Rich Morrow is a partner in HBK CPAs & Consultants, and a principal and senior financial advisor with HBKS® Wealth Advisors. As both a CPA and Certified Financial Planner ™, he offers his clients tax-wise financial planning and investing strategies.
Rich began his financial services career in Cleveland in 1991 as a CPA with Price Waterhouse. Initially in the Auditing Department and then the Tax Department, he worked on the accounts of corporations and small businesses as well as with the owners and executives of those companies. While at Price Waterhouse, he started his certification in financial planning.
Rich joined the HBK CPAs & Consultants office in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1994 and later the Tax Department as a tax consultant. With the acquisition of The Sorce Financial Group and the establishment of HBK Sorce Financial in 2000, he began supporting the firm’s financial advisors with consultation on client tax issues. Earning partner status in 2002, he began to transition to HBKS® Wealth Advisors as a senior financial advisor and principal, and today leads the HBKS® Youngstown client service team of financial advisors and administrative professionals.
Mr. Morrow earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Pre-Law at Ohio University. In addition to his CPA and CFP® designations, he holds FINRA Series 7 and 66, and health and life insurance licenses. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and state and national CPA associations. He is active in his community, serving as treasurer of the local chapter of the Salvation Army and a board member of the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.
Why have you stayed at HBKS® as long as you have?
I’ve been a proud member of the HBK family of firms for the past 23 years. Prior to joining HBK, I worked for a large national firm for about three years, which was a great learning experience. But here, at HBKS®, it’s the people, the culture and our commitment to service that makes for the best of both worlds, that is the best for our clients and our team. The HBK family of firms is really that, a family. And it’s our ability to offer individualized service as a top-ranked national firm that makes us unique, that distinguishes us. It’s the reason that I’ve been here for as long as I have and what will continue to keep me committed to this firm.
To what do you attribute the success you’ve experienced in your career?
Immediately upon graduating college, I entered the world of auditing and accounting by taking a position with a large national firm. While I was there I was able to develop my skills and begin planning my career. My interest in financial planning was piqued; my employer was one of the largest CPA firms that was also offering wealth management services. When I came back home to work for HBK, my goal was to become an integral member of the financial planning team. And though I was originally a member of HBK’s tax planning department, I ultimately transitioned to our financial services division. The wide range of client situations I was being presented with encouraged me to continue my studies, sharpen my research skills and build a knowledge base that married my CPA experience with my certified financial planning designation. I believe taking this path has allowed me to be the best planner possible today.
What is most fulfilling aspect about your work?
Each client situation is unique, and I love that challenge. Serving as the coordinator of my clients’ finances and being a part of the strategic planning for them is really gratifying. Being able to work side-by-side with my clients to devise and develop a plan to fund and accomplish their family goals, desires, and dreams in life, well, that’s what gets me up each and every day.
How has your experience outside of the financial services industry affected the way you approach your role at the firm?
My experience on the accounting side of our firm, primarily in the tax department working with high-net-worth individuals and various business entities, made me a better, more experienced and well-rounded financial planner for my clients. It gave me insight that not every financial planner is fortunate enough to have. Investment Management is certainly a key component in the financial planning process, but tax planning is a part of the equation that can’t be underestimated. My experience serving clients in both capacities allows me to approach a client situation holistically and enables me to coordinate their overall financial planning much more comprehensively and effectively.
“Each client situation is unique, and I love that challenge. Serving as the coordinator of my clients’ finances and being a part of the strategic planning for them is really gratifying.”