The owners of Integrity Capital Management (from left) are: Pam Rehart, Barry Bailey, CFP, AIF; John Atkins, CFP (seated); and Angie Chapman, CRPC.
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Angie Chapman and Pam Rehart of Integrity Capital Management didn’t set out to become owners in an investment firm.
But, they said, they’re happy their career paths led them to a place where ownership means being able to do the right thing for people all of the time.
“When we started this business with our two other partners, we made a conscious choice to work as fiduciaries,” said Rehart, who worked in banking before she became an investment advisor. “In our industry, being a fiduciary is the highest standard of care. It means we have to make decisions that benefit our clients first and foremost. That isn’t necessarily the norm in our business.”
What else isn’t the norm in the financial industry is female-owned investment firms, Rehart said, and across the board only 30 percent of financial advisors are women.
While they and their two other business partners, John Atkins and Barry Bailey, work as a team to serve their clients, Chapman and Rehart say they have a special place in their hearts for women who need financial advice.
“We’ve found that some women have a tendency to be intimidated by investing, and they don’t need to be,” Chapman said. “We encourage women to take charge of their finances and investments. Don’t just leave it up to your spouse or stick your head in the sand because it’s something you’re initially uncomfortable with.”
Today, she said, women control 50 percent of the country’s wealth and are the main source of income in 53 percent of households – and shouldn’t hesitate to seek out the specialized financial attention they need.
Integrity, a Registered Investment Advisory firm (RIA), has been in business for seven years; the four owners worked together previously before they decided to pursue the dream of going into business for themselves.
The firm began with a single client and a small loft office on Broad Street. Today, Integrity manages more than $100 million in assets and owns a large, inviting space on the third floor of the Press Building.
“Our growth trajectory has been steady and right where we hoped it would be,” said Rehart. “We have no desire to become the biggest RIA. Being the biggest doesn’t make you the best at what you do. We don’t want to grow to a size where we are no longer able to continue close, personal relationships with all of our clients.”
Integrity Capital Management is independent and fee-based – a structure Rehart said is important for the firm to live up to its name. Chapman said trust is a cornerstone of their business; clients know that Integrity advisors are not pushing certain investments because of commission or corporate pressure.
Integrity specializes in serving individuals who are close to retirement or those who have already retired and plan to live off of their investments for many years. In addition, the firm manages 401k retirement plans for employers, which includes directly advising employees who participate in the plans.
Chapman, whose background is in marketing, says she’s always thought of herself not just as a financial advisor, but as a counselor helping people to improve their financial future.
“We take a comprehensive approach to investment management that includes looking at everything from Social Security benefits to estate planning,” she said. “We’re not just managing your money; we’re looking at every component of your life.”
Often, she said, that means talking through the emotional impact of what’s going on – whether a client is grieving after the death of a spouse, going through a painful divorce, or trying to figure out if he or she is able to retire.
While women don’t necessarily seek out a female investment advisor, Chapman said, it’s often helpful because shared experiences help to build rapport – and this can help women who at first may feel apprehensive about discussing financial matters.
“We involve both spouses in financial planning,” she said, “so that both know what’s going on and are involved in critical decisions.”
To find out more about Integrity Capital Management, go online to www.retirewithicm.com or call 423-230-4500.