Cover Stories

Money Wise: Plaza Advisory Group

Putting your financial future in the hands of someone else can be daunting, ­but Plaza Advisory Group, which offers Securities and Advisory Services through Royal Alliance, states that it doesn’t have to be so, according to founding partner Peter Dolan. For 30 years the independent financial services firm has relied upon an approach it believes focuses on what its clients envision for their future.OBC-plaza--no-box-4

“The term ‘financial adviser’ is very broad,” Dolan says. From day one, we wanted to distinguish ourselves and design our firm around the investors, put ourselves on the same side of the table as them.” The team emphasizes attentive customer service and financial-­based education, explains Dolan, who states it is their opinion that many larger firms are more heavily focused on marketing and sales goals for products like mortgages and mutual funds. Dolan states that the goal of Plaza Advisory Group is to focus on what clients tell them they want to do with their life, which Plaza feels is the first step. (“Clients tell us that during retirement they hope to spend time with family and friends, travel, or try out a new career.”)

Plaza Advisory Group maintains a select client base of affluent individuals, families and businesses, locally and across the country. “We want to make sure we’re working on our clients’ behalf instead of spending time soliciting new ones,” Dolan says. “We add clients when we see an opportunity to provide value.” Recent additions came last year when adviser Sherry Delo joined the firm as senior vice president, bringing along her valued clientele and similar approach to integrated planning.

Many clients have been with the company for 20 to 30 years, which gives Plaza professionals the opportunity to develop more personal relationships, says Dolan. “We feel our clients trust us with the intricacies of their lives and that their goal is to continue the lifestyle they have built. In the next stage of their careers, we have found that some of the firm’s clients are looking to make more meaningful impacts in the local business community, whether though investing in companies or sitting on various boards, public or nonprofit.” Dolan says others have chosen to go back to school or pursue passions like history by auditing classes at Washington University, or they have become docents at the art museum. “Our goal has been to provide the structures, strategies and tools so they can meet these objectives,” Dolan notes.

In today’s world, with news available 24/7 and global issues constantly affecting the market, the complexity of wealth planning continues to expand. “We believe that Plaza’s strategy of helping clients through the maze has resulted in more well­-informed and successful investors. We feel our investors want to understand what is going on in the world and how their portfolios are designed, and it is Plaza’s goal to help them in this endeavor in order to instill more confidence in their investments,” Dolan says. He adds that one of the biggest hindrances to meeting long-­term goals is emotion-­driven decision making, like reacting to global headlines or daily market volatility. In order to combat this, Plaza offers technology solutions in which clients can access their portfolios in real time. “Our goal is to make things easier to understand, as we feel sometimes the client may get confused in this world of technology,” Dolan says. “Our goal is to help clients work through the clutter­­ and understand it. It’s all about giving them the tools to be confident and involved in their financial future.”

Plaza Advisory Group is located at 101 S. Hanley Road, Ste. 1350. Pictured on the cover: Plaza Advisory Group partners Scott Bensinger, Peter Dolan, Judy Rubin and Thomas Briggs. For more information, call 314.726.0600 or visit plazaadvisors.com.

Photos by Tim Parker Photography | Cover design by Julie Streiler
Pictured above: Thomas Briggs, Scott Bensinger, Sherry Delo, Judy Rubin, Peter Dolan

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