Fulfilling Lives
Long-term relationships are the key to a lasting and positive impact for the advisors of Premier Planning Group
by Dana Dobson

When the three partners in the Phoenixville office of Premier Planning Group get together, there is a tangible, pleasant energy shift in the atmosphere. Founding partners David Fazzini and Frank Hennessey and managing partner Michael Polin love talking about their financial planning business and explaining why relationships matter to their personal and professional well-being.

“We help families and businesses become even more successful than they already are,” says Hennessey. Fazzini and Polin nod their heads enthusiastically, and the ball begins to roll. “Our mission is to have a positive, substantial and lasting impact on our clients’ lives by helping them define and achieve their financial, lifestyle and legacy goals.”

Founded in 1993, Premier Planning Group offers a diverse array of financial professionals to provide highly personalized and coordinated strategies for financial planning, insurance and investment management, retirement and estate planning. In addition, the firm provides business owners with strategies for business succession, corporate retirement plans and tax-advantaged executive compensation programs.

“Our clients are real people who expect real advice for their everyday concerns, such as cash flow management, tax mitigation strategies, providing for a comfortable retirement, and wealth transfer,” Hennessey explains. “Our business owner clients have their own unique challenges, such as how to attract and retain top employees and how to extract value and equity in a tax efficient manner.”

For Hennessey, a Chartered Financial Consultant with 28 years of experience, working with clients is both a privilege and a serious responsibility.

“It’s also rewarding, especially when we see it working for several generations of a family or business,” he says. “Many of our clients have been with us since the beginning, as have many of our representatives and staff. Clients appreciate the consistency. It’s extremely fulfilling to see people progress through the various life stages?sending their kids to college, preparing for retirement, actually retiring and then transferring their wealth to the next generation.”

Hennessey and Fazzini started the firm in 1993. Polin joined them in 2004. 

“In the late 1990s we added a second office in Glen Mills, with our partner Jim Hower,” Fazzini says. “In 2000, we added a third office in Cincinnati, headed by Frank Heitker, and three years ago, we added our fourth office in Hickory, N.C., headed by Bryan Setzler. We have known all of these partners for 25 years, and it has been a great marriage. All of our offices are excelling.”

Fazzini mentions another reason why he is proud and dedicated to his profession. For him, it’s about being of service during times of crisis.

“There have been some poignant moments in my career when I’ve been able to make a positive difference for a family or business that is suffering,” Fazzini says. “For example, when someone’s spouse dies and the surviving spouse is in total despair, it’s deeply satisfying to know that I will be able to bring them the means—a check—to carry on. Having the ability to make that kind of contribution is huge, and it’s the reason we all work so hard every day.”

Polin says that the firm regularly affirms its commitment to its partners, staff, clients and community so that they may continue to strengthen their brand of unwavering, long-term service and professional experience.

“It’s imperative that we, our representatives and support team, stay on top of continuing education and professional development,” he says. “The process must be cohesive, with each person totally engaged. This is so important in the financial services industry, where the speed of innovation is happening so fast. We work hard to stay on top of it all.”

As an example, Polin cites a recent U.S. Department of Labor ruling that will improve the financial industry’s fiduciary standard so that everyone plays by the same stringent rules of behavior and levels of integrity.

“I think we’ve always been years ahead of the curve,” says Hennessey. “The Affordable Care Act and other recent tax law changes have increased the negative impact that taxes have on accumulating wealth. We pay special attention to creating tax-efficient strategies not only for wealth accumulation but for income planning and, eventually, wealth transfer.”

Fazzini echoes his colleagues’ enthusiasm for the relationship building aspect of the firm’s internal mission. He adds that Premier Planning Group is equally dedicated to the community.

“We volunteer in various local organizations, taking on leadership roles whenever we can make a difference,” says Fazzini. “We’re all dads—Frank, Mike and me—so we enjoy supporting kids and sports. We funded the building of fields and batting cages, and have coached and sponsored various teams.”

Polin is Chairman of the Board of the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce and investment chair and treasurer of Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. Other organizations that benefit from Premier’s community mindedness include Chester County Futures, which helps low-income high school students to graduate and pursue college educations, and PLAN of PA, which provides care management and trust services to individuals with special needs. The firm also provides scholarships to students at several other local high schools in the Phoenixville area.

Going forward, Premier Planning Group is on the lookout for likeminded financial professionals to add to their team. “We are always looking to bring on additional people who can create a positive and substantial impact on the clients we serve,” says Polin. “We are a growing organization. The industry is poised to find and develop new talent, and we are anxious to pay it forward.”

“That’s a great way to put it,” adds Hennessey. “We are positioning our firm to serve clients for the next 30 plus years, and we are building a team with select people who share our values. Long-term commitment, to our clients and to each other, is what truly sets us apart.”

Premier Planning Group

1260 Valley Forge Road, Suite 107
Phoenixville, PA 19460
871 Baltimore Pike, Suite 18
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC), member FINRA/SIPC.  Premier Planning Group, Inc. and AIC are not affiliated.  Additional products and services may be available through Premier Planning Group, Inc. that are not offered through AIC.  Representatives of AIC do not provide tax or legal advice.  Please consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding your situation. 

Photograph by Jody Robinson