In March we took a break from our regularly scheduled e-newsletter and blog programming to share an annual Hill Investment Group overview.
You’re used to getting the Hill Investment Group newsletter now every month. We put a lot of thought into those newsletters, curating the best stories to help you stay focused and keep the odds of success on your side. I want to do something a little different this time.
The investment industry is in the midst of a major transformation. Independent advisors like Hill Investment Group are growing 15% annually, as investors are becoming smarter than ever and learning to focus on evidence over hype. As our firm evolves alongside the industry, I want you to know that we’re holding on to the core values that have gotten us where we are today—and that we intend to protect, fiercely, for the future.
Since our founding in 2005, we’ve thought of ourselves as a small firm with big ideas. To preserve this mentality even as the firm grows, we’ve worked hard to create a very specific culture that’s rooted in three core areas:
The character of our people – Everyone at Hill Investment Group has authentic passion for our work and our clients. We make new hires very intentionally, looking for people who share that strong desire to serve. Then, we strengthen engagement in many ways throughout the year, such as annual family and team parties and even daily lunches. In fact, lunch here is more than just a meal—it’s a vital work session where we tackle everything from big questions about the future to little details that make our office run better.
[Editor’s note: Speaking of those daily lunches, Matt was pleased to talk about them recently in a BBC Business Daily broadcast exploring today’s business lunch culture. You’ll find his sound bite at (appropriately) around 12:00 in this “Out to Lunch” radio podcast.]
Our dedication to service – We’ve created a client service culture that’s extravagantly thoughtful and detail-oriented. This approach not only ensures a consistent experience for every client, it’s another way to show how much we care. Remember the television show “Cheers” where everybody knows your name and can anticipate what you order? That spirit has been and will always be a part of the fabric of our firm.
Our commitment to the evidence – We are results oriented and data-driven. Everyone on the team—even those with many years of experience—is hungry to learn more. To that end, we strive to be leaders in our community and to forge connections that help us advance our professional development. That way, we can continue offering clients the best possible service.
These values are written into our company mission statement, and more importantly, they underpin every decision we make for our business and our clients. I could reel off hundreds of anecdotes illustrating our culture in action—and actually, I captured a lot of those stories in my book, Odds On. As I was working on this letter in March I headed out to visit Hill Investment Group’s Houston office, which opened in 2014. Sitting in the airport waiting for my flight, I realized that our expansion was another example of how our culture guides our actions.
Opening another office was nowhere in our strategic plan. Then a colleague I really trust suggested I meet an exceptional advisor from another firm who was thinking about his next move. So I talked with Henry Bragg and realized he was everything we look for in a new team member. It was obvious that he needed to be a member of our group, but he lived in Houston. As we continued talking it became clear he was the right person to take Hill Investment Group further—and that opening a new office would give us another way to make a real difference in people’s lives.
The Houston office is now one of the biggest sources of growth for Hill Investment Group. Even better, I know those clients are getting the same experience that we deliver to clients in St. Louis (and everywhere else in the country) thanks to the strong culture we’ve built.
That challenge of staying true to our values as we grow is both exciting and humbling— it’s why we do what we do. We started Hill Investment Group to help change lives, and we work hard, every day, to live up to that mission. I hope these thoughts on our culture help clarify how we make decisions. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’m always happy to talk.
Take the Long View,
Matt Hall, President
Hill Investment Group