A Look at Northwestern Mutual's New Downtown Office



Wes Battoclette

Located in the beating heart of downtown Cincinnati, Northwestern Mutual’s new office is a study in 21st-century minimalism. It is a modern, open space defined by smooth textures, transparent panes of glass and the rare painting to colorize the restrained surfaces.

Managing director Brad Weeks fits right in: his diction is precise, his cadence measured and his speech crisp. At 34, he’s also relatively young. That youth suffuses his words with an undercurrent of enthusiasm. The affect is evident as he describes the new Northwestern Mutual office and the team he’s assembled here. It also leaves its mark on the words he uses to recall the bustling downtown around him.

“The growth of Cincinnati over the last 12 years has been incredible,” says Weeks. “Every time you go through Over-the-Rhine or to the Banks something new is opening. There’s so much momentum down here.”

That momentum was a deciding factor in the decision to locate Weeks’ office in the Scripps Center at Third and Walnut streets. “This is where our clients are,” says Weeks. Those clients range from business executives to people who, like Weeks himself, are drawn downtown by the city’s social and economic resurgence. “It feels like we’re in the center of things.”

Weeks and his team of financial advisors began moving into the space February 2014. A little over a year later, the move is finally complete.

“We wanted the office to be fresh and modern. I want clients to know when they walk into this space that it’s different.”

Part of what makes Weeks’ team different is that it is comprised of people who are also relatively young. And that’s a good thing, he says.

“When you look at demographics in the financial services industry, the average financial advisor is 54. Over the next 10 years, the majority of those folks will retire. As we built our new office, we decided we needed to find young advisors so that we would be ready to fill that void. Our youth gives us tremendous longevity into the future.”

“Future” is the watchword of this Northwestern Mutual office. The team is young and their focus is fixed upon it. The minimalistic, modern aesthetic seems intended to furnish a blank launching pad on which the present might be flung forward in time. Even the products –  insurance policies and investment advisories – are about planning for what is to come. Indeed, the success of Weeks’ Northwestern Mutual team derives from its ability to understand what people want for their future and then to create a roadmap for getting there.

“We help families reach their long-term goals, be they educating their children or making sure they save intelligently for retirement, and we also make sure that if anything bad happens they stay on track to meet those goals,” says Weeks. “We are one of the only places that truly integrates insurance and investments, so we are able to do the whole job for our clients and pay attention to all their needs.”

This gives Weeks and Northwestern Mutual a leg up on their competitors. But, as Weeks observes, the real competition isn't from a firm in the building across the street of on the other side of town. Rather, it's from people not knowing what they don’t know, thinking they’re taken care of when they’re not and going into large life decisions like retirement or long-term care with insufficient financial advice.

That’s where Weeks and his team come in. “We help individuals and families accomplish their goals, whether that’s protecting income, accumulating wealth, preparing for retirement or guarding against something unexpected,” he says. “We listen to what is most important to our clients and then put together a plan that makes the most sense for their unique situation.”

 

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing arm of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee and its subsidiaries. Brad Weeks is a Financial Advisor with NM.

Northwestern Mutual Cincinnati is located at 3805 Edwards Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209. You can reach them at 513.366.3600 or visit their website at cincinnati.nm.com.