• Seven ways we put clients first at Badgley Phelps

    by Badgley Phelps | Mar 29, 2023

    In a TEDx talk a few years ago, hospitality and service expert Jan Gunnarsson discussed how work is all about relationships. We believe our relationships with clients, and each other, are the reason we’ve been around for five decades and counting. Following are Gunnarsson’s seven choices to master the art of service—seven ways we put clients first at Badgley Phelps.

    1. Service over selfishness

    We spend each day in service to our clients—and we think all clients should receive objective, unbiased advice delivered by a competent wealth manager who is required to put our clients’ interests ahead of their own.

    Says Director of Research and Wealth Manager Tim Thomas, “We operate under the fiduciary standard and are bound to seek the best solutions for our clients rather than focusing on product sales or transactions. That allows me to be completely objective when making recommendations and providing advice.”

    2. Wholeness over parts

    Working with us means working with a team, never disconnected parts. Each client has access to a team of professionals, which can include a wealth manager, associate wealth manager and financial planner, in addition to a backup wealth manager who is ready to step in as needed. Finally, dedicated client service professionals assist clients in meeting their informational needs.

    Says Wealth Manager and Research Analyst Katie Wham, “Seeing our team’s recommendations implemented and helping clients reach their goals is very rewarding.”

    3. Responsibility over avoidance

    Given the market ups and downs, our clients often have pressing questions and concerns. We take our responsibility to advise our clients on all facets of their financial lives seriously, and prioritize information share, never avoidance. We proactively reach out with information and publish articles on our blog, have several formal reporting procedures, and are accessible informally via phone, email, or in-person meetings.

    Responsibility to our clients is our guiding light.

    4. Care over indifference

    Our clients rely on us to be their advocates in the investment marketplace and to help bridge where they are today with where they want to be tomorrow—a job we never take lightly or approach with indifference.

    Says Director of Financial Planning and Wealth Manager Julie Parisio Roy, “The dynamic nature of this industry and the responsibility we have to our clients can be very heavy. When I feel the weight of my role, I try to remember we are trusted with clients’ fears and dreams and let into a corner of their lives few usually see. It is in this reflection that I feel the privilege and sanctity of our client relationships.”

    5. Curiosity over arrogance

    Every new relationship starts with curiosity on our part. No two clients are the same and therefore no two pieces of advice are identical. We uncover clients’ unique goals and priorities and remain diligent in our focus toward meeting those, ensuring an appropriate balance between risk and reward.

    Wealth Manager Tiff Stoner says, “We deal with numbers every day, but ultimately, people’s goals and dreams are the most important. Numbers help us quantify these goals and dreams.”

    6. Dialogue over conflict

    At Badgley, we have always felt that client-centered communication provides the best opportunity for clarity within the complex nature of wealth management—and is the best way to avoid conflict. This goes for individual as well as multigenerational relationships.

    Wealth Manager and Research Analyst Mike Gerke agrees, saying, “I work closely with clients and their families, which can span multiple generations, as well as other members of their financial team such as accountants, estate attorneys and insurance specialists. I appreciate that the firm is structured in a way that allows us to form strong, in-depth relationships with our clients. This provides us with the opportunity to really understand our clients’ needs and to create wealth management strategies that fit their individual goals.”

    7. Joy over inconvenience

    There’s nothing impersonal about the business of wealth management—our clients bring us joy and we strive to do the same for them. We lend an ear, laugh with them, and strive to always show up for them. Part of why so many of our clients stay with us year after year is because they know that we believe living a successful life is so much more than money—that it must also have joy.

    For over 50 years, the Badgley Phelps mission has been to put clients first, tailoring our services to what works best for their unique individual, family, or institutional needs. We continually seek new strategies and solutions to better help our clients achieve their objectives. And we believe that our clients benefit from our rich history and deep commitment to act quickly when time is of the essence.

    None of this would be possible without carefully nurtured relationships with clients, some going back as long as we do. These are, indeed, our greatest asset.

    Are you interested in starting a relationship? Contact us today.


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