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2018 Trusted Advisers Wealth Manager: Tyler James

James Financial Partners LLC

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Tyler James believes in a client-first approach to wealth management through which he’s quick to recommend other services, including law firms, bankers and accountants.

To him, it’s part of the job as president of James Financial Partners LLC.

“We will identify areas of their financial life that are outside the scope of our expertise but still need to be addressed,” James says.

He compares his role as a wealth manager to that of a hotel concierge.

“The goal of a well-positioned concierge is to ensure that you, the customer, don’t have to spend your much-needed downtime by doing mundane tasks. They exist to make your experience more enjoyable,” James says. “I hold the belief that my firm should provide this same level of service to someone who hires us to better their financial life.”

After graduating from Missouri State University, James set out in wealth management industry roles at New York Life Insurance Co. and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

James says he found himself clashing with ideals held by other companies, which formed the basis of starting his own firm.

“After five years of building a practice and earning my clients’ trust, I realized that there was a clear disconnect between the way that I wanted to work with my clients and the way that my parent company wanted me to work with my clients,” he says. “Unfortunately, we live in a world where sometimes a corporate agenda will supersede what is potentially in a customer’s best interest. After working in these conditions and constantly having to fight for my clients’ best interest, I had had enough.”

James Financial Partners was born – with a mission statement that says, in part, “to work for the client, not for the company.”

Legacy Bank & Trust Co. President and CEO John Everett has been a client of James and his company for the past six years. Everett says James has helped him and his wife set up viable retirement plans after they were “blindly saving in hopes that someday we would be able to retire.”

“Tyler James and James Financial Partners put a plan in place to be able to retire when we want and at the lifestyle that we want,” Everett says. “That knowledge has provided us a tremendous peace of mind.”

James Financial Partners had humble beginnings.

James recalls carefully buying a customized Dell laptop, buying office supplies from Staples, and finding heavy-enough card stock to print business cards on his own printer since he couldn’t afford the services of a professional printing company.

That was November 2007. Flash forward, and his company qualifies as a midsize firm by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. James personally oversaw $48 million in assets under management last year, up from $38 million in 2016 and $32 million in 2015.

“I believe this is partly due to the fact that our firm has held steadfast to the mission that we started with,” James says.

Outside of work, James is active in several community and charitable organizations, including the Rogersville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Logan-Rogersville Education Foundation and the Rotary Club of Springfield Metro.

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