Industrial age publisher and philanthropist Frederick Bonfils said there is no hope for the satisfied man. If that’s the case, Karl Frank is full of hope.
“I’m never satisfied,” Frank says matter-of-factly when asked about his advisory firm.
It’s apparent from his background. The president of Denver-based A&I Financial Services, a Geneos Wealth Management-affiliated firm, holds three masters degrees. He earned an MBA and Master of Finance from the University of Denver, and a Master of English from the University of Colorado.
He sits on the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association of Colorado and leads the organization’s public relations efforts. He started out in his career with Lehman Brothers before moving to AIG.
“If I ever leave Geneos, short the stock,” he jokes, before emphasizing he’s never been happier with a broker-dealer partner.
As Frank is first to admit, he “married well.” His wife’s family had an advisory firm, one that he calls a “a really nice, comfortable lifestyle and no exit plan.”
“Although I certainly didn’t start out as an exit plan, I turned into an exit plan and bought my in-laws’ practice two years ago,” he says. This allowed them to sail into retirement—literally. “They’re floating around on a yacht in San Diego Bay right now.”
The firm (“A” and “I” stand for assets and income) has a laser-like focus on helping business owners with their planning and succession needs, something Frank considers a passion, one born of tragedy.
“The reason why I’m here is that my dad had a business and died suddenly 13 years ago,” he says. “That was a life-changing experience for me. I thought, ‘I need to find a way to do something meaningful. Here’s a guy who spent his whole life building up this wonderful firm and had plans of retiring very wealthy, and he couldn’t do it.’”
Frank notes the dual experiences of his father’s passing and being his in-laws’ succession plan means he’s “seen it from both ends; the right way to plan for the transfer of a business and the wrong way. With my in-laws and the time they are now enjoying, I’m looking at my own future.”
The firm’s strong performance on behalf of Colorado-area business owners means it’s in the process of moving into new office space that’s twice the size of the previous space, a significant achievement in the current market environment.