HMA Book Club – #EngageOrDieJuly 28, 2010
#MediaMonday – Alexis DelChiaroAugust 2, 2010
From time to time, we are borrowing one of our favorite Facebook creations – the sometimes-maligned but always fun “25 Things” – to offer fun facts about us, our clients and some great people in the community. Yeah, we know US Weekly does it too. But we started first!
The man himself - co-founder, author and frequent media darling Bob Keats
Today, we are spotlighting a client – Keats, Connelly and Associates, LLC (KCA), the largest wealth management firm in the United States specializing in cross-border issues.
- KCA is celebrating its 20th year in the Valley throughout 2010
- In the 1970’s before there ever was a KCA, a Canadian executive named Bob Keats was working in finance in Calgary, where approximately 40,000 Americans worked or lived most of the year.
- Keats was inundated with questions from these Americans on finances and taxes on almost a daily basis. In all cases, he was able to find suitable answers for all American needs.
- However, the role was quite reversed when he transferred to Arizona in 1983, where there were tens (now hundreds) of thousands of Canadians living and working in the state and no one to help any of them.
- So, in 1990, Keats and others founded KCA’s first office in Phoenix. During this time, Keats affectionately remembers “eating grass” and hiring on his son part-time to get by.
The Border Guide - now in its 10th edition!
- In 1992, Keats worked with Self Counsel Press to publish The Border Guide. Keats wrote The Border Guide for both Canadians and Americans, regardless of which direction they may be moving or investing – this ballooned the business!
- The book became a Canadian bestseller and is now, all these years later, in its 10th edition.
- Keats hired on Dale Walters, CPA, PFS, CFP® (U.S.), CFP™ (Canada), in 1994. Walters quickly displayed his talents and leadership skills and was put in charge of the tax department, then the financial planning department and eventually became the CEO in 2004.
- Walters is good with his head and his hands – he is also a four-time karate heavyweight champ!
- The firm has been named one of the top CPA/financial planning firms in the country by CPA Wealth Provider Magazine – twice!
- In 2007, the team at KCA had 15 minutes of fame, starring in a home
The KCA team ready for their close-up being filmed for a reality show while volunteering
improvement program called the Carefree Gardener. They worked with the host of the show to re-model a backyard for the Save the Family Foundation of Arizona.
- KCA now has 30+ employees from the United States, Canada and Germany.
- KCA has expanded from just the Arizona office – they now have offices in Florida as well.
- They also expanded to offer life planning and financial coaching to their clients.
- The well-tuned firm has been honored by the Better Business Bureau for its ethical practices and by several other organizations as a “Who’s Who in Business,” a “Wealth Management Top Dog,” a “Company to Watch,” an “Impact Award Winner,” and as “Volunteers of the Year.”
- In recent years, the firm also expanded with a sister company, Cross Border Tax & Accounting (CBTA).
- KCA has gone green in its 20th anniversary year by moving to solar power, recycling programs and more.
- KCA president Keats was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial Advisor on how Canadians can purchase property in the United States.
- KCA staff planner Virginia E. Dhondt was recently named president of the Financial Planning Association of Arizona.
- KCA director of financial planning Sally Taylor was profiled in the May Issue of Scottsdale Health Magazine.
KCA's own Sally Taylor during a photo shoot for her May 2010 Scottsdale Health Magazine Profile
- Keats recently contributed to a colleague’s book with his cross border expertise – The Trusted Advisors Survival Kit.
- Today, the firm’s clients come from all over the world, so much so that they are looking to expand internationally by opening a Canadian office and offering planning to people looking to buy property or invest in Mexico.
- They are also in the process of adding planning services for those working, living and investing in both the United Kingdom and United States.
- In 2008, KCA announced its plans to transition ownership of the firm to a handful of employees gradually over a 10-year period.
- Walters has been honored as one of the country’s top financial planners.
And, a bonus – KCA has been an HMA client since 2005.