Deviating from the traditional business model of an investment firm, women-owned Ellenbecker Investment Group Inc. continues to thrive by keeping ethics and integrity in the forefront of its client-focused business.
“When I started the company, I wanted to take the best of what I learned in the brokerage industry, being in a traditional broker firm, and what I learned from M&I Bank in the personal trust (department) and combine it,” said Karen Ellenbecker, founder and president of Ellenbecker Investment Group.
Founded in 1996, the Pewaukee based-company provides fee-based financial planning, estate planning and investment services.
According to Ellenbecker the company has never raised its fees since incorporating.
“I think that when we talk to our clients, what they really appreciate is the fact that we do really take the time to understand what is important, and that it’s important to each and every client. There isn’t a one size shoe that fits all,” Ellenbecker said.
Recognizing that each client’s needs are different, Ellenbecker provides a customized client experience by assigning two advisors on each account. She has also created a welcoming environment for clients, offering cookies, drinks and a comfortable atmosphere to clients once they walk into the door.
“I wanted customers to come in and feel like home, with a fireplace and each conference room set up. People come in and feel a feeling of connection right away,” Ellenbecker said.
The personalized experience that Ellenbecker provides is extended throughout the company’s culture. The company offers unique benefits to employees and even allows them to bring their babies at work, up to six months old.
“We are a women-owned business and have flexible work models,” Ellenbecker said.
Ellenbecker Investment Group was the only financial company in the state of Wisconsin to win the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for business ethics and integrity.
The company continues to grow, despite the difficult economic aftermath of the Great Recession. The firm gained clientele during the recession, Ellenbecker said.
“The downturn in the market was absolutely an opportunity for us,” she said. “We didn’t lose clients. We gained clients and became so much more connected to our clients and forced us to be in constant contact and closer to clients more than before.”
During the recession, Ellenbecker said, the company provided open communication to its clients about the volatile markets through quick response e-mails and quarterly newsletters.
“Clients deserve more and they are really looking for more,” said Ellenbecker. “They are sort of falling away from the traditional, that old tradition of just buying and selling stocks. They are looking for someone to be the quarterback, someone that understands the bigger picture and can make sure they have the best advisors.”
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