The Edwards name is one of the second oldest names on Wall Street, and when Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.’s parent company, A.G. Edwards, was sold to Wells Fargo & Co. in 2008, hundreds of investors fought to keep the Edwards name and company core values alive.
Clifford Bryan, Managing Director of Investments and Branch Manager at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., was one of these investors.
In 2018, Bryan joined Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. and helped the Edwards family open a branch in Chesterton, which became the first branch location in Indiana.
“It was very rewarding to have a hand in opening the Chesterton office. This allowed us to keep our core values and remain fully focused on the firm’s client-first philosophy and corporate culture grounded in integrity, trust, and respect,” Bryan said.
With a legacy spanning over 130 years, the financial firm has kept five core values at the heart of its family-oriented company: independence, accessibility, having fun, striving for excellence, and The Golden Rule, treating others the way you want to be treated.
Whether clients are saving to send kids to college, planning for retirement, or putting a plan in place to transfer their assets from one generation to the next, Bryan is there to help them get to where they need to be.
“I’ve always had an interest in helping people reach their financial goals and educating them on how to get there,” Bryan said. “It’s very rewarding laying out this game plan and making friendships along the way.”
All of Bryan’s relationships with his clients are built on one thing: trust.
“Your clients become much, much more than just clients. You get to know their families, learn about their ups and downs, and they get to know yours as well. It’s crucial as an advisor to communicate, listen, and develop these trusting relationships so we can get through any obstacles together and reach financial goals,” Bryan said
With nearly 30 years in financial services, Bryan also shares his knowledge and passion for the field with students at his alma mater, Valparaiso University, where he teaches various finance courses in the evenings.
“I do it for the students. I enjoy everything about it – the students, the subject, and Valparaiso University as a whole. I’ve been very fortunate and happy to be able to teach,” he said.
While it’s not uncommon for companies to dedicate a day or two each year to group service, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. makes philanthropy part of their daily life.
“I am a board member at Memorial Opera House and at Our Greater Good, I work with American Cancer Society, MS Society, Easterseals of Chicago, First Tee, and VNA of NWI,” Bryan continued. “Those are the organizations I’m passionate about, but I want everyone in the office to have a sense of ownership and passion for the good they do. Our advisors are given the freedom to get involved in areas of our community that they personally connect with and to make a difference in causes that they as individuals find meaningful.”
Bryan enjoys the work that he does for his surrounding community and is thankful for the added perspective.
“I think in order to truly round out one’s professional life, giving back to your community, clients, and those who are less fortunate is extremely important. You need to be able to see and appreciate both sides in order to better do the job placed in front of you,” Bryan said.
In his free time, Bryan enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, and grandchildren. He enjoys hunting, playing golf, fishing, and many other outdoor activities.
Looking forward, Bryan hopes to continue to build the Edwards name and brand in Northwest Indiana.
“I look forward to recruiting members to join our team who are passionate about our core values,” Bryan said. “I also hope to open an office in Lake County, as well as South Bend and Indianapolis.”
For more information on Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., visit https://benjaminfedwards.com/.