With 10% of its clients moving away from Northwest Indiana due to retirement and other life changes, and another 10% of its clients purchasing a second home outside of Northwest Indiana, the Oak Partners wealth advisors are no strangers to maintaining remote client relationships.
Many clients who move away choose to stick with Oak Partners because of the client-advisor relationships they have developed over time.
“When it comes to asset management and financial planning, I think relationship and continuity are absolutely vital,” said Partner and Wealth Advisor Marc Ruiz. “After we have been working with a client for years and years, we come to understand their personal money culture, family, and long-term concerns. It would be difficult for many clients to begin a relationship of this quality and importance in their lives in a new locale.”
Oak Partners’ wealth advisors work in teams to take on anywhere from 500-800 families. With a total of 20% of those clients moving away from the area for at least part of the year, maintaining long-distance client relationships is crucial.
“The process of clients moving away itself is a pretty advanced planning process,” Ruiz said. “It's something that we're good at, and we've been doing it for a long time. We understand the cost, structure, and commitments of having either a second home in another state or moving away, so we're able to give them some really good insight advice and planning on the actual process of them leaving.”
After clients move, the volume of advisor-client interactions does not drop as the team of wealth advisors keeps in touch through phone calls, emails, and Zoom meetings. Ruiz credited video conferencing as an instrumental way of maintaining relationships from a distance and is grateful that more and more clients are growing comfortable with the technology after it became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Video conferencing and other communication technologies also make it possible to take on new clients who live out of the area. The majority of these new remote relationships stem from referrals made by clients who began their relationship with Oak Partners while living in Northwest Indiana that later moved away.
As much as ever-improving communication technologies make it possible for Oak Partners to form and maintain relationships with remote clients, Oak Partners feels that nothing beats face-to-face communication. In light of this emphasis on being physically present, Oak Partners schedules in-person visits with remote clients at least once every two years.
Since Oak Partners’ wealth advisors work in teams to serve clients, they determine who visits based on scheduling, travel flexibility, and how much each advisor enjoys visiting and entertaining clients. Every year, most wealth advisors go on three to five trips, and the wealth advisors who particularly enjoy client visits go on six to eight trips.
Ruiz has personally traveled to Florida, Arizona, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio on client visits, but Florida is his favorite.
“I always enjoy seeing clients in the Naples, Florida area,” he said. “Not only do I have dear friends there, but I also love the environment and the recreation with kayaking, fishing, biking, and boating. The dining and entertainment in Naples is also top notch.”
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. To learn more about Oak Partners and its connections with its clients and community, visit https://www.oakpartners.com/.