Inside Creative Financial Group with the Laws: 2-Part Series on AT&T/DirectTV & Time Warner Executive Perks
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Series - Part 2
Georgia CEO presents this special two-part series profile on the Creative Financial Group, Ltd (CFG), home based in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the opportunity to sit down with Robert “Buzz” Law CFP® who serves as President, and Rob W. Law, CFP®, who heads up the second-generation of certified financial planners ensuring service continuity to long term clients of the firm. During our one-on-ones, we learn about the specialized executive perks the Creative Financial Group provides to the executives of powerhouse corporate clients, including AT&T, recently added DirectTV, and TimeWarner in the near future. In part two of this series, we hear from Rob W. Law, CFP® who leads the second generation of certified financial planners maintaining white-glove service in financial, estate, investment, retirement, and tax planning matters, in order to maximize returns and minimize risks for busy executives and their families.
Founded in 1988, the Creative Financial Group (CFG) is a division of Synovus Securities, Inc and is headquartered out of the Synovus Signature building in Overton Park 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, athletes and high-net-worth individuals and families. CFG has built over $1 billion in assets through organic growth over the last decade of service in financial advisement.
Rob W. Law on Financial Planning Service to DirectTV & Time Warner Execs
Rob Law shared, “I’ve been with the firm for about 2.5 years, and in the industry of financial planning and advisement for 6 years. I am one of the planners at Creative Financial Group. Buzz and I are planners, and there are various other planners that work as liaisons for our client relationships. We also have a team of CPAs, and an Asset Management team. We leverage these experts in our services and they are imperative to our client relationships. As a planner, I am the one meeting with the client to assess their financial goals and objectives, and determine what they are trying to do.”
He continued, “What really sets us apart from other asset management firms is the financial planning aspect. We do comprehensive financial planning as well as asset management. We won’t take on a new client for asset management if we don’t handle financial planning for them. We do this because we need to understand what our client is trying to accomplish, and what their financial goals and objectives are. It’s not all about generating highest rate of return, but also about risk management. There is a behavioral side to this business a lot of people don’t think about. The ability and willingness to take risks is a big part of our approach to financial planning. Knowing our clients’ aspirations allows us to do a much better job of meeting their needs.”
Rob Law continued, “Another aspect of our financial planning model is something I will call ‘risk-free alpha’. In the investment world alpha is a return that is greater than the benchmark. Adding alpha in the equities market just means outperforming whatever benchmark you have set for yourself. What is great about financial planning is that, by leveraging tax strategies and various company incentives, we can earn ‘alpha’ without additional risk.”
Rob Law described, “We have been serving AT&T, and BellSouth before them, for about 30 years. DirectTV became part of that group, and began working with us about 2 years ago. Our overall business is comprised of one third high net worth individuals; doctors, lawyers, execs, and athletes. Another third is retirees, and the last third is corporate contracts. AT&T and Southern Company are our two biggest corporate clients. As a subsidiary of AT&T, DirectTV is now eligible for our services. That will happen with TimeWarner as well.”
“With the DirectTV merger, we were honored to be chosen by so many of their employees for financial planning. This despite the fact that DirectTV is headquartered out of El Segundo, California and we are here in Atlanta, Georgia. I think that speaks for our service and what we do. Actually, the majority of our firm’s clients are not in the city of Atlanta. We have clients across the US, as well as international clients. We do travel to meet with our clients, but technology has allowed provide the same great service in real time as well.”
“Our executive clients are remarkably intelligent, but they tend to focus their time and energy on their professional roles and responsibilities. They really don’t have time to do financial planning or build strategies to maximize the performance of their assets. We make it as easy as possible to leverage their company sponsored plans and take advantage of them. For example: if a company has a deferred compensation package, like a stock purchase plan, the company can match their employees’ contributions sometimes by 20%. As long as they put some money into this each year, they get 20% returns on those investments over the long term. There are a lot of opportunities like this we help with. “
“We are excited about the Time Warner acquisition, which opens the doors to a new group of people who have not had these benefits before. We’re excited about this opportunity to offer new services to these execs. Once the merger is completed we will begin our work. The merger could take up to another year or so. It’s a big deal to integrate huge companies like these.”
Rob Law concluded, “I am obviously one of the younger individuals on the team. The average age for a financial planner is 55 years old. It is one of the oldest industries out there. In the next 5-10 years a lot of folks will be retiring. These relationships take a long time to build. You don’t want your financial planner to retire when you retire. It really adds a huge advantage to me to be completed exposed in this industry as a younger person. I think my age brings a lot of comfort to my clients, knowing I will be by their side for the long haul.”
Executive Bio - Rob W. Law, CFP®
Rob Law graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in Athens, Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. After graduating, he joined Invesco as an Analyst where he worked until April 2016. He then joined Creative Financial Group. He is a level 3 CFA candidate and a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. He also sits on the Georgia Composite Medical Board, appointed by Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal.
For more information on the Creative Financial Group visit their company website at: http://www.cfgltd.com/.