After watching her parents’ portfolio suffer permanent losses during the 2000-2001 stock market crash — largely because their advisor had suggested their portfolio be concentrated in tech firms that had no earnings — Molly Rothove decided she didn’t want that to happen to anyone else.
She became passionate about portfolio management, and today, with 17 years in the business, she’s vice president of Creative Planning, an independent wealth management firm and RIA with $48 billion under management and 700 employees.
Rothove’s niche is working with clients who have $25 million or more in assets. Those in this group tend to have more complex issues than some other clients, she says.
“[The ultra affluent client is] somebody who has concentrated business interests, or perhaps it’s concentrated real estate interests,” she told ThinkAdvisor.
“They have liquidity issues in the event of death from an estate tax perspective, they have more complex estate planning needs in terms of, not just planning for the estate tax, but multi-generational planning,” the advisor explained.
“There might be foundation planning that they want to incorporate. They might want to leave a more complex trust structure for their children to meet specific needs of their children, given the wealth size. There’s also planning from a company standpoint,” Rothove said.
She adds that most of these clients are referrals from existing relationships. “That’s really how I’ve been growing my practice over the last several years,” the advisor noted.
Although working remotely since the pandemic began isn’t hurting the business, she says, “it’s always easier to build relationships when you’re meeting in person — but once you’ve established that relationship, Zoom works incredibly well.”
Rothove got her BA at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where Creative Planning is based, and an MBA from the University of Kansas. She met Peter Mallouk, her mentor and also the current president of Creative Planning, while she was in college.
She worked for him at his law firm, where she focused on trusts, wills and powers of attorney business.
Several months later, Mallouk bought Creative Planning, and she helped build out the wealth-management side of the business. (The firm also has 401(k), insurance, tax and estate planning teams, making it a “full-service” shop for clients.)
Here are more excerpts from the interview:
What are some of your biggest challenges?
Definitely [there are] challenges in terms of growing a business. You are always trying to stay ahead of the growth curve.