With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry as a portfolio manager, Katie Florig is more than qualified for her position as the managing director of the BMO Wealth Management office in Winnetka. In this role, Florig oversees a team of professionals dedicated to providing high-net-worth individuals, families, and organizations, including closely-held and family-owned businesses, endowments, and foundations, with a full range of wealth services as part of an overall personal wealth management strategy.
“We’ve got a fantastic group of professionals, who have deep expertise in their field,” Florig says. She estimates that most of the professionals in her group have more than twenty-five years of experience in the financial services industry. “It’s a very talented group. They are people who live on the North Shore and are invested in their communities and want to help the people and businesses here. They do their very best to make where we live and work great places to be.”
Florig received a BS from Miami University in Ohio and holds a Charted Financial Analyst® designation and is a Certified Financial Planner® professional. Florig lives in Kenilworth with her husband and daughter, just a block from where she grew up.
BMO Wealth Management clients represent a wide range of individuals. “Wealth comes in a lot of different flavors,” says Florig. “Many people are business owners. They might have founded and created their own businesses, or they may be part of a multi-generational business that has been on the North Shore for decades. We also have a lot of clients that are high-level corporate executives, as well as doctors, lawyers, and other specialists. There is really no standard wealth client.”
BMO Wealth Management works with clients in a variety of ways to both preserve and grow wealth. “We work with business owners to develop strategies that encompass both their goals for their businesses as well as their personal wealth. We are able to utilize our planning, tax, and trust and estate specialists to ensure those two areas work in harmony, which can be especially complicated with multi-generational ownership structures.”
Working with the next generation is particularly gratifying for Florig and makes up a large percentage of her business. “It’s really wonderful to start working with grandparents, then get to meet their adult children, and eventually their grandchildren. We work to customize our delivery for the different needs across the generations. The grandkids have a very different investment time horizon and risk tolerance than the grandparents do, and I think we do a good job teaching younger generations about what wealth means and how to be good wealth stewards. This crucial step in the process is really rewarding.”
The office does not do a lot of external marketing—because it doesn’t need to. “A lot of our clients are here through word-of-mouth,” Florig says. “Our existing clients are our best sales team because they’re happy and they’re talking to their friends and family. That’s usually a pretty solid introduction.”
In an initial meeting, “it’s just having a conversation, have you ever talked to anybody about planning? Do you have a trust? What are your retirement goals? Have you thought about what you want your future to look like? We are trying to peel back the layers of the onion to determine where we might relieve some worry or help with a solution. Maybe it’s on the banking side, maybe it’s on the investment side or planning and maybe it’s all those things, but we try and identify what’s going to be most helpful to the client in achieving their goals.”
“I never take for granted the fact that our clients are entrusting us with their life savings; that is not something to be taken lightly. It’s a major responsibility and it’s an unbelievable level of trust that we’re given. It’s truly something that I am humbled by and grateful for,” Florig says.
BMO Wealth Management is located at 520 Green Bay Road in Winnetka. For more information, visit wealthadvisor.bmoharris.com.