(LEFT: Matt Swank. RIGHT: (L-R) Lance, Joseph and Kathryn Brant | Photo courtesy of Lance Brant)
Capstone CPAs & AGP Wealth Advisors Join Forces with ‘One-Stop’ Style Service
A chance meeting that sparked a connection between like-minded professionals in the financial field has led to a link-up towards a shared goal of delivering first class streamlined service through a multi-pronged approach for clients in the Central Oregon region and beyond.
Matt Swank, Director of Business Development and Maple Valley, Washington-based Managing Partner with AGP Wealth Advisors — which has offices from Alaska to Idaho — happened to call on leading local accounting firm Capstone CPA’s while on an exploratory trip to Bend, and soon discovered common ground on dual fronts.
Not only did he and Capstone Principal Partner Lance Brant both have sons that had recently played lacrosse against each other, representing Idaho and Montana universities (the Brant family member’s team emerging victorious!) but the pair found that they also shared a vision regarding providing creative and comprehensive services to guide clients toward long-term goals.
Brant had actually been looking to affiliate with a wealth advisory outfit as part of delivering a fully-rounded set of services for his growing client base, covering not just his company’s core tax preparation and strategy specialism, but also estate planning, insurance and wealth advice and management, in a kind of “one-stop shop” approach — but had yet to find the right philosophical fit until striking a chord with Swank and his firm (a private wealth advisory practice of 125-year-old global leader Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.).
Brant explained, “I had been approached by other financial planners previously but was missing one that worked in terms of bolting on to our services and had somewhat resisted the idea.
“But clients need well-supported financial advice in a complex world and in talking with Matt I realized he fit the bill from that perspective, similarly bringing creativity and flexibility to the table as well as a great back office operation offering cutting edge data and research.
“First and foremost, it’s about finding like-minded professionals to create synergy as part of creating great outcomes for our clients, out of the same office.”
Swank concurred, “I believe our meeting happened for a reason. We both want the same thing for the consumer in providing more communication in a more streamlined way, and by joining forces we can provide a comprehensive suite of services, so clients don’t necessarily have to go to multiple separate professionals.
“It is good to have a second set of eyes on the whole picture, whether that be regarding 401K retirement plans, or handling challenges with long term care and so on.
“We are both also ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers, and bring creative options to our clients, depending on their particular goals and appetite for risk tolerance and so forth. AGP offers adaptable, open architecture regarding products and we fundamentally help our clients accumulate, grow and protect their personal wealth in diverse ways.
“My previous background was in the medical device area during the time when the whole industry had to change due to the fundamental shift in the way health care was delivered.
“The key to overcoming such challenges and being successful in building the business was greater integration, and that parallel concept applies here in the financial world, to provide great service.”
Brant added, “You have to know so much to help people make good decisions regarding optimal allocation of resources, in uncovering blind spots and identifying what kind of investor you are.
“I believe real estate and the stock market are still the primary ways of building wealth long term. Yes, tax strategies are part of the whole equation — the biggest fee many people will pay is to the IRS — but the bigger question is where best to deploy financial resources.
“Cash may seem secure, but you need to make it work for you. $100,000 cash will represent the same amount if held in ten years, whereas it could maybe realize $250,000 in the same time period if invested wisely.
“Clients need guidance in understanding the keys to investing in long-term suitable avenues, with advisors that monitor progress and stay in touch.”
Brant went to work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC at age 21 after graduating from Oregon State University in 1991 and earned his CPA designation in 1993. He initially started in the multinational accounting firm’s audit department and worked with SEC companies, which helped him navigate large transactions and complex tax issues.
He later transitioned to focusing on small business taxation, personal planning and transactional issues and was CFO for a multi-million dollar company for two years before starting his own firm in 2004, bringing extensive experience in personal income tax and working with small business, including in succession planning.
Capstone now has 28 employees assisting over 600 business clients and 3000 individuals as one of the largest such firms in the region.
Brant added, “I went to high school in Redmond and moved away to further my career, but my family has deep roots in the area and I always dreamed of returning and serving the local community.
“We established offices in Bend, Redmond and Sisters to ensure we had convenient offices throughout Central Oregon to assist the local population. We are big supporters of local causes including high school sports, sponsorships and charitable contributions.
“We have become a regional resource and want this model to grow in scale.”
About AGP Wealth Advisors
AGP Wealth Advisors stands for “Accumulate, Grow and Protect.” Headquartered in Renton, Washington, it was founded by CEO Randy Linde in 2002 and in 2020 was named a Barron’s Top 100 firm for the tenth year in a row, making it into the Barron’s Hall of Fame.