Meet Our Team Member: Brian Baum
May 17, 2021 by Interchange Capital Partners
By Brian Baum, CFP®
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, like not getting your dream internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins! But that just means other doors open and you get the chance to experience something different. In my case, I ended up with an internship with a financial company focusing on life insurance. As I worked with clients and walked them through their insurance options, I started to realize there was a bigger picture at play. Finances don’t exist in a bubble, and only targeting one aspect leaves other areas at risk. I wanted to help people with guidance and services that take their entire financial puzzle into account and align their goals and values with their strategies.
There’s a second piece to my career story that led to where I am today. My dad has been in the financial industry for over 40 years and has been serving family businesses for a long time. I grew up genuinely interested in what he did and how he helped his clients, so when I graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in business and finished my original internship, I decided to join our family business and earned the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designations.
What I Do Now
Today, I am Managing Director at Interchange Capital Partners, where I consider myself to be a family advisor, not just a financial advisor. The reason is this: family businesses are grossly underserved but don’t even realize it. Business owners and entrepreneurs have an incredibly complex financial picture, not just for their business, but also for their family finances. So while they may have a great accountant or banker or even consultants within their company, they often don’t have someone coordinating every part of the financial burden on their shoulders to make sure there are no gaps or unnecessary risks.
Think of the services I provide as those of an outsourced family office. I take the time to understand each family’s business structure, diving into everything from the entities, dynamics between family members and other key figures, cash flow, operations, etc. Then I determine if there is a more optimal strategy and system that would be a better fit for the family’s overall vision. We quarterback the family’s team of professionals and help them design a plan that is streamlined and simple but still puts them on the right track for where they want to be.
Beyond that, I also specialize in creating exit or transition strategies that help families find the best of both worlds—providing security and confidence for both the family and the business both now and in the future.
The Best Part
I truly enjoy getting to know my clients and the story of their business. I love the discovery process of learning what they’ve tried in the past and what they want the future to look like, then problem-solving to bridge that gap. It’s so fulfilling to see results when we layer creative, specific approaches to solve each business’s unique challenges. There’s nothing better than knowing my work and expertise are directly benefiting families’ well-being today and possibly for generations to come.
Now that you know a bit about me, I’d love to hear your story. What does your family business need and what are you looking for in a family advisor? Email me at Brian.Baum@interchangecp.com or call me at 412-215-6915 to schedule an introductory appointment.
Brian Baum is managing director of Interchange Capital Partners, an independent registered investment advisory firm providing family office and transition planning services to family businesses. With almost 10 years of experience, Brian spends his days working with his clients to determine ideal strategies to simplify and optimize their processes and the future of their business. He is known for his attention to detail and going the extra mile to become familiar with the dynamics surrounding each situation so he can offer customized and creative guidance.
Brian has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in business from Penn State and is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Brian is also the president of the Pittsburgh Exit Planning Chapter, which he helped found in 2019. The chapter’s mission is to give business owners a forum to become educated on how to build a valuable and transferable business through a proven process. Outside of work, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife, Natalie, and their daughter, Quinn. He is also an avid golfer and likes the occasional scotch and cigar. To learn more about Brian, connect with him on LinkedIn.