Advisory firm invites clients, others to 'hang' in high-tech office

Expects social gatherings will stimulate new client opportunities

Jul 22, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

By Liz Skinner

Oxygen Financial Inc. opened a second office in Atlanta today, aimed at helping meet the needs of time-starved young investors.

The firm, which focuses on helping investors from Generations X and Y with the financial operations of their households and small businesses, wants clients to feel like they don't have to stop working when they meet with their financial adviser.

To that end, the 1,100-square-foot new space has a counter in the lobby with an iPad and other tablets that allow people to work online and even print documents. It also features an upscale coffee bar, a beverage refrigerator, plush club chairs, smart TVs with wireless headphones and, of course, the firm's signature oxygen bar.

Ted Jenkin, Oxygen Financial founder, said he foresees nonclients coming into the front office to work too, just as they do other retail operations that offer free wi-fi and accommodate America's increasingly mobile workforce.

“A financial services office doesn't have to be an appointment-only kind of place, it can be some kind of a hangout place,” Mr. Jenkin said. “Think Panera Bread and Starbucks — people go there and the byproduct is they are purchasing stuff. I expect some will just come and use our office and eventually they'll buy products and services with us.”

The firm also is opening up its conference rooms to clients to host their own meetings, figuring anyone who comes to those meetings could be potential Oxygen Financial clients.

“Part of our marketing strategy is that our clients will bring clients to us,” Mr. Jenkin said.

The firm also sells itself as a private chief financial officer, helping clients with investments, taxes, college planning, cash flow and retirement income projections.

For services, clients pay as little as $75 a month to as high as $1,000 a month for business owners who use many of the employee benefit management and other services Oxygen offers, Mr. Jenkin said. The five-year-old firm has about 1,900 household and small-business clients so far, he said.

“Small-business owners are sick of tracking down 10 different relationships to handle taxes, benefits, equipment buying, etc., so if we don't do it, we'll at least coordinate it,” Mr. Jenkin said. “This generation doesn't have time — our clients are maxed to the hilt.”

Thus the firm's oxygen bar and its overall pitch that its services are meant to help clients “breathe easier,” according to Mr. Jenkin.

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