Financial advisors Ted Jenkin (left) and Kile Lewis unwind at their office at oXYGen Financial in Alpharetta, Ga., a practice reporting $225 million in AUM. The two wanted to create a relaxed, stress-free office environment to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd.
“Most of the large financial services firms today, you’ve got CNBC on a TV playing on a wall; you’ve got marble floors and mahogany furniture, and a picture of a bull and a bear," Jenkin says. "Most of these customers today are doing business with companies like Apple and Starbucks, which has a much more casual, younger feel to them.”
The office features an Oxygen Bar, where, unlike Vegas, it doesn't cost a dime to unload some stress. They have eight scents to choose from.
The open spaces at advisor Randall Gerber's office in Columbus, Ohio were designed with transparency in mind. “I wanted the clients to subconsciously realize that they can see everything everywhere,” he says.
Built in an early 20th century door and glass factory, the new space is 6,200 square feet and features high ceilings, exposed brick and heavy beams. The firm’s staff sits at open tables in the middle the office, made of heavy wood and natural materials. The few offices that line the walls are exposed by glass.
Rather than the typical mahogany conference table, Gerber’s conference table is made from reclaimed flooring from a 100-year-old barn, wormholes and all.
Advisors David Zoller, Tim Meisenheimer and Toby Meisenheimer (left to right) recently got help from their broker/dealer LaSalle St. Securities to build out a new office space from the ground up. Rather than put up walls and separate offices, they decided to keep the space open.
“We’re watching a lot of the newer firms—the Facebooks and Googles—build more of a collaborative office style setting than individual offices,” says Toby, 38, founder of Streamline Financial Services in Warrenville, Ill.
Streamline's new office also includes a ping pong table and a kids cube—an open-faced box with an iMac and a TV—where kids can hang out while their parents are in their meeting.
Some younger financial advisors are “tricking” out their offices to attract Gen X and Y investors. Here are what a few are doing to create office spaces more akin to those of Google than IBM.
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