Creative Financial Group Surpasses $1 Billion in Assets: Insights from Robert “Buzz” Law and Richard Raby
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Georgia CEO presents this special profile on the Creative Financial Group, Ltd (CFG) in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the opportunity to sit down with Robert “Buzz” Law who serves as President, and Portfolio Manager Richard Raby to learn how the Creative Financial Group helps corporations, executives and area residents and their families with comprehensive financial, estate, investment and tax planning matters. During our visit, we learned news about their upcoming office move to the brand new Synovus Signature building in Overton Park next month, and how CFG built over $1 billion in assets through organic growth over the last decade.
Founded in 1988, the Creative Financial Group (CFG) is a division of Synovus Securities, Inc and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with a second satellite office in Birmingham, Alabama. CFG is a financial planning and investment advisory business with services tailored to corporations, executives, business owners, and high-net-worth individuals and families.
Unique Service Offerings
Law offered, “About a third of our business is with corporate contracts which is fee only financial planning. We provide Executive Financial Planning Services for companies, including AT&T, Southern Company, and others. Most large corporations implement profit sharing, retirement accounts and other benefits but don’t provide financial planning at the employee level. We are working with large corporations who want to make sure their employees get the most out of the dollars they earn and offer financial planning perks to their employees as well. This provides a real value added service to the employees of these corporations by helping them manage their personal portfolios and investments.”
Law added, “Another third of our business is working with executives, athletes, doctors, and other high-profile professionals. While we work with a lot of affluent clients, we don’t use minimums or worry about the amount of money our client has. Our focus is more on how we can help. We don’t really work on a minimum net worth. Our goal is to sit down with individuals, review their documents, and determine if and where we can be of service. Many of our clients have been with us for decades now, and didn’t have a lot of wealth when we started working with them. We have been working alongside them as they grew their wealth, helping them manage and protect those assets as they built them.”
Law continued, “And, the other third of our business is working with retirees. On the retiree side, we also do something unique. Retirees are typically used to saving money, not spending it. They are often afraid to pull their money out of their account and use it. Most people get paid out at retirement. So, we actually create a retiree payroll to make deposits into their account so they will spend their money and use it to enjoy their retirement.”
Raby shared, “Our work spans cradle to grave, so our services cover everything including a review of your property casualty insurance, making sure coverages are right, executing a will, reviewing account statements, checking umbrella policies, planning for college expenses and other big ticket items, and more. Most people focus on the investment side of their portfolio. We do that too, but we also make sure to review the entire picture to ensure we align the client’s situation and goals together. We don’t do asset management without doing financial planning. And, we look at each client’s situation first to make sure we can help them before we get engaged.”
Raby continued, “We have worked with some of our clients for 30 years. Our length of service is a big plus for so many of our clients who have grown to trust and depend on us throughout their lives. We do financial planning at the family level, including kids and grandparents, plus we help manage their estate before, during and after probate.”
Raby concluded, “The Department of Labor (DOL) passed a Fiduciary Rule in the last year or so. It now holds advisors to a higher standard of responsibility. Years ago you just had to be suitable. Fiduciary means we have to do what’s best for our clients. At Creative Financial Group, we’ve always done that and believe that’s part of our long term success. We have been successful because we cover everything and we put our client’s best interests first.”
New Office in Overton Park
Law offered, “We are moving our main office to Overton Park on August 28th. We will be moving into the brand new Synovus Signature building, right across from the Braves Stadium. We are building out an integrated office building with advanced technology and new conference rooms. While the move presents challenges, we are excited to be able to provide our clients with upgraded office accommodations.”
CFG Surpasses $1 Billion in Assets
Law shared, “Creative Financial Group just surpassed $1 billion in assets. It’s kindof a big deal for us. Building from our group of planners, we’ve organically grown our business in the last 10 years through our existing clients, new money and growth. Most big companies will acquire their assets by buying another firm. We built our portfolio and we’re now healthier than ever before. We are very proud of this latest milestone and the way in which our team worked together to get us here.”
Law added, “Our advisors have been with us for an average of 17.6 years. We get a lot of our clients because of the high turnover in other firms. Our clients have been working with the same planners for many years and don’t have to explain themselves again and again.”
Law concluded, “Everyone doesn’t need a financial planner at the same time. Life usually creates triggers like a death, a new baby, college and other life events. We are here and we are a great financial planning firm. When a trigger happens, think of us.”
Robert W. “Buzz” Law is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner who founded Creative Financial Group in 1984, and serves as the firm’s president. Law manages the practice as well as counsels affluent individuals and their families on comprehensive financial, estate, investment and tax planning matters. Law has held countless executive leadership roles, awards and achievements for his outstanding work and service in the community. Governor Nathan Deal appointed Law to the Technical College System of Georgia Board in 2014 and again in 2017. Since 2006, Law has been honored in the elite company of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, and one of “Who’s Who in Banking and Finance” every year from 2005 through 2013. He was also named to the Synovus Chairman’s Circle of Excellence for 2012-2017. Law earned his BA with a major in Finance and minor in Real Estate from the University of Georgia.
Richard Raby joined Creative Financial Group in 2000 and is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist ℠ (AAMS®). Raby serves as Portfolio Manager for CFG and is a member of the Investment Policy Committee. He provides investment advisory and financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals and corporate executives, and helped build, automate and implement multiple trading strategies and platforms for the firm. Raby earned a BBA in marketing from the University of Georgia and an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University. He holds his Series 7, 63 and 65 securities licenses through Synovus Securities.
For more information on the Creative Financial Group visit their company website at: http://www.cfgltd.com/.