Barrister was founded in 2010 by Charles C. Weeks Jr. after working as a financial advisor and analyst and graduating from LaSalle University and Villanova Law. Charles started the firm because he felt the public was not being properly served by the larger brokerage firms and he believed a more specialized structure and planning-based approach was necessary. His vision was to create a professional services firm where advisors are all CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners, acting as fiduciaries and providing financial planning, investment and insurance advisory while always acting in their client’s best interest.
In the early years the firm grew organically as Charles built the business through his professional network, personal contacts and many referrals. During this time, Charles also began to teach financial planning. This started with creating a CFP® Board Registered Financial Planning program at Stockton University, where he still serves as an Assistant Professor. Charles also founded Barrister Higher Education, LLC, where he teaches CFP® exam review courses and financial planning courses for advisors preparing to sit the CFP® exam. Through his work in education, Charles interacted with advisors operating on a variety of platforms and business models. He was convinced it was time to position the firm for more rapid growth as advisors and clients expressed a desire to work for, and with, a firm like Barrister.
Charles and Paul Savini had known each other since their days playing football together at Holy Spirit High School in southern New Jersey. They both pursued careers in finance after graduating from college and kept in touch through the years. In 2018, Paul was preparing to write the next chapter in his career and contemplating moving his family from Hong Kong back to the United States. At this time, he joined the conversation with Charles about helping accelerate growth at Barrister, which ultimately led to Paul joining the business as its first partner. Other changes were happening during this period. Barrister launched its affiliate advisor program and brought on its first advisor, Douglas Grant of Grant Asset Management. The firm also moved into new office space at 15th and Market in the heart of Philadelphia and became known solely as Barrister.
Today, Barrister looks to the future poised for growth. The financial services industry is evolving as the markets and global economy experience rapid change. Consumers of financial services are increasingly sophisticated and aware of factors that differentiate advisors as the word “fiduciary” becomes mainstream. At Barrister, we feel we are at the vanguard of a movement in the industry to offer broader and deeper advice to clients. This advice goes beyond investment advisory by analyzing the complete financial picture and mapping out a plan for every client to achieve their goals. As a firm, what ultimately drives our growth and development is staying true to our core mission of acting as tireless advocates, trusted advisors and stewards of capital to our many and varied clients in all that matters to them financially.