Invest in Their Knowledge: Kemp Financial

To state that the financial planning is in the blood of Jessica Kemp, Financial Advisor and founder of Kemp Financial Group and her brother, Michael Kemp, Certified Financial Planner, would be an understated cliché. Not only have they grown up around the financial industry, the Kemp family has more than 100 combined years of experience in the field.

Finance is in The Family

Their parents, Anne and Rick Kemp, met while working at Freedom 55 Financial and have been married for 35 years. Anne, a pioneer in the financial industry, was just 17 years of age when she began working as a receptionist and eventually worked her way up in the business to become the only female advisor working at the St. Catharines London Life branch. “Forty-five years later, she is still working with the same clients,” says Jessica. Rick advanced in the company to become Regional Director, a position he has held for the last 15 years. Their uncle, Darrell Kemp, has worked in the industry for the past 28 years. The senior members of the family garner a wealth of knowledge for Jessica and Michael to draw from.

Jessica and Michael were active in high school athletics and both received university scholarships. Jessica attended Niagara University to play basketball and completed a degree in Business commerce and an MBA in General Management.  Michael began his studies at George Mason University in Virgina, playing baseball, and completed his degree in Business Administration at Brock University while on the baseball and basketball teams.  After having the opportunity to pursue their own endeavours and gain experience in other areas including sales and marketing, Mike and Jessica both found themselves knee deep in the business. “I always knew this would be my career. I was waiting until I was ready to step into the last job I would ever have,” says Michael.

Trust. Commitment. Relationships. These are the core values that identify Kemp Financial Group as one of the leading providers of life insurance, retirement savings, and investments. “It all goes back to family and building a family relationship,” says Michael Kemp.

“You are not just getting a financial advisor, you are getting someone that coaches your children, attends your fundraisers, and genuinely takes an interest in you and your family. Our biggest selling point is our long term commitment to our clients,” says Jessica. “Our clients recognize we are going to put in the effort to make sure that their needs are met,” adds Jessica, stating that she believes that 80% of what they do is trust that the client has in her and Michael, and the other 20% boils down to knowledge about the business.

From GICs, TFSA, RRSPs. RESPs the acronyms are endless. Deciphering the codes and their long term benefits can be daunting for some. How does one know exactly what to do with their money? In an industry that can be confusing for clients, Jessica and Mike take the time to ensure their clients are well informed. Another core value is what Jessica and Mike call, “transparency.” “Nothing is hidden. There are no surprises for our clients. You will not wake up and say, ‘Jess never told us that,’” says Jessica.

“We offer a variety of services, but sales aren’t our priority,” states Michael. “We build relationships with our clients.”

When asked what it is like to work with your sibling, Jessica jokes, “There may be a bit of name calling around the boardroom.” Although disagreements may be inevitable between Mike and Jessica, they both have the client’s best interest in mind. “When we have an argument as business owners, it is over within five minutes, especially because we are family,” says Jessica.

Giving Back

Mike and Jessica are committed to giving back to the community. Not only do they reside on various boards for predominant charities such as Niagara University Advisory Board, Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, and the Hernder Picasso Foundation, but they enjoy sharing their talent and knowledge of sports with Niagara’s youth. Jessica coaches basketball with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rangers, and Michael has his hand in various baseball organizations. “Jess and I were fortunate enough to play at a high level, but being involved in sport at any level is the best thing you can do for yourself,” says Michael. The Kemp siblings are glad to share their wisdom and their dedication to athletics that has ultimately influenced and shaped their strong work ethic.

“Being part of a team helps to build strong relationships and a competitive drive. If you miss a shot, shoot the next one. We owe that to our athletic backgrounds,” adds Michael.

Jessica’s knowledge and passion for the business has led her to become a sought after public speaker. Her message is inspiring for those in the financial and business industries as well as entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. “I really enjoy motivating others and teaching them the concepts of how to be successful not only in the financial industry, but in other areas of business as well,” says Jessica.

The Million Dollar Round Table is an elite conference held each year for the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals and Jessica has qualified each year she has been in the business. “I like to learn from the best. I will talk to someone from New York City who is at the top of their game and ask them what they are doing in order to determine where I need to develop to further assist my clients,” she explains.

Financial Planning Today

The information age has drastically changed many industries and Jessica and Mike acknowledge that the financial sector is no exception. “Today, the younger generation has the internet at their fingertips and 20 years ago they wouldn’t have. It might not be the best information, so it makes sense for young people to have a financial advisor they can learn and grow with,” says Jessica. “Gone are the pension plans our parents had and the days you can feel comfortable not doing your own planning. Our generation is different.”

Jessica and Michael take the time to sit down with young people who may think they don’t have the funds to begin investing and review their budget to determine what is possible. “We work with people our own age, so that is a smooth conversation to have,” says Michael. “If there is no pension plan then they need to start building one.”

The Kemps have many clients who are business owners and they see a difference between Generation X when compared to other age brackets. “Generation X takes more risks than the baby boomers would,” says Jessica. This, in turn, sets Michael and Jessica apart from other companies as they themselves are business owners. “Venturing out on our own and investing in a commercial property is something our parents would never have done,” adds Jessica.

What Jess and Mike do at Kemp Financial is pretty unique. Staffed with a certified office manager and an accomplished actuary, they can specialize in providing alternative investment strategies to help families transition their wealth from one generation to the next in the most tax efficient way. With investment and insurance planning being the core of the overall financial plan.

Along with extensive experience to draw upon within their family circle, Jessica and Mike have a distinctive approach to the profession. “You have to treat this business as a career, not a job. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and you have to be willing to wait years to see the success. We believe in it and have a passion for it,” explains Jessica.

Spend a short time with Jessica and Michael and their values are evident. It’s no wonder their tag line reads, “Let our family take care of yours.” After all, experts would agree, the best thing that money can buy is financial freedom. Let Kemp Financial Group build a plan and form a relationship that will get you there.

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By: Jill Tham


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