(When they arent serving planning clients Jeffrey Baumert, center, and his partners, Gary Krasnov, left, and Carl Youngdale, all work as pilots for one of the large U.S. airlines. Their cockpit-view logo is recognizable to airline insiders.)
NAME: Jeff Baumert, Gary Youngdale and Gary Krasnov
FIRM: Advisor Financial Services in Woodstock, Ga.
% OF PRACTICE IN NICHE: More than 90%
Airline pilots are more than a client niche for planner Jeff Baumert and the partners in his firm, Gary Youngdale and Gary Krasnov -- theyre colleagues. Several times a month, each continues to work as a pilot for the same major U.S. airline. (Their employer wont let them say which one.)
Working simultaneously as pilots and planners gives them a unique perspective and edge with clients in their industry. We dont just know their world, Baumert says. We are there, living it with them.
The trios firm, Advisor Financial Services in Woodstock, Ga., has $368 million in AUM, mostly from pilots, airline executives, flight attendants and a few mechanics and ramp workers. The firms recently redesigned logo features a graphic pattern that is easily recognizable to many in this group: Its a pilots view out of the cockpit.
Like many in their industry, Baumert and his two partners served in the military before joining an airline. We can speak to military pensions and then to that transition to the airline industry, he says. They also understand the disruptive change that continues to roil the airlines, from vanishing pensions to layoffs: We can speak to the termination of pension plans and weve been through furloughs like our clients.
The three can run a planning firm because of their seniority as pilots; each only flies a couple of days a month at most. With such a light flying schedule, Baumert says, The question becomes, Why stop?