Monty Hasenbank and Woody Trant, financial advisors in charge of the Newport News office of DaVinci Financial Designs (DFD), believe in providing an honest dedication to their clients, and they use the convenience of digital technology to follow through.
DFD is advanced in its electronic resources and capabilities. Clients can enter financial information remotely. This is much more convenient than the paper-centric approach that is still taken by some competing firms. According to Trant, if the client’s financial information in their system is up to date, questions about important financial decisions can be answered in minutes, without the client having to come into the office with a stack of paperwork.
Also differentiating DFD from its competition is its goal of putting customers first. One of Trant’s favorite details about the company is “the flexibility to do the planning,” he says. “We don’t have the restriction of cookie-cutter plans. We work with multiple companies for insurance products and numerous money managers.” He adds that the impact of such flexibility is visible, saying, “You have clients who want to be here, who want to work with you and can see measurable progress.”
Both men express displeasure at the idea of offering customers advice on the condition that it was “in the company’s best interest.” Many of DFD’s employees are veterans of the industry, some having worked together in the past. Experiences of frustration with greedy practices are common among them.
“What I really enjoy about DaVinci is that Jim Agostini, principal and founder of the company, allows us to focus on the client,” says Hasenbank. “That’s what our concern is. There’s no pressure to sell a product. That’s why I got in the industry and why I stayed in the industry.”
Trant and Hasenbank report that most of their clients are in the age range between their 40s and 70s. This isn’t by design. It’s often at that age when people begin thinking about retirement.
“I think there are a couple of reasons why we don’t have younger clients,” says Hasenbank. “I think when you’re in your 20s, you don’t think about retiring.” He also addressed the increased presence of apps and online options for financial management. “There’s a lot more of what we call robo-advisers, too, so young people don’t always think about [meeting] with someone face to face,” he adds.
When asked if he wants to see more people outside of that age range seeking his help, Trant’s answer is an emphatic “Absolutely! We don’t care how old you are, or what walk of life you come from. What are your goals and objectives? And how can we help you continue measurable progress toward those goals?”
Trant and Hasenbank are both former helicopter pilots, Trant in the Army and Hasenbank in the Navy. According to the men, that experience has been invaluable in designing financial solutions for people. As former pilots, Trant says that they are familiar with situations where “if something hasn’t gone wrong, it’s about to go wrong.” Applying that to finance, Trant asks of his clients, “what if things don’t work out the way you expect them to work out?” Using that mentality, Trant and Hasenbank help their customers plan for the unforeseeable.
Speaking of being prepared for the disaster, DFD has been able to conduct business and serve its clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by relying on its existing strengths, the technological capability to conduct business remotely and the desire to serve its clients well. Even remotely, though, the company hasn’t become one of the robo-advisers mentioned by Hasenbank. Customers can still meet face-to-face with advisers in virtual meetings and maintain virtual office hours during which their clients can expect to connect with a live person.
TO THE POINT:
DaVinci Financial Designs
Address: One Bayport Way, Ste. 225, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Woody Trant, advisor