team of Annex Wealth Management's Lake Country
branch. From left: Christopher Weber, John Bodden
and Jill Ackerman.
DELAFIELD - Since it started helping
clients find the path to a solid financial future 15
years ago in Elm Grove, Annex Wealth Management has
grown from one to 62 employees and to include three
locations - its latest just having opened in Delafield.
John Bodden, director of the Lake Country
branch, said the company’s fiduciary standard for
working with clients promises a heightened level of
responsibility that makes it stand out compared to other
wealth management firms that follow a suitability
standard of care, which can fluctuate.
Annex Wealth Management President and CEO
David Spano said he created the company around offering
independent services versus trying to create and sell
“Our clients want unbiased advice that’s
always in their interest,” he said.
director of Annex Wealth Management's Lake Country branch,
talks about the company's approach to personal finance.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
A great emphasis has also been placed on
hiring advisors to focus on the clients and their needs,
Spano said. That emphasis, however, has also made it
more difficult to find the right candidates to work at
the growing company.
“We have to help our clients. If you
don’t have the right personality, you are never going to
get it,” Spano said.
Bodden said Annex Wealth Management can
meet its clients’ individualized needs because of its
varied staff with strong specialties, such as the estate
planning attorney who focuses solely on that field.
The Delafield location has three service
members, but when a client needs more specific help, an
employee from the headquarters will travel to Delafield
to meet with that client. The third Annex Wealth
Management office is in Mequon.
Bodden said clients range from people who
need everyday advice to those who seek help when a major
life event occurs, such as a death or approaching
retirement. Annex Wealth Management also works with area
companies to provide 401(k) guidance.
Spano added clients also have accumulated
assets and have decided they need to engage a
professional to help with their management.
president of Annex Wealth Management, pauses while
discussing the impact of potential interest rate increases.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Concerns about a volatile market
After the Great Recession, Spano said,
clients realized how complex the economy is and how
quickly it can change so they have increasingly sought
out professional advice about managing their financial
Concern still remains about the market’s
volatility, Bodden said, which has caused clients to
reach out to professionals to gain a better
“People need help navigating their
assets, especially during times of volatility,” he said.
Other factors affecting the stock market
have included areas of political unrest, such as in
Syria, and the 2016 presidential election and its
possible ramifications for taxation.
Bodden, Spano and the other advisors at
Annex Wealth Management will be closely watching the
Federal Reserve’s announcement today about whether it
will raise interest rates. The proposed quarter of 1
percent rate increase likely won’t have any short-term
effect on the economy, but Spano said the outlook
included in Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s statement could
have a greater impact.
Going forward, Spano said he anticipates
additional growth in the state and is considering three
Meanwhile, Bodden said the company has
hired Deanne Phillips as director of Client Learning and
Development and to assist women and their financial
needs. She is also chairwoman of the board for the
Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin. In
addition, Annex Wealth Management is putting increased
focus on helping clients with financial wellness.