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All Contents © 2019The Kiplinger Washington Editors
Amid the economic crisis of 2008/2009, the timing seemed less than ideal as financial advisors Khris
Bryan and Phil Pickle prepared to leave their highly successful practices with mega-sized organizations to pioneer a new concept in financial services.
Bryan developed a desire to help people during his nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy, where he attended 29 military funerals, a pallbearer in most of them. “I never had much interest in finances when I was young, but when I saw veteran families struggle financially after the death of a loved one, I was driven to find a way to help,” says Bryan. Fortunately, he met a Master Chief who had become a multimillionaire on an enlisted man’s salary. He mentored Bryan who exited active duty and became a notable producer with one of America’s top insurance and retirement planning companies.
Pickle, on the other hand, was drawn to financial services from an early age. His first job out of college was with a Fortune 500 insurance company. Very soon, he was the top producer in his division and held that distinction throughout his tenure with the company. He rose through the ranks to management positions. While he excelled in managerial roles, he found he missed being in the field personally helping clients.
When the “too big to fail” financial institutions were in crisis in 2008, the two friends recognized the need for a better way to deliver insurance and retirement planning…a way that emphasized service, not profit for stockholders. They boldly set up their new agency, Anchor Financial Group.
Bryan and Pickle’s big idea went against “traditional” business models. First, they aligned with an independent broker-dealer, giving clients access to the entire universe of investment opportunities and custom solutions from the top-rated companies. Anchor is free to make recommendations based solely on each client’s best interest, without being accountable to sales quotas.
“This gives us the luxury of carefully choosing our clients,” says Pickle. “Our ideal clients are not those with the largest portfolios. We are looking for people and groups for whom we can make a significant difference.”
Second, they re-wrote the rule book by developing a multidisciplinary professional network – the only such network in Oklahoma. “Our growth has come largely from investors who know they need a wide range of premier investment options and unbiased financial advisory and planning solutions, yet they want simplicity. They find they don’t need to have a multitude of advisors to enjoy the advantages of asset diversification,” says Bryan.
The network includes financial advisors, wealth managers, estate planners, insurance professionals, CPAs and others. Anchor has agreements with 25 different attorneys with a broad range of legal topics…attorneys who represent the clients, not Anchor. The in-house team also includes one of only a few Certified Veteran Coordinators. Anchor’s veteran coordinator works pro bono to help veterans access benefits such as VA Aid & Attendance.
“This coordinated approach allows us to craft customized strategies for each individual or group, with a special emphasis on reliable, stable retirement income and asset preservation,” adds Pickle. “For example, the use of carefully worded and properly selected trust instruments legally protects assets that would otherwise have to be spent on long-term care expenses. We look at every avenue to make sure the legacy meant for your children or favorite philanthropies aren’t lost.
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