"Our plan is to get

more advisers to go

independent. We're

saying, 'We're

going to change your lifestyle.'"

Conor%20F.%20Delaney

Conor F. Delaney

Conor F. Delaney31

CEO, Good Life Companies

Fast Facts

  • Ran the Boston Marathon.
  • Played college ice hockey for Alvernia University.
  • Once the fattest kid in school, is now a fitness buff who drinks two organic protein shakes daily.

When Conor F. Delaney started working in the financial advice business as a 20-year-old college student, he realized, "I didn't really need a college degree."

But he graduated, anyway. And that sums up Mr. Delaney's style.

He identifies big challenges, accomplishes them, then finds more.

Five years after co-founding his own advisory practice, Mr. Delaney has built a bustling operation with 200 advisers in 28 offices managing nearly $2 billion.

"We started out with the idea of having a few branch locations," he said. "Now I'm looking at growing to 1,500 advisers who want to make that meaningful impact in communities around the country."

Good Life Companies, based in Wyomissing, Pa., near Reading, is a hybrid firm that includes insurance, brokerage and fee-based planning services, and its offices are mostly in small towns.

"We will never open an office in New York City," Mr. Delaney said. "We want to look more like Main Street than Wall Street."

He recalls deciding to launch the business at a time when both his business partner, Courtnie Nein, and his wife, Liz, were pregnant.

"Our spouses told us to turn around and go get our jobs back," he said of the day he and Ms. Nein announced they were leaving Waddell & Reed to start their own firm.

"Our plan is to get more advisers to go independent," Mr. Delaney said. "We're saying, 'We're going to change your lifestyle.'"

– Jeff Benjamin

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