EDWARDSVILLE – First Clover Leaf Bank has announced an affiliation with Visionary Wealth Advisors to provide bank customers with financial planning and wealth management services.
The new services will be offered under the name First Clover Leaf Wealth Management, and will be available to clients at each of its six branches, under the guidance, management and support of Visionary Wealth Advisors.
First Clover Leaf Wealth Management, through Visionary, will operate as a registered investment advisor, offering independent advice, with no proprietary funds and no pressure or incentive to recommend specific funds. Typically community banks and national banks offer financial planning services under a broker/dealer platform, selling proprietary funds to customers on a commission basis.
“We chose Visionary Wealth Advisors as our partner because we prefer the RIA model, and want our customers to have unbiased financial advice,” said David Kuhl, First Clover Leaf Bank CEO. “We feel that follows the spirit of our community bank and is in our customers’ best interest.”
Visionary Wealth Advisors was founded in March 2014 by Brett Gilliland and Tim Hammett, both seasoned veterans in the financial planning industry. They founded Visionary largely because clients at their previous broker/dealer practices wanted more options, and the RIA model opened up virtually unlimited investment opportunities. Visionary Wealth Advisors has $220 million in assets under management, 21 advisers and offices in Edwardsville and St. Louis.
“This arrangement is a natural fit,” Gilliland said. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people. I grew up in banking — my father, uncle and grandfather were all bankers. I had a vision for how we could make our services work for banking customers. First Clover Leaf Bank wanted to provide financial planning and advising, but wanted to do it in the right way. We met and realized very quickly that we would be ideal partners.”
Clients of First Clover Leaf Wealth Management will have access to all the services and amenities of Visionary Wealth Advisors, including retirement and estate planning, investment management, small business retirement plans and college planning. Visionary provides the decision-making process on all investments, support staff, investment software, handles compliance, and all back office services. First Clover Leaf Wealth Management advisors will offer advisory services under the Visionary model of challenging clients to dream big and achieve beyond what seems possible.
“First Clover Leaf Wealth Management makes financial planning services more convenient and accessible to our customers,” said Bill Barlow, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer. “Our Business Banking customers and any customer with significant assets to invest will benefit from having this level of wealth management services at their own bank. But even people who just want to start a retirement fund or want to set some financial goals can receive sound financial advice and invest wisely.”
Several members of the bank’s management team were already longtime clients of Scott Carson, who was the founder of Meridian Financial Group before his recent merge with Visionary Wealth Advisors. And, many First Clover Leaf Business Banking customers were already clients of other advisors at Visionary. While the bank met with and considered several wealth management firms in the area, the RIA platform and real knowledge of Visionary’s principles and ethics guided the final decision.