Beyond keeping the firm “all in the family,” this multigenerational setup is providing The Kelly Group with new opportunities that it would not necessarily have developed as quickly and intentionally. David Emson, for example, had worked elsewhere first before joining the family firm, and he brought with him a different way of thinking, he said.

Putting that insight to work, he’s helped the firm create a new category of quasi-client it calls High Potential, where the mandate is to create early relationships with the great clients of the future.

“I think of some of my more successful friends—CPAs, engineers, tech sales. They’re all smart and doing well, but no one really has the faintest idea of where to start investing,” he said, adding that if they’re left to their own devices, they’ll research 401(k) investing online until they find the articles that suggest 401(k) investing is not a good idea. “We’re certainly not earning our time up front as they’re low on assets, but they’re coming in earning two, three, four hundred thousand, ages 28 to 34, and we’re trying to get ahead of their mistakes, and ahead of anyone else.”

All of this makes sense to Brian Kelly Sr., as he’s acutely aware that when it comes to building wealth, time matters, he said, and it’s a fact he wants his future clients to know.

“If they’re lucky and don’t get sick, they live long and they’re employable. They only have 50 years to accumulate whatever that pie is going to be. So if they don’t have advisors that have a broad background in finance, estate planning, risk management, etcetera, they are not going to hit their potential,” he said. “We all know the numbers, if you average 7%, it doubles in 10 years, but if you lose 10 years starting your plan, you’ve lost half your wealth.”

In addition to figuring out how the Kelly family team should work with its clients, The Kelly Group had to create an environment that would be encouraging and rewarding to the advisors and staff who are not related to the name on the door.

“As we’ve expanded, and we as a team look toward the future of building out a multi-generational team, it’s been exciting with the different ages, but let’s face it, family teams don’t tend to be very diverse, and we were missing that part of the team,” Marybeth Emson said. “So we’re taking on more formalized ways of compensating, and sharing the revenues. Everyone on the team, whether they’re related or not related, is clear about what their contribution needs to be, how it’s measured, communicated, and rewarded. And then on the family side, we take care of that separately.”

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