Woman-owned Independent Financial Services has grown its assets under management by about 30 percent.
IFS, co-owned by Jeannie Holliday and Jodi Perez, took over the Welch Financial office on South Howard Avenue after Brad Welch, who established the office in 1995, retired from the financial services industry.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
IFS now has $183 million in assets under management. The firm provides financial planning, ongoing active money management and investment management.
Holliday and Perez, who founded IFS in 2007, are among a minority in the financial services industry. Women account for only 14 percent of financial advisors, according to Barron’s.
But women-owned advisory firms outperform their peers, Investment Newssaid, citing a study sponsored by Pershing Advisor Solutions that looks at 2015 data. Women-owned firms had higher operating margins — 29 percent for women-owned firms, versus 22.7 percent for all other firms. Revenue grew 8.6 percent at women-owned firms, compared to 6.7 percent at all others, the study found.
“In some ways, women are more empathetic and patient, and that works well and to our advantage,” said Holliday, who is a chartered financial analyst and a certified divorce financial analyst.
Perez, a certified financial planner, said she and Holliday try to look at the bigger picture when considering clients’ needs, and provide a lot of additional services, including to the 23 family relationships they picked up when they took over Welch Financial.
“Brad [Welch] did money management, but he didn’t do financial planning,” Perez said. “By working with us, clients get an extra level of services, including insurance and income planning.”
The South Tampa office is the fifth location for IFS, with its main office in Land O’ Lakes, and other offices in First National Bank of Pasco in Dade City and Zephyrhills, and in Rocky Point.
Being in South Tampa is a strategic advantage, because IFS can refer clients who need accounting and legal services to CPAs and attorneys in that area.
It also puts IFS closer to existing clients in southern Hillsborough County, said Holliday, who works out of the south Tampa and Land O’ Lakes offices. Perez primarily is in the Land O’ Lakes, Zephyrhills and Dade City locations. They see clients — many who come from St. Petersburg or Clearwater — in Rocky Point by appointment.
IFS is affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services, a subsidiary of Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) in St. Petersburg, as was Welch Financial.
“In this area being able to have Raymond James behind us opens a lot of doors,” Perez said.
Raymond James has a transitions team that helped IFS with the deal, and First National Bank of Pasco provided financing.