In 1993, Fred Ruiz had an acorn of an idea—start a wealth management business. Over 25 years, that acorn has grown into the mighty oak of a company that is Oak Partners, Inc.
Like any big milestone in life, 25 years of business deserves to be celebrated. Oak Partners held a fitting celebration last Thursday night with their 25th Anniversary Party at the Avalon Banquet Center. With more than 600 clients in attendance, the evening was a special event for the Oak Partners staff and clientele.
“We’re all together to celebrate the history of our firm and the people who have been clients with us throughout all that time,” said Marc Ruiz, partner, team leader, and wealth manager. “It’s completely amazing to see what the firm has become—the scope of our clients, the quality of our advisors and staff, it’s humbling.”
What started as a four-person firm has now grown to a staff of 30 and hundreds of clients. Major growth deserves a major celebration.
“We wanted to do something big, special, bold this year,” Ruiz said. “We have 20 times more clients, 30 times more assets managed, and 10 times a bigger staff.”
“After 25 years in the region, we felt it was important to talk about our success and share some of that success with our clients,” said Michael Barancyk, senior partner and investment advisor for Oak Partners. “We’re really happy to have over 600 people here tonight. I’m looking forward to listening to the Economist, enjoying the band, and spending time with my clients.”
Celebrating clients and providing unique experiences is something on which Oak Partners prides itself. The company offers around 40 events each year for members to mix and mingle.
“We pride ourselves on client experience, it’s something that we’ve done differently all along,” said Crystal DeHaven, director of client experience. “If you look around the room, you’ll see a lot of people who are friends. We have clients that have even met at Oak Partners and are now married. We’re like this social web where our clients are all connected. They come to our events and have a great time and it allows us to get to know them better. It’s pretty special.”
The 25th Anniversary Party was the biggest event Oak Partners has hosted in more than 10 years. Clients were treated to a hearty dinner, photo booth, music, and dancing. The night was full of festivity as partners and clients mingled and reconnected.
“It’s awesome to get so many clients in the same room and to celebrate something so special,” DeHaven said.
Keith Blair, who’s been a client with Oak Partners for seven years, has attended many events, finding them to be an excellent way to connect with others. Now living in Grand Rapids, Mich., Blair took the time to come back and celebrate with Oak Partners.
“These events are an encouraging way to get to know people from around the area. It’s outstanding,” Blair said.
During dinner, Strider Elass, senior economist at First Trust Portfolios provided a speech on the true conditions of our country’s current economic status.
“Today, more than ever, perspective matters,” Elass said. “What perspective do you have? It’s so easy for us to get caught up in all the negativity and yet when you look at the way our country is built, it’s always paid to be optimistic over the long term”
Long term optimism is something Oak Partners set up for their clients as they gave a brief presentation on the future of the firm.
“I foresee a future in which we continue to expand and invest in the people that really make our firm great, and that’s the people in this audience, our clients,” said Joseph Starkey, partner, team leader, and investment advisor representative of LPL Financial.
The celebration was the perfect way for Oak Partners to remind clients that, not only have they been here for 25 years, but they are here to stay.
“This event shows clients that we’re here for them. We’ve been here for 25 years and we’re going to be here for the long haul,” Starkey said. “In this business, there are a lot of changes and one constant is having an advisor you can talk to. And that’s what we are.”