The American Legislative Exchange Council recently released a report comparing state economies’ Gross Domestic Product, population and job growth. Where did Arizona rank? That would be No. 1. Couple that with the U.S. Census Bureau’s findings that Arizona is the second fastest-growing state in the nation by population, and it is clear that State 48 continues to be among the top places to live and work in the nation.

However, with growth comes competition.

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Arizona is no longer a sleeping giant. The secret is out, and as such, businesses need to be smarter than ever as it relates to making a name for themselves. Firms across the financial sector — from wealth management to audit and assurance — understand this all too well. Even nonprofits understand it in the increasingly competitive world of giving. Here is a look at how both financially focused firms and even one nonprofit have set themselves apart in this marketplace, finding a niche that allows them to continue to scale and grow:

Wilde Wealth Management Group

Since its first day in business in 2003, Wilde Wealth Management Group has focused on providing comprehensive retirement, investment, real estate, insurance, legal and tax planning services all under one roof. The comprehensive model has helped the business grow from just Trevor Wilde and his father, Bill, to one of the largest firms in the Southwest. Today, they have offices in Tempe, Tucson, Payson, Glendale, and Sedona in addition to a 12,000-square-foot headquarter office in Scottsdale and even offices in Indiana and San Luis Obispo. The business has grown exponentially by bringing on strategic affiliates, boutique and like-minded finance teams seeking their comprehensive model and partnership. Affiliates across the Southwest to date include In Touch Wealth Advisors, Huish Wealth Management, Rizzo Financial Group and Self Wealth Management in Scottsdale; JRS Wealth Management and Hallmark Financial in Tucson; Mosaic Financial Associates in Tempe and Premier Wealth Management Group in Albuquerque.

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Mosaic Financial Associates

Mosaic Financial Associates may be based in Tempe, but between its three differentiators, they are a true national firm. First, they specialize in collaborative and highly strategic financial plans for individuals and medical professionals across the country, so much so that they also helm Orthopaedist Advisory Group, an extension of Mosaic that exclusively caters to orthopedic surgeons across the country. In addition to this, Mosaic has built both its client base and reputation through publishing. President Anthony C. Williams recently released “A Clean Bill of Wealth: The Essential Categories of Financial Wellness.” The must-have guide to financial planning for physicians, available on Amazon now, is just one of the many books on planning topics Williams – in partnership with partner Marcus Ortega – has authored, each of which has resulted in dozens of national speaking engagements and keynote opportunities, their final point of differentiation.

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345 Wealth Management

Though founded earlier this year, 345 Wealth Management is already making its name in the marketplace. Its founders, former long-time Equitable Advisors senior leaders Dillan Micus and Patrick Kearns, are to thank for some of their trajectory. However, one of the service lines is gaining notice: Asset Location Planning (ALP). In its simplest terms, ALP is designed to help clients to pay less taxes so they can do more of what they love. Essentially, it is the art and science of investing in different tax locations, which aims to reduce clients’ tax liabilities as they accumulate, distribute and transfer their assets. Their ability to potentially reduce the effective rate clients pay on all their assets when it is time to take distributions and reduce the taxes clients pay on all assets in both the short- and long-term is making such a splash that 345 is already working with other broker dealers to help scale the concept nationwide over the next year.  Outside of this, Micus sets the business apart by offering employees FRESH, a proprietary course on examining one’s finances, relationships, education, spirituality, and health to help them live a better life in all areas, versus just as it relates to bank balances.

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Next Chapter Advisory Group

Next Chapter Advisory Group differentiates itself by offering a team approach to financial planning, offering clients a broader scope of expertise than they would likely find in any one person. Clients are our main priority, which is why we work to understand your unique circumstances and ultimately create a distinctive plan that provides a roadmap for your financial journey. In 2018, Justin L. Cairns formed Next Chapter Advisory Group, which focuses on partnering with private clients and business owners to manage portfolios and develop custom financial strategies that are designed to help them achieve their personal financial goals in the most efficient manner.  Client goals focus on retirement, trust portfolio management and charitable giving. “Solely focusing on what is in the client’s best interests and not being pressured by any proprietary investment products or services allows me to uphold my fiduciary principles I bestow when working with my clients” Cairns says. The approach and disciplined process Cairns has implemented with his clients helps to minimize emotions that can derail clients from achieving their goals. Cairns’ process has three distinct steps: Discovery, design and deploy. “My goal is to instill confidence that the custom plans we create will allow clients to achieve the financial outcomes they desire,” he says.

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Audit, advisory and tax firms face similar challenges in that they work to make a name for themselves in the marketplace and work to scale over time. When REDW opened its Phoenix office in 2011, they made it a point to actively pursue growth opportunities through M&A and talent acquisition. Within its first 18 months, the company finalized one of the most successful CPA mergers in the Phoenix market when REDW LLC, Abalos & Associates PLLC, and Miller, Allen & Co., P.C. joined together under the REDW brand on Nov. 1, 2012. Ever a proactive firm, REDW took its learning curve from this partnership and turned it into a market strength. Using its firm as a research and development incubator to innovate and guide, REDW has developed a thriving commercial practice to help other businesses grow through strategic merger and acquisitions while continuing to use the strategy themselves, acquiring Phoenician Wealth Management LLC, CPA Global Tax and Accounting, Mack & Rohwedder, P.C., Edelman Company, James C. Sell, P.C., Abalos & Associates PLLC, and Miller, Allen & Co., P.C. within the Arizona market over the past 10 years.

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Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix

Even nonprofits, especially as it relates to supporting their good works through financial means, must set themselves apart in the marketplace. The Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix’s Vice President of Philanthropy & Community Engagement Gail Baer offers several strategies, but her expertise in creating and personalizing Donor Advised Funds (DAF) especially stands out. A DAF is a charitable account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable and non-profit organizations. To open a Donor Advised Fund, individuals first need to select a sponsoring organization to manage the account. Community foundations or financial services firms manage the portfolio of the assets to grow the fund. Once opened, individuals can make decisions on where to grant funds for charitable contributions. By opening a Donor Advised Fund, one can reduce tax burdens after a windfall situation, such as selling a business or experiencing capital gains in the market. There is also a way to design a legacy plan with a DAF, and a DAF may establish a named endowment fund to benefit one of more of the individual’s favorite organizations.

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