Despite the firm’s size, Moneta has yet to move beyond the St. Louis area. All its teams operate within the same Clayton, Mo., building, while an enterprise service team of nearly 70 employees providing infrastructure and support operates in a second building nearby.

“Our partners’ teams look a little different from each other, particularly in terms of the clients that they serve,” says Kittner. “Some have more retirement plan business than others. Partners get to decide the makeup of their team structure and how it looks; they’re able to build their own businesses and design them the way they want.”

The dichotomies between large and small and between centralization and independence give Moneta a growth engine and identity unusual among RIAs.

The firm’s roots stretch back to the Home Life Insurance Company, an insurance broker founded in 1869, making 2019 Moneta’s 150th anniversary. The firm’s predecessors pioneered financial planning, first offered through a service called “planned estates” in 1933, when the firm adopted a philosophy of “problems to solve, not products to sell.” Throughout the Great Depression, as many investors lost money, Moneta’s predecessor was able to grow its assets.

In the 1980s, the firm was called First Financial Group of St. Louis, and it came under the leadership of longtime owner and managing director Peter Schick. Schick led the firm’s 1988 rebranding as the Moneta Group, when its structure as a coalition of financial planners took shape. In 1989, the firm became an RIA, a move driven by its desire to maintain objectivity and operate in the best interest of its clients.

Fifteen years ago, Schick still owned the entire firm. Around that time, he decided to sell the company to all of its partners to create a more sustainable business.

Last year, it rebranded again, and “The Moneta Group” became just “Moneta,” and embraced its identity as a “family CFO” for its wealth management clients, adopting the tagline “we simply go further.” Kittner says the rebrand aimed to recognize the diversity of the firm’s clientele and services.

“The rebrand was something we [did] to clearly identify who we are,” says Kittner. “One thing we wanted to articulate is that over the years we have started working with a variety of clients—our original family CFO clients, institutional clients or retirement plans, HENRYs (high earners but not rich yet), the emerging affluent. We wanted a rebrand so that the marketplace knew we were a firm with many solutions.”

Moneta now has three business lines: the wealth management family CFO service that is approximately 80% of the firm’s business; retirement plan consulting that is approximately 10% of its business; and a family office that is another 10% of its business.


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