Nashville wealth managers launch new unit to tap young money

By Scott Harrison | Nashville Business Journal Reporter | June 30, 2015

Two Franklin wealth managers want to channel Nashville’s swelling ranks of young professionals.

HawsGoodwin Financial, a wealth management and advisory firm based in Cool Springs, is rolling out a new business line, Prosper, which is an online and mobile app-based platform that will include investments and portfolio information.

Art Haws and Cam Goodwin, co-founders of the firm, have crafted Prosper to tap into Middle Tennessee’s growing population of millennial workers – especially as they accumulate more and more wealth.

 

Haws and Goodwin want to manage that money and advise younger clients on the front end, rather than wait until they spend most of their professional careers building up their personal assets. It’s a slight departure – but not a substantial one – for a firm in the wealth-management business, which typically focuses on high net worth individuals (traditionally people who have built up sizable income during decades-long careers).

“We always have had in the back of our minds [the concept] of, ‘How do we work with the up-and-coming professionals, start a relationship with them earlier in life, help them save and meet their goals?’” Goodwin told me. “We’ve always wanted to target those individuals … even if they don’t meet the definition of a client a wealth management firm looks for.”

Haws, the firm’s CEO, called younger professionals, those in their 20s and 30s, “an underserved market” as far as wealth management and financial advice. HawsGoodwin is eying prospects with under $100,000 in wealth.

The new platform, engineered by Charles Schwab, is set to roll out in mid-July. Haws said it will boost HawsGoodwin’s existing wealth management operation by securing future business.

“It’s a complement to our business. We’re not going off on some tangent that is unrelated,” Haws said. “We see this as a way to start that relationship earlier in a market we expect to grow.”

As a client expands their wealth and meets more complicated financial decisions, Haws said they could shift to HawsGoodwin’s wealth management arm. That operation (which is mixed between individuals and business clients) has grown to between $225 million and $250 million in assets under management, Haws said – a jump from $160 million in the spring of 2014.

The focus will initially be on Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Goodwin said. But it could expand from there.

“We see significant opportunity here locally,” Goodwin said. “That’s going to be our first and foremost target. We have had discussions about taking it to a larger level, regionally or nationally after that. But initially our focus will be locally.”

“This is a perfect market for us,” Haws said. “With the growth of Middle Tennessee, and more corporations choosing to move their headquarters or divisions here, the [number of] young professionals continues to grow. We’re going to target those types of folks.”

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