Creating financial strategies that reflect their clients’ values

by Candance Moore

Where do we go from here? This terrifying question lies in wait behind every financial success. A talented entrepreneur sacrifices long hours to make a dream come true, only to lay in bed at night wondering what it will mean as a legacy. A windfall comes as an unexpected blessing to a well-deserving family—and the phone rings off the hook as everyone has ideas on how to spend it. For those who strive to make the most of their wealth responsibly, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is an invaluable resource.

At their Suffolk-based financial planning and asset management firm, father and son duo Arie Korving and Stephen Korving specialize in helping clients preserve wealth. Too often they’ve seen how money has a way of disappearing when it’s unguarded, leaving widows, employees, and dependents to pick up the pieces.

“It isn’t much of a strategy to have numerous assets scattered around unsupervised,” Stephen points out. “Most likely, we don’t manage the rest of our life that way, so why trust our financial future to such a random plan?”

“Some of my clients
have stayed with me for over 25 years.
I consider them to be my friends...
I’m accountable to no one but them.
I am completely independent
—free to offer
the best advice for their situation.”

—Arie Korving

Stephen describes the plight of many clients who initially try to manage wealth, or perhaps choose investments, on their own. When guarding their wealth becomes as time-consuming as earning it, they seek out the Korving firm to lift the burden. They come for the industry-leading knowledge, but they stay for the genuine personal concern—and suddenly they see the value of having a financial expert in their corner.

“When they realize we’re doing this to ease their fears and take care of their loved ones, it changes the conversation,” Arie relates. “We talk quite a bit about careers, hobbies, college plans for the children—you name it. We’ve gotten phone calls from clients who asked our advice about all sorts of things. It’s a great feeling to be trusted like that.”

The Korvings have developed a model of quality financial guidance through focused individual service and attention. In fact, Arie and Stephen both walked away from high-profile careers so they could make their expertise more widely available. They now enjoy using their combined skills to better the lives of everyday people.

Arie, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, began in the corporate world 35 years ago. After a tenure at General Electric, he moved to UBS Wealth Management, where he rose to the position of First Vice President. When he saw that he preferred a more direct, personal relationship with clients, he created the vision for Korving and Company.

“Some of my clients have stayed with me for over 25 years. I consider them to be my friends,” he says warmly. “In this capacity, I’m accountable to no one but them. I am completely independent—free to offer the best advice for their situation.”

Stephen, meanwhile, inherited his father’s love for finance—and the initial impulse to work in a more institutional setting. A naturally gifted financial thinker, he soon found himself handling assets in the billions for high profile clients. At that time, the work was thrilling, and he couldn’t imagine settling down at a small firm in Hampton Roads. Arie, however, knew that the joy of personal service would eventually appeal to him.

“My own father had to recruit me!” Stephen says with a chuckle. “He kept saying he would love it if I gave it a chance. So I moved here for six months to give it a try, keeping my resume fresh just in case. It turns out, he was right. This work is very satisfying. We’re able to forge deep relationships that are meaningful and impactful.”

“We offer the same benefits as a corporate firm without the invisible layers between the clients and us. No getting routed through a call center, no struggling to remember the last person you spoke to,” Arie describes. “We are completely transparent with our clients. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take this responsibility quite seriously.”

Stephen joined his father as a partner, now serving as President and Chief Investment Officer of Korving and Company. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with extensive credentials in various specialties. If there’s a new way to help clients build wealth, he’s likely already studying it.

“Clients keep a portfolio
when it closely aligns
to their personality.
What they value, what they hope for,
what they can tolerate—
therein lies the plan we can execute.”

—Stephen Korving

He speaks of financial planning as a science that makes beautiful art. In any economic landscape, there’s a path to success, no matter how narrow or deliberate it might be. Stephen is determined to find it and lead his clients safely through any challenges. As he explains, this process requires mutual trust to stick to an agreed-upon plan.

“The best plan in the world is useless if it doesn’t resonate with a client,” he says. “And I’ve learned that clients keep a portfolio when it closely aligns to their personality. What they value, what they hope for, what they can tolerate—therein lies the plan we can execute. It’s my job to create that strategy and execute it on their behalf.”

The independent nature of Korving and Company allows Arie and Stephen the flexibility to integrate products, assets, and strategies which were once managed separately. A business owner who trusts Korving for capitalization advice may later seek assistance on a retirement, succession planning, and charitable giving from a life well-lived. With one financial planner overseeing it all, each individual asset has a better chance of success. This approach is called portfolio construction, and it was once beyond the average client’s reach.

After a client’s passing, there is often a post-retirement stage to help widows or employees transition successfully. Arie and Stephen are more than happy to work with survivors who are suddenly expected to make financial decisions. Since they’ve likely spent the last decade or so getting to know the client’s life on a broad scale, they can easily connect with those left behind.

Such long-term commitment to clients requires a steady, thoughtful approach in an industry too often wracked by instability. While the Korvings can’t control economic forces, their calm presence in a storm can keep a portfolio healthy over many years.

“Our clients trust us on every level—the methods, the process, and the plan,” Stephen notes. “It’s a huge amount of trust which we are honored to be given.”

The father and son financial planning team of Arie and Stephen Korving
believe that millennials have the most to gain from investing early.

Korving & Company

1510 Breezeport Way
Suffolk, VA 23435