A tight focus on doctors as clients keeps Ara Oghoorian, founder and president of ACap Asset Management, Inc., on top of the specialized needs of his clientele. ACap is a financial advisory firm located in Beverly Hills, Calif.
“I primarily focus on physicians,” Oghoorian said, noting that about 98 percent of his clients fall into that category. Because of his close attention on this very specialized group, “I’m able to provide a much better level of high service for my clients,” he said, because “I have a better understanding of what their needs are.”
Doctors in particular, he said, understand the concept of specialization, since so many of them are specialists themselves.
Oghoorian said doctors tend to be busy people who want the “broad stroke” when it comes to discussing their investments and finances. “They just want to know the bottom line,” he said.
A few of his non-doctor clients are engineers, he said, who take a very different approach to investments and finance. “Engineer clients really want to know the nitty gritty details,” he said.
Depending on a client’s needs, Oghoorian said, he will present information in a different format that best suits their requirements.
The minimum amount of investable assets required by ACap is $100,000, Oghoorian said. This number is relatively low, compared to some other financial advisory firms, because “typically my clients are under the age of 45,” he said and may not yet have amassed large amounts of investable assets.
Oghoorian serves specialists such as neurologists and pediatricians, as well as general practitioners. These doctor clients usually have one to three offices, and are either independent contractors, work for a medical group, or teach in a medical school. Doctors that are also professors have a steady income from the university work and also often can have a good pension, he noted, which makes having both a private practice and teaching very attractive to them. Being in academia can also help a doctor keep up with the latest technology and techniques in his or her field of medicine.
Oghoorian said he did not set out to develop a primarily medical client base, but began to attract a lot of these clients early on because he counts several doctors among his friends and family members, including his own brother. Now, he said, most of his clients come from referrals from existing doctor clients.
However, he noted, more recently he has started to see a few clients contact him because they found him on the Internet while searching for financial planners that serve doctors. In fact, his past four or five clients have come through the Internet, he said, which he has found somewhat surprising.
Working with so many doctors as clients means that Oghoorian needs to keep up on medical developments, by reading medical trade journals and also, sometimes, writing for them. He said writing these articles not only enhances his credibility with medical professionals, it also helps him gain a better grasp of subject matter that is important to his clients.
ACap is currently made up of Oghoorian, plus a director of operations and marketing. He also hires interns occasionally to do research.
However, Oghoorian said he is currently looking to grow his firm by hiring an additional advisor, specifically someone with a strong financial background and existing contacts in the medical field. “I want my firm to be a professional firm where my clients understand who they are dealing with,” he said.