Venice

Spring 2015

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I 's all about service—very catered, exceptional service and personal attention," Grant Conness, 37, says about his investment firm Global Wealth Management, which he co-founded in 2009 with lifelong friend Andrew Costa, 34. Fort Lauderdale natives, they were both working in the investment industry after college—Conness in California and Costa in South Florida. Like most Fort Lauderdalians who leave the nest, Conness wished to return. Seeing a natural fit in working together, they joined forces in 2006 and three years later launched Global Wealth Management. Today, that burgeoning dynasty has eight full-time associates, several satellite offices and a client list that is pushing 400 members, which includes big names like Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and other professional athletes. "Grant and I had the same vision," Costa says. "We'd seen the way things worked in the industry, and we wanted to do something different, something better." Their goal was to provide the boutique, personalized experience that most people receive when investing millions. They saw a niche that caters to South Florida families who were investing in the $500,000 and up range. "We want to help every family we can," Costa says. "We are motivated to have an impact on families in South Florida. This is a relationship business and what sets us apart is our team. We want to provide the ultimate experience." Conness and Costa also started a division solely dedicated to athletes. Though normally the retirement services they provide cater to baby boomers, they saw a parallel to athletes in their 20s and 30s who only have a 10-year earning window and need to conservatively manage their money for their future. Lead by former pro baseball player and St. Thomas Aquinas graduate Richard Giannotti, this division provides personalized, coordinated financial planning and asset protection strategies for professional athletes, addressing their tax, investment, insurance, estate and overall wealth management needs. By dissecting the areas of most concern to this client base, their financial advisors guide athletes through the various transitional phases of their life—from amateur to professional, to potential career moves and, ultimately, to retirement—and put a plan in place that allows these athletes to convert their career earnings into a legacy of financial stability. And somehow, they also make wealth management look fun. They co-authored "The Ultimate Success Guide" with Brian Tracy; wrote a chapter in Steve Forbes' book "Successonomics"; co-host the weekly radio show "The Road to Retirement" on 610 AM; and host weekly lunch seminars in area restaurants. They have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Newsweek, and have shared their financial advice on such major networks as NBC, ABC and CBS. So far, the company has exceeded what Costa and Conness initially imagined for Global Wealth Management. The two also have accomplished what some may consider an Academy Award of their industry: they were chosen to ring the NASDAQ closing bell. In a few years, they also anticipate their business will double. "Global Wealth Management has literally exploded into something really great, something really different," Costa says. "It's been cool to be recognized for our hard work and for doing the right thing. Sometimes I look back and just want to pinch myself." GAME CHANGERS Money does matter, and it certainly does for Andrew Costa and Grant Conness, the duo behind Global Wealth Management. BY CONNOR HANSEN PORTRAIT BY GARY JAMES FINANCIAL TIMES Andrew Costa, left, and Grant Conness of Global Wealth Management have shared their expertise on NBC, ABC and other outlets. Here, the two are photographed at Warsaw Coffee Company. "We are motivated to have an impact on families in South Florida." 92 Venice

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