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Fort Washington Investment Advisors Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group, Fort Washington Investment Advisors has been in business since 1990. In addition to its size, the firm stands out for being led by a woman, president and CEO Maribeth Rahe. With tens of billions in assets under management (AUM), it ranks in the top spot on SmartAsset’s lists of the top financial advisors in Cincinnati and top financial advisors in Ohio. The firm has even made SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisors in the U.S.

As a fee-based firm, certain on-staff advisors here can receive commissions from the sale of insurance products in addition to client-paid fees. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, avoids third-party compensation altogether.

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Background

Maribeth Rahe serves as president and CEO of Fort Washington Investment Advisors. Before joining the firm, Rahe was president and a board member of the U.S. Trust Company of New York and vice-chair of the board of The Harris Bank in Chicago. At Fort Washington Investment, she oversees three business units - institutional, private equity and private client group.

The firm has four principal shareholders: Western & Southern Mutual Holding Company, Western & Southern Financial Group, The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company and Western & Southern Investment Holdings, LLC. About a dozen members of the executive team and the board have small stakes.

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Fort Washington Investment serves high-net-worth individuals and their families, charitable organizations, corporations, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, family offices, foundations, endowments, insurance companies, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, private investment funds, state and municipal government entities and Taft-Hartley plans.

While the minimum requirements for institutional clients range from $500,000 to $50 million, depending on the investing strategy, the minimum investment for private clients is $500,000. The firm is ranked #1 in both the top advisory firms in Cincinnati as well as in the entire state of Ohio

Services Offered by Fort Washington Investment Advisors

For its private clients, Fort Washington Investment provides wealth management, financial planning and investment advisory services. Advisors may recommend proprietary investment strategies or external, independent money managers. Select Fort Washington Investment employees who are licensed insurance agents may also offer insurance products, including those of affiliates. 

For its institutional and private equity clients, the firm provides investment strategies through separately managed accounts, commingled and affiliated mutual funds or private funds. The firm may also serve as a sub-advisor to other advisors, third-party accounts, certain open-end mutual funds, model portfolios and Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities (UCITS).

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Investing Philosophy

The firm offers an array of investing strategies, including public equity, private equity, fixed-income and multi-strategy. Generally, it may apply fundamental, technical and quantitative methods of analysis. Also, it may use long-term purchases, short-term purchases, short sales, options and derivatives.

Fees Under Fort Washington Investment Advisors

Like most investment advisors, Fort Washington Investment collects management fees based on a percentage of the client’s AUM. Below, we explore the fee schedule for Fort Washington's individual accounts:

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fees
First $1,000,000 1.00%
Next $4,000,000 0.75%
More than $5,000,000 0.50%

For non-discretionary accounts, the firm generally charges an annual $500 fee. The firm generally considers financial planning a part of its wealth management services and does not charge extra for it. Clients who are only receiving financial planning will be charged a flat or an hourly based fee. Fees are billed quarterly, in advance.

The firm also charges a variety of fees based on institutional advisory services where the minimum size of account is $3 million. 

Here's a breakdown of what you could pay in advisory fees at Fort Washington for individual accounts:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Fort Washington Investment Advisors*
Your Assets Fort Washington Investment Advisors Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $40,000
$10MM $65,000

What to Watch Out For

Fort Washington Investment Advisors has no legal or regulatory disclosures listed on its SEC-filed Form ADV.

Some employees may be able to sell insurance products for a commission, which can present a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to put clients’ interests first and can be legally held to this standard.

Opening an Account With Fort Washington Investment Advisors

To contact Fort Washington Investment, call (513) 361-7600. Alternately, you can fill out the contact form on the firm's website.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Choosing a financial advisor that meets your individual needs can be tough to figure out on your own. Thankfully, finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Interview advisor candidates in person. It’s the best way to get a sense of how comfortable he or she makes you feel. After all, few things are more personal than your finances and you don’t want to feel self-conscious talking about your goals and dreams to the person who is helping you realize them.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research