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Local Financial Services Companies Help Clients Plan for the Future, Grow Their Money

February 6, 2023 News

As with most things, people have options when it comes to investing their money, setting up estates, planning for their kids’ college educations and having their taxes prepared. And there is no shortage of businesses that are willing to work with you to help you achieve your financial goals. 

Like banking, most financial companies in this business sector offer many of the same services. Lakeland is home to three well-known firms that continue to satisfy their customers’ needs. 

CliftonLarsonAllen – Central Florida CLA 

Managing Principal of Office Lance Schmidt said the most important thing for CLA right now is continuing to know and help the firm’s clients. “Our clients are dealing with high inflation, generational wealth transfers and a strong labor market with increasing labor costs — all in one of the fast-growing markets in the country. We want to be there to lead our clients through volatility and make the most of these opportunities and challenges.”  

Five simple words lead the way, he said. “We’re one family, working together to create opportunities. And every day, these five values drive us as we work to meet our clients’ needs.” They are:  

  • “Curious — We care, we listen, we get to know you. 
  • “Collaborative — We help you seamlessly, bringing innovative teams to the table. 
  • “Transparent — Our communication is clear and authentic. 
  • “Inclusive — We embrace all voices and create opportunities for you in an energetic and inspiring environment.  
  • “Reliable — We respond in hours, not days; we follow through and produce quality results.” 

CLA employs 55 people in its Lakeland and Winter Haven locations. “It is the only firm in the Top 100 CPA firms to have a location in Polk County – and we have two,” Schmidt said. 

Up next? “We are looking to continue adding top talent to our team and serving main street clients,” Schmidt said. “Our two fastest-growing service lines within our firm are our accounting and financial outsourcing services, and digital solutions services. Our local team of CFOs, controllers and accountants is helping small and large businesses, nonprofits and governments with accounting and financial needs.  In addition, we have launched a dedicated digital service line to assist our clients in harnessing the power of their data.”  

CPS Investment Advisors 

President, CEO and Partner Peter Golotko said helping clients through today’s economic minefields is the most important thing for his firm right now. “Educating our clients on what’s going on with the economy and the markets is critical. We want them to stay focused on doing the right things.” 

Part of the company’s mission is to bring “clarity to complex financial situations.”  

Golotko said the financial planning process is CPS’ competitive advantage. “We are good at educating. When clients come in, a lot of them think all we do is help with tax returns and investments. We help answer any of their other financial questions, like estate planning, financing education, etc. It’s less on the investment side and more on the educational side to make sure their financial plan is tightened up and reaching their goals every year.” 

The 47-year-old company started by the late Chas. Smith employs 50 people in its Lakeland office. 

Up next? “We brought on three new owners on Jan. 1: Shawn McCabe, Erica Lupercio and Tony Corrao. We find succession planning is supremely important, and we want to make sure we’re around the next 200 years to provide clients with the best possible service.” The company is looking to its three new owners to help deliver that quality of service for the next 50 years, he said.  

Allen & Company of Florida, LLC | LPL Financial

Marketing Director Robin Chaddick said the company – founded by J. Everett Allen, Ralph Allen’s father – has been building relationships for 91 years now, and it’s still going strong. In early January 2023, it was preparing for its 36th annual Economic Forecast Breakfast. 

The breakfast was the brainchild of Ralph Allen, who wanted to enlist an economist to provide local small businesses with macro details to assist them, Chaddick said. “He’s always been the champion of the entrepreneur and small businessman, the mom-and-pop shops. It was important to him that people have access to the same information that large businesses and community leaders have when steering their ships.” 

About four years ago, she said, Allen became concerned that small businesses were no longer attending the event, which now attracts about 1,000 people. She assured him they were still there. “This event is not just a business meeting but a social gathering that brings them all together at the beginning of the year to prepare ourselves mentally for what is coming. It’s still mission-critical to him that we are ensuring those people are part of the program.”  

Allen & Co. hasn’t veered far from its roots – it’s about growth, Chaddick said.  “It really starts with growing our relationships – new ones and existing ones — and becoming part of our clients’ and our community in a familial way. Family is everything to Allen & Co. We want to be part of your family and we want you to be part of ours. We want to grow with you.”   

The firm’s website says Allen & Co. is built on “Economy. Hope. People.”, which came from a video created for its 90th anniversary, she said. “Economy meant a lot more to us than just fiscally; it’s not just money but more important things. There’s economy of people. That’s where our hope lives. Without people, relationally, we really don’t have a lot.” 

Allen & Co. employs 66 associates in offices in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Viera. It’s been part of a larger company for three years. 

Up next? More of the same, in a positive way, Chaddick said. “It’s so critical for us to have these close relationships with our clients. It’s how we can best serve them. We want to continue on with the legacy that Ralph and his father built and maintain our core values. Growth really is important to us, but we are looking for people who share our common values. We want those who value relationship-building and everything that entails.” 

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