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In sports, the quarterback plays a pivotal role on the football field. Matthew J. Fairbairn likens his work to that of a “financial quarterback” for clients. For both jobs, decisions need to be made often, and sometimes quickly, with outcomes critical to overall performance.
On any given day as a senior wealth management adviser, Fairbairn helps clients make decisions to sell a private business, purchase a second home, make a large charitable contribution or execute executive compensation package options.
“I enjoy being the first call on all financial matters – where they know they’ll get unbiased feedback on any topic, big or small,” he says.
Fairbairn works for Visionary Wealth Advisors LLC, which operates eight offices in four states. He’s built a portfolio of $83 million in assets under management for 36 client households. And he’s one of seven veteran advisers on an investment committee that develops strategies for the firm’s 30 other advisers to implement on behalf of their clients. It equates to management of more than $2 billion in assets.
“I aim to make all of our families, and their business interests, incredibly financially efficient,” he says. “This is often through quantifiable cash savings.”
For him, it starts with discussing at length the closest held goals and dreams of his clients. His process starts by asking, and analyzing, the question of “Where are you today?” rather than “Where will you be when you’re accomplishing your dreams?”
“Only after we are on the same page about where we are planning to go does it makes sense to take a closer look at where the family’s financial picture stands today,” Fairbairn says.
The work suits him well: In two years with Visionary Wealth Advisors, Fairbairn has been promoted to a senior position; opened the firm’s Springfield office, its eighth location; hired an operations analyst for his team; was named a Five Star Wealth Management Advisor; and was invited to join the Visionary Investment Committee.
Previously, he worked 12 years as a vice president and wealth management adviser for Parkside Financial Bank & Trust, serving high net worth families.
In addition to investment management, Fairbairn centers his current practice around planning for savings through tax strategies and debt restructuring, creative charitable giving and estate transitions.
“Utilizing our broad depth of knowledge in all financial planning areas allows us to be able to give an informed recommendation in a very short period of time,” he says. “Over time, as our relationships deepen with our shared knowledge and trust, the majority of our conversations are not driven by reviewing a printed document showing dollars and percents, but rather affirming that they’re enjoying the life that they dreamed about – and how we can better modify our well laid plan to increase their satisfaction.”
In his community work, Fairbairn and his family contribute to Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts in California and other charitable organizations.
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