Founded in 1983 by Ron Carson and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Carson Group serves financial advisors and investors through its three businesses — Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching, and Carson Partners. Carson Group has created an ecosystem dedicated to helping financial advisors unleash the full potential of their firms by providing marketing, compliance, technology, investment strategies, succession planning, M&A support, and coaching. The company currently manages $20 billion in assets and serves more than 43,000 families among its advisor network of 130+ partner offices, including 35 Carson Wealth locations.
Excell 2021 was one of the first conferences to return in-person after the pandemic. Through a blend of healthcare and technology, we were able to gather 1,500 advisors, sponsors, speakers and stakeholders safely in Las Vegas. Excell was brought to life in an innovative way by sharing the experience through an interactive social media campaign that connected in-person and remote attendees with the content, speakers, and the mission of the conference, to bring advisors back together and make an impact. We used website, emails and the Excell mobile application ahead of the conference to collect Carson provided, at-home COVID-19 test results and vaccination status and implemented daily health screenings via the mobile application throughout the event to maintain a COVID-free status for the four days.
Carson Partners was formed to help advisors pursue strategic transactions, including succession solutions. 103,000 of advisors are retiring in the next 10 years. Of that – 26% say they do not have a succession plan. Carson’s offering acts a backstop for business continuity so advisors can work confidently knowing their business, family and clients are taken care of. By forming custom succession plans, advisors can weigh options – merger, acquisition, internal succession. Carson’s M&A team helps evaluate, structure, value and negotiate transactions, while our legal team provides templates and guidance. With this strategy, unique circumstances can be conquered. This was what occurred when Carson Partner Jon Baker of Jon Baker Financial Group in Atlanta, Georgia passed away from brain cancer last fall.
Ana Trujillo Limón
Ana Trujillo Limón is a rising star in our profession and a leading force for DE&I efforts. She is Carson’s Director of Coaching and Advisor Content. In this role, she focuses on producing inclusive and authentic content for advisors and industry leaders. To accomplish this, Ana is the co-host of the Framework podcast with Jamie Hopkins, a writer for industry trade publications that focus on DE&I and belonging, and a founding member of the FPA Latino Group and Carson’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Education, Action) Council. She and Dana Wilson (CEO & Founder of CHIP) run a quarterly digital magazine for Latino and Black professionals, called “The Brief.” She also co-founded a financial literacy club for middle and high school students called Mini Money Runners.
Ron Carson, a 38-year industry veteran, is an entrepreneur, hall-of-fame advisor, $1 billion-business founder and visionary who has materially changed the financial advice profession for the better. Carson Group is growing at 137% YOY, establishing their presence as an innovative industry leader with the recent grand opening of their headquarters; a symbol of Ron’s commitment to building a 100-year firm. Growing the business by 20X in the past decade, Ron attributes recent success to an unparalleled focus on company culture. Named one of the Best Places to Work in Omaha, he truly believes being a good leader starts with a vision focused on making an impact. He leads by example, exemplifying the culture and attracting top-tier professionals, and inspiring them to keep pushing forward.
As we moved into our new $80M headquarters this past year, Carson Group sought to continue to advance our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts inside our new walls, and further efforts beyond them in our local community. The building itself was actually a core piece of our DE&I strategy. Who else can say that in financial services? In 2020, we formed the Carson IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Education and Action) Council. In its first full year, this group accelerated efforts within the organization, leading monthly IDEA Chats, reinstating our local CODE (Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity, and Equity) membership, and expanded both our communication and nation-wide efforts.
Mary Kate Gulick
Mary Kate Gulick is an award-winning marketing veteran, content marketing pioneer and Amazon bestselling author. As CMO, she is the creative, strategy and cultural leader for the marketing and events teams of nearly 40, and a member of the Carson Group executive leadership team. She joined Carson Group in 2021, following her exit from TD Ameritrade, and provides marketing expertise for Carson Group’s 300 stakeholders and 135 Carson Partner offices nationwide. Mary Kate is responsible for Carson Group’s brand expression and messaging, digital marketing transformation, the 2022 lead-generation initiative, sales enablement and event strategy, and the industry-leading marketing offering that empowers Carson Partner firms to maximize business growth. Most importantly, she’s responsible for the professional growth and high performance of Carson Group’s award-winning marketing team.
At 32, Nick Engelbart is one of the youngest Chief Financial Officers in financial services. In his role at Carson Group, Nick is responsible for capital allocation, M&A, strategic planning, and financial strategy. He also manages a team of 22 stakeholders and is looking to double that number over the next five years. Nick has been the key integrator in recent special projects, including our new $80M headquarters. He was responsible for assisting with the build out, overseeing budget, spending, and financial decisions. Beyond this, Nick led our 2021 search for an equity partner and spearheaded the relationship with Bain Capital. He led this initiative over 6 months, which led to Carson Group’s $1 billion dollar valuation, the first of its kind for RIAs.