Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Model FA

Jun 8, 2021

Chris Kerckhoff is the CEO of Plancorp, a fee-only RIA firm. Chris first joined the company as an intern right out of college in 1997. Through hard work and a passion for ensuring the quality of their client experience, Chris advanced through the ranks over the years and was named President in 2010. The company has experienced tremendous growth under his watch, scaling from $1 billion to $5 billion in assets under management. Chris believes in helping people live their best lives and has led Plancorp to serve as financial advocates for over 1,300 families, businesses, and institutions. Chris has also been instrumental in launching Plancorp’s sister company, BrightPlan, a financial wellness solution for fiduciary excellence.


Chris joins me today to share his journey from being an intern to becoming the CEO of Plancorp. He explains the importance of asking great questions and why leadership is about looking for people you can count on. He describes how he used to create an inauthentic “work version” of himself when interacting with clients and how embracing authenticity has supported his success. He also discusses the complex financial situations employees face and underscores the importance of connecting with your clients’ humanity.


“Humans are relationship-driven species; as an advisor, everything is about the relationship you build with clients and becoming a trusted advocate for them.” - Chris Kerckhoff


This week on The Model FA Podcast:


  • Chris’s 24-year-long career with the firm, from intern to CEO
  • How his dedication to ensure amazing client experiences helped him get to the CEO role
  • Common characteristics of rising financial advisor stars
  • Plancorp’s true team approach and its vision for the future
  • How to turn clients into raving fans
  • Why Chris doesn’t think the approach to a financial crisis should be 100% digital
  • The financial stress many employees feel and how BrightPlan is addressing it
  • The transparency and honesty issues the financial management industry faces
  • How advisors can become more transparent with their clients by cultivating relationships
  • How becoming authentic with his clients contributed to Chris’s success in the firm
  • The relationship between transparency and an advisor’s faith in their value proposition


Resources Mentioned:



Our Favorite Quotes:


  • “Some people don’t get the attention they need because they don’t fit advisors’ business models. Treat humans as humans regardless of the assets they may or may not have.” - David DeCelle
  • “Provide an amazing client experience and they’ll spread the word. You’ll have raving fan-clients who are going to give out your name more often.” - Chris Kerckhoff
  • “When you build relationships with clients, the less important the fees become and the more comfortable you feel with transparency because you know you’ve won the relationship.” - David DeCelle


Connect with Chris Kerckhoff:




About the Model FA Podcast


The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 


Did you like this conversation? Then leave us a rating and a review in whatever podcast player you use. We would love your feedback, and your ratings help us reach more advisors with ideas for growing their practices, attracting great clients, and achieving a better quality of life. While you are there, feel free to share your ideas about future podcast guests or topics you’d love to see covered. 


Our Team:

President of Model FA, David DeCelle


If you like this podcast, you will love our community! Join the Model FA Community on Facebook to connect with like-minded advisors and share the day-to-day challenges and wins of running a growing financial services firm.