David L. Blain, CFA, CEO of BlueSky Wealth Advisors, and author of “Invest In Your Life, Not Just Your Portfolio,” shares the exciting news that four key BlueSky employees are now Partners in the company.
Transcription of video:
Hello everybody. Thanks for joining me today in this exciting video. I have a really important announcement to make regarding some key staff members that I’ve been looking forward to for a while, and we’ll get to that in a minute.
But first, just wanted to kind of walk a little history of BlueSky. For those of you don’t know, it’s been almost 25 years ago since I started this company in a small shared office of about 125 square feet in Fayetteville. And my objective in the beginning was to provide high quality expert advice for a transparent cost that was free of conflict and no product sales.
Now, today, it’s somewhat more common to see that, but 25 years ago, that was extremely rare to find, and it was my goal to try to help change the way that financial advice was delivered in America.
BlueSky Through the Years
(1:00) And so as we continue to grow through the years, it got to a point where I couldn’t do it all myself. I originally only wanted to have about 25 or so clients that I could work with. Well, that kind of went out the window.
What we did was very popular, and so I had to start hiring people. And some of those people have come into Blue Sky and made a contribution. Some are still here, some aren’t. But the reality is, we would not be here today if it were not for the contribution of several key people. You just can’t run a company by yourself. It takes other people to do it. And we have some really, really good ones here that have made tremendous contributions to our success as evidence.
For those of you that had a chance to take our recent client survey, I’ll be giving you the results of those here in a week or two, but it demonstrated what I always believe: that the overwhelming majority, you know, 98% of our clients are extremely happy with what we do.
They’re extremely satisfied with the service we provide and are happy to recommend us to other people. And this, along with the staff here, has made us one of the leading RIAs in the country. Certainly one of the largest flat fee organizations.
There’s still some firms out there that charge assets under management that are certainly much larger than us, but in terms of quality and other metrics that aren’t necessarily just specific to size, we continually win awards. And like I said, the client survey that we recently did bears that out.
So that’s the first thing: we grew from very humble beginnings to where we are today thanks to some of our wonderful staff members.
Second thing is, as much as I would like to, I cannot defy the laws of nature and I am growing older. As much as I would like to think that I’m still 28 years old, I’m not. And just like we help you guys envision the future and help you plan for life beyond your careers, I need to think about that too. Not just for myself, but in this unique position, I have to think about all of you as clients and what happens when David is not here anymore.
We have to ensure that the company can still grow and prosper and serve you all for as long as you want with the same high quality advice, the same attention to detail, the same highly refined processes, and the same forward-looking innovation that we have exhibited over the past 25 years.
BlueSky’s Succession Plan
(03:57) And so, as part of that, obviously I’ve been thinking about my succession plan. Now, I’m not planning to go anywhere anytime soon, but this is just the beginning of it. So for those two reasons – number one, to recognize the contribution of several key employees and number two, to start that process of a succession plan for Blue Sky – we want to make sure there are other people involved to be able to take over and run the company.
I’m very excited to announce I’m so proud that we now have four new partners. Four employees have been invited to become partners in BlueSky, and they all have accepted effective April 1, 2023:
- Madeline Valente, Senior Wealth Advisor who works out of our California office
- John Gjertsen, Senior Wealth Advisor who works out of the Atlanta area
- Christie Bonacci, Senior Wealth Advisor who works out of our New Bern office
- Ayasha Jones, Director of Operations who works out of our New Bern office
All four of them have made tremendous contributions over the years to the success of the company. I’m just so proud of them and so excited to have them as a partner with me in this endeavor. Now they are minority partners and I am still firmly the majority partner and in control, but they are now going to be part of the exclusive club as partners at BlueSky.
So, I hope that as you see them and you interact them, please take a moment to congratulate them on this great accomplishment. We’re all excited for them and I hope you’ll share in that excitement with them. So that’s it, that’s my big announcement for the day. I hope you have a great week.