Origins: The Rick Bennett StorySubmitted by Durbin Bennett on December 10th, 2019
Many successful entrepreneurs have a “why,” or a reason they risk failure to achieve something bigger than themselves. Durbin Bennett’s “why” is rooted in a personal story experienced by our founder, Rick Bennett. It’s an event that has touched all of us at some point in our lives: the death of a loved one. In this case it was Rick’s father, a concertmaster of the Houston Symphony.
From a young age, Rick’s father knew music would be his path, however, finances were not his forte. Rick recalls the time his father invested his grandmother’s money into a hotel and ended up losing the entire investment. When Rick was just 27 years old his father had a heart attack and passed away. It wasn’t until after his father’s death that Rick came to understand how truly awful the state of his father’s finances were. With no retirement savings to show for his years of work at the Houston Symphony, Rick wondered if the financial stress played a role in the heart attack.
Unlike his father, Rick’s gift was numbers. He decided to get his professional start in tax advising, knowing it would be a great foundation for the rest of his career. As Rick rose through the ranks of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ tax practice, the thought of his father’s lack of financial literacy stuck with him. After serving as Director of Financial Services for the PricewaterhouseCoopers Austin, Texas office, Rick decided he wanted more autonomy in his ability to serve and educate clients in all financial matters, something his father could have used years ago.
Utilizing his tax background and years of sharing financial concepts and strategies with clients, Rick started his own firm, Durbin Bennett, in 1987. While many are daunted by the complexities of investing and finance, Rick understood these concepts could be broken down into simpler parts and better communicated to clients.
One of the traps of entrepreneurship is owners believe they must manage all areas of the business. Rick, however, was able to hire talented people and delegate effectively as the firm grew. Bringing on technical specialists like Matt Jachimiak to focus on investments, Margaret Casey to run operations, and Paul Lueb and Tylor Seaman to work with clients, brought diversity of thought and talent to the firm. As Durbin Bennett grew in both management and team members, the mission remained the same: help clients and families navigate their financial life through effective communication and a desire to understand and educate.
Today, Durbin Bennett Private Wealth Management prides itself on the fact it upholds the fiduciary standard of always placing the client’s interest ahead of its own. Drawing on their experience as entrepreneurs, Rick and the partners of the firm understand the unique and complicated needs of entrepreneurs. Equipped with this insight, the firm works with entrepreneurs to help them implement advanced planning and pre-liquidity strategies for their businesses. In his 30+ years in the business, Rick has been able to help clients create financial legacies that his father was not able to by properly educating clients and understanding their unique circumstances.