A St. Charles resident since 1970, Craig and his wife, Darlene, have two children, Megan and C.J. In his free time, he enjoys golfing and traveling.
Briefly, describe your business.
Wealth Management, proper asset allocation and estate planning strategies for individuals and high-net-worth individuals.
What size is you company?
Stifel was established in 1890 and is a full-service investment firm with more than one billion in revenues.
What is your ideal client?
The serious investor. Because of team structure, Craig Sr.'s focus is in working with the high-net-worth individual. Craig Jr. uses the attributes of our team and its experience, which he can share with those striving to build their assets toward a higher net worth.
What products and/or services does your business offer?
Professional Money Management, Estate and Retirement planning strategies and Individual stocks and bonds.
How did you originally discover the idea for your business?
The business of wealth management has been around forever. Craig Sr. became interested in this in 1974 and joined Merrill Lynch in 1976. Craig Jr. has been exposed to this industry his whole life and has always been interested in it.
What have been the keys to success in your eyes?
Customer, Customer, Customer… focus on the Customer's objective. Focus on what the customer can envision as their “perfect” retirement month and then investing toward this.
What kind of relationship do you establish with your customers?
Very personal. We feel we will be our customers' concierge to their retirement.
How do you maintain these relationships?
Constant contact and follow up. We remain very engaged in the economy and the market. We share this with our customers in various degrees. It depends on the customers level of interest. Annual reviews are a must, but contact throughout the year, focused on the customers goals, are normal as well.
Have you noticed any trends in your industry at the moment?
While we look toward the future with a very positive outlook, we do notice a high level of anxiety with investors. Baby-boomers are moving toward retirement and emerging markets are developing. We see lot’s of different and significant trends.
What is the funniest story you’ve come across in your business?
People with money are funny. I can’t share the stories though…confidentiality reasons.
What is your greatest achievement?
One has no idea how you feel when you have a customer retire, live a long life without financial anxiety, transfer wealth, and then deal with their children. Quite a exciting.
Describe your business in five words or less.
Fun. (Everyone I meet is a potential relationship, everything that happens in the world has or could have an effect on what I do. I have no sales territory.)