The Power of Three
Story by Molly Wright | Jan 05, 2015
Photography by Anthony Jinson
Nicklas Financial offers tri-generational support to businesses and individuals alike.
Although family businesses are not uncommon in Jefferson City, few span three generations. Nicklas Financial is one of them. Today, the company continues to provide exceptional financial guidance and unmatched personal service for individuals businesses. This kind of service has been the hallmark of the company for 35 years.
The idea for starting the business took root in 1978, when Brooks Nicklas headed the life and insurance department at Central Bank. At the time, Brooks’ younger son, Kenny, was a partner with Tharp and Nicklas Management Inc. His older son, Don, had recently returned to Jefferson City after leaving a job with the Ozark Regional Tourism Commission in Little Rock, Arkansas. Recognizing an opportunity to work together in 1979, father and sons founded the Nicklas Agency and purchased the life and health insurance department from Central Bank. Two years later, Brooks’ daughter, Joyce Ann Wilson, returned to her hometown, joined the family business and became the fourth stockholder.
According to Kenny, the company’s original objective was to provide a customized full line of insurance and retirement products, sold and serviced by knowledgeable agents and experienced staff. Although the company has never wavered from its original dedication to exemplary customer service, it continues to tweak its business model to best reflect the changing needs of a growing clientele.
Today, Nicklas Financial focuses on three primary areas: advisers, businesses and individuals. “We are a branch office for Securities America Inc., through which we are to offer securities. Securities America, Inc a member of FINRA/SIPC, is one of the largest independent broker/dealers in the United States,” Kenny says. “We recruit and supervise advisers in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, assisting them with offering clients a full range of products and services to meet their financial needs.”
Nicklas Financial provides businesses with services that focus on retirement, retention and succession, more commonly known as 401k plans, key-person retention plans and buy/sell plans funded with life insurance. For individuals, the company offers total financial planning, which encompasses wealth building, protection and distributions to maximize tax efficiency. The firm’s advisory services are offered by Securities America Advisors Inc.
At the millennium, third-generation members came on board when Kenny’s son, Brandon Nicklas, joined the company in 2000, followed by Kenny’s daughter, Brie Heislen, in 2007. More recently, Brooks and Don retired their stock, and now Kenny and Joyce Ann are sole stockholders. Brooks, who celebrated his 90th birthday in September, still frequents the office, assisting with special projects as they arise. Don also remains an active adviser in serving his clients as needed.
As for future plans, Kenny says they will always look for ways to improve so they can continue to help clients accomplish their goals and objectives in the best way possible.
“If we do that, there will be no shortage of opportunity with expanding our company,” he says, adding that he feels being located in the Capital City is a plus. “Jefferson City is just right in many ways. It is not too big, so relationships are valued, and not too small, so quality of services does not suffer.”
Both Kenny and his sister, Joyce Ann, thoroughly enjoy helping others maximize their time, talents and money. They also agree there is a special satisfaction that comes from working in a family business.
“I like being with my family, being able to share and work toward a common goal,” Joyce Ann says. “My father’s dream was to have a business that successfully met the needs of the community and provided a living for the family. I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work in the business when I moved back and would certainly like to provide the same opportunity to future generations.”
Kenny adds: “By being a part of a successful team, we help people identify what is important to them, set strategies in place to accomplish their objectives and implement tactics to weave through the problems of everyday life without losing focus.”