Columbia Crest Financial Advisors grows regionally by providing a succession opportunity for other practices
In 2010, financial advisors Richard Reith and Bill Newkirk, as well as office manager Cecile Baggenstos, were given the opportunity to move offices from their hometown of Chehalis, WA, to either Tacoma or Vancouver, WA – each over 50 miles away. When given this option they decided it was time to take control of the team’s future and go independent with WFAFN.
A large component of Columbia Crest’s future was focused around building a team with a culture that could service their current and future clients. With that in mind, in 2014, Reith and Newkirk partnered with Laura Nelson to focus on the growth of their practice as well as expanding the footprint of Columbia Crest Financial Advisors (CCFA) throughout the Pacific Northwest.
2020 was a busy year for Columbia Crest. In the spring, Bill Newkirk retired, selling his portion of the business to Reith and Nelson. In October, CCFA merged with Trout Wealth Management (TWM) to aid in the retirement of WFAFN owner Art Trout. This acquisition expanded CCFA’s footprint in the Pacific Northwest by adding a location in Roseburg, OR. Both practices were able to use succession planning tools and strategies drawn from WFAFN’s Finishing Well program to facilitate a seamless transition into retirement knowing Art’s clients and staff would be in good hands.
As Columbia Crest grows, the importance of working as a team stays central to the culture of the practice. The team works from the idea that there is no competition for revenue, only collaboration. When one person takes time off, the others take over their duties without concern. The clients know they can come and talk to one advisor or even all of them if they so choose.
Reith and Nelson know growth is imminent and have built capacity into their team by adding Silas Newkirk as a financial advisor. With many advisors nearing retirement and looking for succession plans, Reith and Nelson continue using the Finishing Well program to provide these advisors with an option to keep their clients’ investments in good hands. Nelson states “By building capacity now, we are able to assist advisors in retiring through succession planning and also add advisors to our team that subscribe to our unique culture at Columbia Crest.”
“WFAFN has been there to assist us every step of the way,” Reith said. “They helped us transition over as two separate WFAFN licensees, set up our business and assisted Bill in becoming the practice manager. They were also there when we combined the practices into one partnership a year later, then facilitated our education and ongoing transition to advisory, helped us bring on a new practice partner (Laura) and helped us adjust to me taking over as manager and licensee.”
“We wouldn’t have been able to create our practice in the way that we have if we would have gone with another firm,” Reith said. “WFAFN supports our needs with people who can solve any problem that we throw at them. The compliance controls and easy access to education make managing a practice that much less of a burden.”
“WFAFN gives you the support you need when you need it and lets you run the company as you’ve always envisioned.”
Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). Columbia Crest Financial Advisors is a separate entity from WFAFN.