Wealth management means different things to different people.
“Every client we serve has unique needs and situations,” says Kate Miller, senior vice president/senior trust officer for STAR Financial Bank in Fort Wayne. “As far as when to start thinking about wealth management, that depends on your level of comfort with having someone assist you. A lot of what we do is educational. I always think of it in terms of life events. So, when you get your first job and you’re actually making money for the first time, that’s a good time to talk to us about what you should be doing from a 401(k) perspective or if you should go with a regular IRA versus a Roth IRA. And then, when you get married, you have things to consider from a financial perspective. The same thing goes for when your first child is born and you should start thinking about setting up a 529 for college. You don’t need to come to us with $1 million for us to pay attention to you. It really is all about growing with that individual throughout their life so we can help them at those stages and accomplish what they want to do down the road in retirement and then after death.”
Miller and her colleagues understand that most people don’t like to think about their death and don’t always feel open to sharing information about their personal finances.
“It really is a relationship building business,” she says. “We’re not tied to a particular number, we just want to help people. Everything we do is in writing, so there are no surprises. Most of the time we work in pairs, so one person focuses on investments and the other manages the account administration.”
Building trust takes time and Miller acknowledges that it’s up to the client to steer the ship.
“We will go to a client’s home or meet with them in a coffee shop,” says Miller. “We understand money is a personal matter and it’s important that our clients are in a comfortable setting for these meetings.”
Miller says a huge advantage for their clients is STAR’s proximity.
“Although we manage $430 million, we are a tight knit and accessible group of professionals located in Fort Wayne and Carmel. So, if you need someone, we’re all right here. We are always looking ahead to what’s coming in the future. Right now, it looks like some significant changes are on the horizon in terms of wealth transfer. We are monitoring that closely and collaborating with financial and legal professionals to provide our clients with the most up-to-date information. We want the clients to be as involved as possible as we take care of the navigation for them.”
Address: 127 W. Berry St. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
Phone: (260) 467-5500
Years in Business: 78
Number of Employees: 466
Products & Services: STAR Financial is an Indiana community bank providing banking, mortgage, investing, credit card and wealth management at 36 locations in central and northeast Indiana.