NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – There are few testimonies to how great a business is than a client who says “I want to work there,” and then does.
Deborah J. Rivosa, CFP®, CFA and Chief Compliance Officer of Lassus Wherley, started her association with the New Providence-based wealth management firm as a client.
“I was a client first,” said Rivosa, who has been with the firm nearly five years now. “I liked the way I was treated. They were professional but informal.”
Proof of that is evident just walking in the doors. A long bulletin board is decorated with pictures of staff members and their families at parties and other events, dressed up for Halloween or hosting an Easter egg hunt. There is also a bulletin board with family pictures received from clients. Two dogs, Abigail and Bunker, chill out on the floor. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly, but with an air of professionalism that makes it easy to see why the firm has been so successful since Diahann W. Lassus, CFP®, CPA/PFS and Clare E. Wherley, CPA, CFP® opened their doors in 1985. The fact that their first client is still with them doesn’t hurt, nor the fact that they were named one of NJBIZ’s Best Places to Work for the second year in a row.
“After years in the corporate world, I find it so refreshing to work in a place like this,” Rivosa said. “I count Diahann and Clare among my friends. I’ve been to their house, they’ve been to mine. There’s no agenda here. It’s a special place, with a real human element to it.”
That human element is critical in the wealth management business. Rivosa said people are understandably sensitive about their money, especially in the current economic environment.
“We’re relationship builders,” she explained. “There’s a lot of communicating, a lot of hand-holding, a lot of listening. We have to understand where people are in their lives and what their goals are before we can best help them manage their money.”
Lassus Wherley is a Fee-Only wealth management firm, meaning they do not accept sales commissions of any type for the financial services that they provide to their clients. Their clients pay them directly, and in return, they receive objective advice, untainted by the commissions and quotas that drive most investment brokers and advisors.
Fee-only planning was new when Lassus Wherley & Associates, P.C. first opened, and then, as now, it still goes against the prevailing business model. But their success is undeniable. Since its small beginnings in 1985, Lassus Wherley has grown to 27 people in two offices (New Providence, NJ and Bonita Springs, FL) with approximately $350 million in assets under management providing broad-based financial planning, investment management, tax preparation, trust services, and family office support.
“This is a very personal business,” Rivosa said. “We’re working with people, not just their money, and we spend a tremendous amount of time getting to know them, taking care of them, so we can help them meet their goals. Because when our clients meet their goals, that’s when we succeed.”
For more information on Lassus Wherley, visit www.lassuswherley.com or call 908-464-0102.