L to R above: Melissa Rhys Moore, Bookkeeping Partner; Liz Desousa, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Financial Advisor; Tammy A. Trenta, CFP®, Partner; Tina Conaway, Senior Accountant; Jim Schlager, CFP®, Founder & Managing Partner; Michael Schulman, CFA®, Partner & CIO; Susan Lash, CPA, Tax Partner; Daniel Kerr, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor
Running Point Capital Advisors is a South Bay multifamily financial services office specializing in wealth management, taxes, financial planning, business management, accounting, estate planning and trusts all under one roof. Managing partner Jim Schlager is a financial services veteran who launched Running Point in 2020 to fulfill his vision of a firm that could offer sound advice across the full spectrum of financial services.
What do you offer clients?
“I have assembled a team that offers one-stop shopping for our clients. For example, you might come to us for wealth management, but tax planning, estate planning and many other considerations are part of the wealth management process. We have team members dedicated to assisting clients in all those arenas. You could say that integrating financial services is our specialty.”
Why do your clients consider you their trusted advisor?
“We’re a multifamily office that offers a team approach. We’re a family ourselves at Running Point, and I think clients appreciate that. We speak plainly. We listen carefully. And we focus on goals and lives—not benchmarks.”
Why did you decide to start your own firm?
“I came to the South Bay from Seattle in 2001 after merging my previous firm with Moss Adams, LLP, and opening Northern and Southern California offices. I’ve spent years establishing a close community connection here. But it’s long been my dream to run a firm dedicated to personalized, integrated services. That’s why I started Running Point earlier this year.”
What are some ways you establish credibility with clients?
“Our team members are highly experienced and have impeccable credentials. But just as important is the way we work. We view our professional relationships as a lifelong connection. Ours is a multigenerational approach that helps families navigate the full range of life experiences—from birth to college to business success, from estate planning to trust management.”
Why do people need the services you offer?
“We like to say that we specialize in what we do so you can focus on what you want to do. Financial planning, tax planning, accounting—these can all seem complicated and daunting to a business owner. We believe that’s why our clients find Running Point so refreshing. They can come here and get trustworthy, dedicated service in a whole range of financial specialties. That provides great peace of mind and allows them to focus on their business success and their family life.”
What should someone look for in a trusted advisor?
“A trusted advisor should be someone who listens. What a trusted advisor can do for a client begins with understanding the client’s needs and goals—the nuances of their unique objectives. Only then can an advisor tailor a customized, integrated financial plan for their client.”
Did you have a virtual practice in place before the COVID-19 pandemic? Will you continue to utilize it with clients?
“Well, we launched Running Point just as the pandemic hit, so our virtual practice has been there from the beginning. We’ve found that our clients are very comfortable teleconferencing with the Running Point team. We look forward to resuming face-to-face meetings when that’s appropriate, but we will continue to offer the teleconferencing option. We also have extremely secure practices in place for communicating financial information electronically.”
What have been your proudest moments during the recent crisis?
“Launching our firm in the midst of a worldwide pandemic! Our team and our practice have grown considerably these past several months. We’re very proud of that.”
How do you use your success to do good in your community?
“The South Bay community has provided our firm with the foundation for our success, so we feel it’s very important to give back. I served for nearly three years as a Manhattan Beach city planning commissioner. I serve on the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation board, South Bay Police and Fire Department Memorial Foundation board, and Manhattan Beach Rotary board. My wife, Lisa, and I have raised two children here, Maddie and Cooper. I’ve coached practically every sport, helped lead Adventure Guide groups, and Lisa has been deeply involved with social and emotional wellness programs in the school district.”
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of Running Point Capital Advisors, LLC (“Running Point”) and are subject to change without notice. Running Point reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. This should not be considered investment advice or an offer to sell any product. Running Point is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Running Point, including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. RP-20-31