2015 was an exciting year of growth and change at Rockbridge. Market returns were less than ideal for the year, but we continue to see growth in our fee-only business model as prospective clients seek out unbiased advice and professional investment management.
We are the leading fee-only investment management firm in Central New York, managing $491 million in client assets, a 14% increase over last year. We have also added staff to meet the demand of taking on more clients.
Firm Ownership Growth
Ownership of the firm expanded in 2015. Craig Buckhout and I are the managing members of Rockbridge, providing leadership to a growing group of talented professionals. Last year, Patrick Rohe and Ed Barno became partners in the firm. This year, Doug Burns and Geoff Wells will also become equity partners in Rockbridge. Expanding ownership of the firm is one of our primary goals as we grow to serve more clients. The addition of more owners provides for an enduring business over the long haul, ensuring continuity for our clients.
The People of Rockbridge
New faces at Rockbridge include Claire Ariglio and Lisa Cellucci.
Both Claire and Lisa will be supporting our financial planning efforts with new and existing clients. Additionally, Dave Carroll completed his first full year at Rockbridge. All three of these new advisors are studying for the Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 2016.
Sadly, we say goodbye to long-term Rockbridge employees Ted Scallon and Keri Morrison. Ted is relocating to New Jersey to spend more time with his family. Keri will be spending her time working with the Live Like Jake Foundation (http://livelikejake.com), which she and her husband, Roarke, founded in memory of their son, Jake. The work of the foundation is extremely important to Keri, and we look forward to supporting her and the foundation in its mission to raise awareness for drowning prevention.
The top two reasons new clients land at Rockbridge are referrals from existing clients and our website. More people are searching for fee-only advisors and financial planners, and we continue to maintain our #1 rank in those searches.
Many of our new clients said they had never heard about us prior to their search. So in an effort to raise our profile in the community, we embarked on an awareness campaign in 2015. You may have seen or heard our ads on Time Warner Cable, FIOS, or the radio. We have received very good feedback from existing and new clients, so we will continue to advertise in various media outlets in the future.
We continue to remain focused on providing the best experience for our clients, and we sincerely thank you for your trust and confidence.