The Oxford Financial Group, LTD is a fee-only financial advisory firm that provides family office, personal financial planning and investment advisory services to a diverse range of clients. This registered investment advisor (RIA) currently oversees more than $11 billion in assets under management (AUM), which earned it a “No.1 RIA” ranking by Financial Planning magazine. Oxford has been in operation since the 1980s. Today, it serves more than 700 family and institutional clients in 37 states.
The firm manages offices out of Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Grand Rapids, Iowa.
Oxford Financial Group Background
CEO and Managing Director Jeff Thomasson founded Oxford in 1981, driven by the idea that financial advisors can’t truly be objective while taking commissions from the companies whose products and investments they recommend.
Today, Oxford exists as a fee-only RIA on a mission to help families preserve and expand their wealth on a legacy basis. The firm also works with individual clients and various types of organizations.
What Types of Clients Does Oxford Financial Group Accept?
According to documents it filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Oxford currently serves the following types of clients:
- High-net-worth individuals and their family members
- 401(k) and profit sharing plans
- Pension plans
- Deferred compensation plans
- Endowments and foundations
- Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Family partnerships
Oxford Financial Group Minimum Account Size
The firm generally requires a minimum account size of $5 million. Oxford generally evaluates the financial situation of each client prior to engagement in order to determine whether its fees are justified for the desired services. If it finds that it isn’t, Oxford will advise the client not to proceed at that time.
Services Offered by Oxford Financial Group
Oxford manages its own family office division. These are private financial organizations that focus on helping high-net-worth families build and pass on wealth on a legacy basis. Oxford’s family office services (FOS) can deliver financial advice on a range of topics including:
- Investment planning and evaluation
- Trust management
- Tax and estate planning
- Property management
In addition, Oxford provides personal financial planning services. The firm begins by conducting an intensive fact-finding session with clients about their financial status, tax situation, investments, estate affairs and more. Advisors use this information to develop a financial plan that can help the client meet his or her financial goals.
Oxford also creates diversified investment portfolios in order to help clients meet their long-term investment goals. The firm would recommend money managers, brokerage firms and other applicable entities that it deems appropriate to develop an asset-allocation strategy.
Finally, the firm can also serve as fiduciary investment advisor to a client’s trusts or make a referral to The Trust Company of Oxford, a subsidiary.
Oxford Financial Group Investment Philosophy
The firm established the Oxford Investment Fellows (OIF) to oversee investment management strategies. The team features seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), one professional risk manager (PRM) and one certified financial planner (CFP).
Fees Under Oxford Financial Group
Oxford generally charges fees as a percentage of your account's fair market value. That percentage depends on the size of your account and the type of account you have.
|First $5,000,000||1. 00 %|
|Next $5,000,000||0. 70 %|
|More than $10,000,000||0. 50 %|
The following current schedule applies to separately managed fixed income accounts:
|First $10,000,000||0. 30 %|
|More than $10,000,000||0. 20 %|
Niche Growth Strategies accounts charge a 1.00% fee on total value of all assets.
Aspirational solutions accounts charge a 1.50% fee on the total value of assets.
However, investment advisory fees don’t account for other charges such as custodial fees or the expenses of underlying funds in your portfolio. While Oxford won’t earn these additional fees, your account would still bear the expense. You can find specific details in fund prospectuses and related advisory documents.
For family and personal financial planning services, Oxford usually charges an annual fee quoted based on the value, time and expense associated with the services desired. This fee covers gathering data, devising a written financial plan, consulting with the appropriate advisors and other factors associated with your financial plan. The firm also charges a deposit worth 50% of this fee after you’ve agreed to establish a financial planning relationship. These fees are then charged quarterly or annually.
What to Watch Out For
While Oxford and its employees do not receive direct financial benefits from recommending the products of Savile Row, Regent Street and Mayfair, certain members may be on the boards of these funds and may receive board fees.
Also, Oxford generally works with clients who can invest at least $5 million. So if you can meet that minimum, the firm's fees may steep too high. In such a case, you may want to look elsewhere to choose a financial advisor.
According to financial advisor disclosure documents recently filed with the SEC, Oxford has had one disciplinary action to report in its entire history so far. The firm notes that it made a payment in a client arbitration matter, “which involved the timing of a trade placed for the client at an unaffiliated custodian (a bank).” The firm states the involved bank was not the custodian that Oxford had recommended for the client’s assets.
Opening an Account With Oxford Financial Group
To contact Oxford, call (800) 722-2289, or submit a request for information via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z2MCWH6.
Where Is Oxford Financial Group Located?
Here are the street addresses of the firm’s five offices:
11711 North Meridian Street, Suite 600, Carmel, Indiana 46032 (headquarters)
980 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1500, Chicago, Illinois 60611-4521
221 East Fourth Street, Suite 2305, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
85 Campau Avenue NW, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
225 South Sixth Street, Suite 2600, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.
Tips On Finding the Right Financial Advisor
- When choosing an advisor, pay close attention to their fee structure. Are they fee-only, which means they earn compensation only based on the services they provide directly you? Or are they fee-based, which means they may also receive commissions from third parties for sales or referrals? In many cases, there is less room for a potential conflict of interest when working with a fee-only advisor.
- Personalize your search using SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three local financial advisors, vetted by us, after you answer a few questions about your goals and financial situation.