved working with clients and had a great career ahead of him, he believed that some of the options they had to offer at his firm were limited. He strongly believed there was more he could do to serve his clients.
Brent started his own office, Whiddon Wealth Management, in Albany, GA, in 2009. Starting from scratch wasn’t easy, but Brent was determined to do everything he could to maximize the financial benefits of his clients.
Expanding His Business
A few years later, Brent, his wife, and their nine children moved to Columbia, Tennessee. Not only was this the right move for his family, but it allowed Brent to open a second office in his new city. Running the offices in Albany and Columbia proved to be a challenge, but with a great team and well-served clients, Brent was glad to do it.
An Introduction to a Faith-Based Approach
“I actually heard about OneAscent Wealth roughly six months before they connected regarding a partnership. I knew of them through a guy who I went to church with.” Brent had also heard of values-based investing, but the approaches he saw were unimpressive in their performance.
Brent saw how OneAscent Wealth’s model put faith-based values at the forefront, which he valued in his businesses just as much. He also saw how their approach to values-based investing helped clients align their investments with their values without compromising on profit. “There was no question about it. I definitely wanted to get on board.”
Not only did OneAscent Wealth offer investment tools and resources that would help Brent better serve clients, but merging with the current OneAscent team relieved him of some of his back office responsibilities and freed him to focus on growing the client base in Tennessee.
“OneAscent also had a very strong 401K product, which was something many of my clients were interested in. Joining the OneAscent team opened the door for more opportunities, including well-run values-based portfolios.”
Brent also received very positive feedback from his clients about the partnership. They had strong values that were important to them, and they were excited about the opportunity to align these values with their investments.
This was just one more way Brent knew he could serve his clients better!
Across State Lines
Although the OneAscent Wealth offices are hundreds of miles apart, physical distance hasn’t hindered the collaboration and communication from office to office.
Every now and then Brent will have a client or case that poses unique questions. Having advisors both in his office and just a phone call away is great when you need to bounce ideas off of someone!
All the advisors have weekly team meetings, but the offices have an open line of communication frequently used for brainstorming and support.
Solving Problems and Understanding Financial Situations
One of the things Brent loves most about his job is helping people solve financial problems. “Most of our clients have had previous experience with a financial advisor, but they came to us looking for something more. We can help them reach their financial goals, invest tax-efficiently, and align their investments with what matters most to them.”
While you can manage money on your own, working with a OneAscent Wealth advisor is worth so much more. You have somebody there to help you see the whole picture, and will monitor your progress. It adds value to your financial plan. Many experts agree that working with an advisor adds roughly 3% to your annual net return. You don’t need to be an expert in finances, because you have a coach to help you through the process while explaining the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ along the way.
More than a Business
For Brent, and everyone at OneAscent, it’s about more than a business deal. “We love our clients. We have a greater focus on investing in their lives, celebrating the good things, and walking with them through the difficult times. When clients have been in the hospital, we’ve taken them meals. When clients have had to step up and take care of their grandchild, we’ve let them know how great they are.”
Brent is just one of our many advisors who are passionate about what they do and desire to truly serve each client in the best way possible.
If you’re looking for a financial advisor to assist you in retirement planning, investing, or getting started in your financial strategy, contact us today!