The exceptionally compatible personal and professional relationship of financial advisor partners Gregg Powers and Scott Powers has one easy explanation: They are identical twins.
Beyond that, the two are inseparable best friends, all of which has served to fuel their success as independent FAs after 17 years as bank brokers with Wells Fargo, they tell ThinkAdvisor in an interview.
The brothers are redhaired and jokey, and the twin aspect — it’s really hard to tell them apart — is much of their charm as principals of Twin Powers Wealth Advisors in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Most clients are retirees who have been with the FAs for several years. To be sure, these folks have been a rich referral source for the advisors since they launched their own shop in 2017.
An affiliated practice of Raymond James Financial Services, the firm manages $250 million in assets of high net worth clients, whose net worth averages $3 million to $5 million.
In the interview, the brothers, 51, talk about why they left Wells — an aversion to the bank’s incentivized cross-selling was one reason — and offer advice to other FAs about the challenge of going independent.
Twenty-five-year industry veterans, they started out with individual practices at regional brokerages. Joining First Union in 2000, they remained at the bank through its acquisition by Wachovia, followed by Wells Fargo‘s purchase of Wachovia.
After covering four bank branches in Palm Beach County, in 2008 the two merged their separate practices when they began working with Wells Private Bank.
Togetherness certainly has been the twin brothers’ theme throughout their lives. After graduation from the same college — Montclair State University — they both decided to pursue careers as financial advisors, relocating to Florida from their native New Jersey.
The twins — who like to describe themselves as “bookends” — have one apparent, though complementary, differentiator: Scott holds the certified financial planner designation; Gregg is a chartered retirement counselor.
ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed the FAs in a three-way phone conversation. They not only finished each other’s sentences but sometimes even replied to questions in unison. The advisor brothers’ remarkable simpatico relationship is, they say cheerfully, “a twin thing.” Here are highlights of our interview:
THINKADVISOR: When you were babies, you were in TV commercials for Viva paper towels, a bank and others. Tell me about that.
GREGG POWERS: In one commercial, one of us was “Jack” and the other “Jill” with a bow in her hair. Our mom said she’s taking to the grave which of us played Jill.
SCOTT POWERS: I think it was Gregg. He’s still seeing a psychologist about it! Sometimes we appeared as one baby: If one of us was cranky, they’d [film] us [alternately]. We did commercials for two years and made pretty good money.
But why did you stop at age 2?
SCOTT: It became too hard on our mom taking us by bus from New Jersey to New York City, and there were three other siblings [to care for]. So our careers got cut short. We coulda been somebody! We coulda been The Doublemint Twins!
When you were kids, did you play pranks on people who couldn’t tell you apart?
GREGG: We were angels. We would never play tricks. We went to Catholic school — we were afraid of the teachers. We just sat there with our hands folded. We had to wear name tags so the teachers could tell us apart. Sometimes our dad even had a hard time with that. He’d just call, “Twinny, get me this, do that!”
Did you decide to become financial advisors at the same time?
SCOTT: Yes. We do everything together. We went to the same college [Montclair State University]. Playing football in high school, we were both wide receivers and both defensive backs. In baseball, Gregg was the shortstop; I was the second baseman. In basketball, we were both guards. We were always bookends!
How did you get interested in being financial advisors?
SCOTT: We had a cousin in the industry who lived in Florida. We gravitated to what he was doing and decided we wanted to get into the business and moved down from snowy NJ. We were very social, outgoing, honest and trustworthy. So we felt it was a good industry for us to get into. And we were good at math.
Where did you start out?
GREGG: In the 1990s, we traded stocks and bounced around a couple of regional firms. Then in 2000, we realized that wasn’t the wave of the future: You needed to raise assets and build an asset allocation model. So we joined the bank [First Union Brokerage Services], which [merged with] Wachovia, and then Wells Fargo [acquired] Wachovia.