In 1998, the three principals of Buffington Mohr McNeal (BMM) opened their doors with a promise to be their client’s advocate. McNeal says, “We help our clients make decisions about anything financial. We are their first call.” BMM gives their clients the gift of time by doing all the detail work to manage their portfolios. It is this mentality that has earned them loyalty from their clients and has grown their business from managing $66 million in 1998 to $800 million today.
Taking It Down To The Shell
When they first rented their space in Boise’s Hoff building, the firm had to look like a bank. So, they bought stuffy cherry wood, deep, dark glass tops, credenzas, and leather couches to look the part. Recently, however, Hendricks bought the Hoff building and is changing things. “What they are doing in our space is a lot more than we would have ever envisioned. They took it down to a shell and took everything out of both our current space and the next suite over. That has given us the opportunity to work with CSHQA, the architects, and the Wright Brothers, the GC.”
Customizing The Space
The change could not have come at a better time. Since 1998, BMM’s staff has gone from four to twelve employees, and they were busting at the seams. Starting with a clean slate and an additional suite, allowed them to customize the space to meet their specific needs. After their interior designer, Megumi Haus, nailed the colors and floor coverings in her first try (all green and black which conveniently resembles both their logo and the color of money), finding the right furniture became the next important task.
According to McNeal, “We were really impressed with Michelle (OEC Workplace Consultant) and Rachael (OEC Designer) and their vision for what we were trying to do. They asked us questions about how we were going to use the space which is really important to us. They also had great technology to help us visualize their ideas.” Some of those needs included a café, which the staff has never had. The new café is complete with a high-top table and barstools etched with the BMM advisor’s alma maters including Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Boise State, and Nevada. “It is going to make that room collegial and a fun place to hang out.”
“We give our clients the gift of time and that theme is going to exist throughout the space.” – Carey McNeal
BMM’s Artistic Flair
Another important addition is a collaborative space with an artistic flair where BMM’s Investment Committee does all its communication and securities trading. It is in a central space between all the modular wall offices, so they decided to design a mural for the wall. The mural is a map of the world with time zones on it. “It is a cool visual for the world we live in. We give our clients the gift of time and that theme is going to exist throughout the space.”
Working With Extra Space
Although he is biased, McNeal’s office is the thing he is most excited about. “I have two locations in my office where I’ll be able to meet with clients. One is a very formal setting at a conference table with a monitor, and then another is a living room setting with a couch and a table that is a whiteboard. I wasn’t planning on that, but it has made a big difference for me. I imagine using those spaces differently now.”
With more beautiful and functional space, the firm is looking forward to going from stodgy bankers to contemporary wealth managers with room for growth. Let’s hope that growth helps them also bring their business over the billion-dollar threshold!
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