Erin G. Willis
In my early years I wanted to be a musician. I quickly learned that I would not be able to support myself in that field so in 1993 I finagled a job with an independent brokerage firm. From the beginning, the culture of selling financial products rubbed me the wrong way. The focus at the firm and throughout the industry was on sales not on the clients. As time went on, I got more and more disgusted with the “sell product” atmosphere of the time. I wanted to put the clients needs first and provide a more client-centric holistic approach based on planning and guidance, not generating commissions.
In the fall of 1996, one of my clients said “Erin, why don’t you just go start your own business based on advice not products.”
I got to work on a business plan and in January of 1997 (at the wise old age of 28) I took the plunge and used my life savings to start Legacy Financial. In the beginning,
I was a one man operation. I answered the phones, managed client investments, wrote financial plans, prepared reports, researched investments and ran the business. It would be 50-60hr weeks for the next two decades. Those original clients stuck with me and introduced me to their friends. Those friends introduced me to their friends, etc and the company began to grow. It has continued to grow year after year. Along the way, I hired more staff, added more resources and leased larger and larger office space.
Along the way, other advisors started to take notice of the culture at Legacy. A few of them shared the same values and vision and joined the firm. Today Legacy has 2 office locations with 9 financial advisors and 8 team members. We have room for a few more advisors but our vision is to remain a small boutique firm that can focus on our personal client relationships.
We have come a long way from those humble beginnings.
After more than 20 years helping clients plan through all the stages of their life, I have seen first hand the amazing work that the Hospice of the Chesapeake does. They have helped so many at their time of greatest need. It is an easy charity for me to understand and support.
Outside of work, I still enjoy playing music (just for fun) but my real passions take me outside - bicycling, hiking, skiing and boating.