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Vestia Personal Wealth Advisors focuses on serving a niche clientele: high-income physicians.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana-based registered investment advisory firm was established in January 2018. It currently serves 530 client households with $500 million in assets, according to the partner and managing director. Lauren Oschman.

High-income doctors — those earning more than $400,000 a year, as far as Vestia is concerned — make up 90% of the company’s customer base, according to Oschman, who assumed the role of CEO in April.

The co-founding partners of Vestia — Oschman, Tommy Martin, Cameron Heasley, Michael Trentand Andy Parkerwho has since left – came from the RIA company Larson Financial Groupwhich also has a niche clientele of physicians.

The partners chose to maintain this focus “because feedback from our customers was that they really appreciated having a specialist to oversee their finances rather than a generalist,” Oschman said. “They felt we had a big impact on their financial lives because of our niche experience.”

Physicians have financial planning needs unique to the circumstances of their profession, according to Oschman.

While most professionals start earning money and contributing to a retirement plan in their twenties, medical specialists often don’t start practicing until age 30, giving them “a window shortened to save for retirement,” Oschman said.

They “are more easily disabled due to the high acuity and dexterity needed to perform their jobs, and the risk of lawsuits and high tax burdens threaten their accumulation of wealth,” she added. “We have to think about all of these things when making their financial plans.”

By focusing on serving doctors, Vestia can be “very proactive” when issues arise and “in many cases go to doctors with a proposal for action even before they have identified they have a problem. “, according to Oschman.

For example, when new tax legislation is proposed, Vestia can immediately assess the impact on doctors and their practices, Oschman notes.

“We know which accounts may be vulnerable in a malpractice lawsuit and have relationships with leading attorneys to collaborate on a protection strategy. When Medicare proposes changes to reimbursements, we know which groups of physicians will be affected,” a- she declared.

Vestia designs an asset allocation based on each household’s long-term goals and rebalances over time, according to Oschman. Its main portfolios are mainly investment funds Dimensional Fund Advisorsand he also uses private equity funds to diversify portfolios larger than $2 million, Oschman says.

Physicians are often approached to invest in start-up companies and tend to have an interest in funding companies focused on health care and health technology, according to Oschman.

Martin – one of the co-founders of Vestia, who served as CEO before Oschman – founded a healthcare venture fund named Mammoth which aims to provide physicians with healthcare-focused investment opportunities, Oschman says.

The path to follow

Going forward, Vestia aims to increase revenue growth — the company charges fees for asset management and financial planning — by at least 20% annually, according to Oschman. To achieve this, the company implemented a strategy to serve different demographic groups of physicians, Oschman says.

“We have one group that sub-specializes in serving female doctors and another that sub-specializes in orthopedic surgeons. Nearly 80% of our new customers over the past two years have come from this strategy,” Oschman said.

In addition to organic growth, Vestia, which completed its first acquisition in 2020, “will continue to focus on acquisitions where advisors want to be part of a dynamic, collaborative practice and where clients make sense for our niche.” , Oschman said.

The 2020 acquisition was the solo practice of Forrest Friedow, who is now a partner and director of diversity and inclusion at Vestia. Friedow has worked with physician families for more than 20 years, according to Vestia.

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