4 Questions with Byron Braun in Fort Wayne Business People Magazine April 2018
Braun is a Fort Wayne native and Bishop Dwenger alumni who is passionate about giving back to the local community. He shared with us his interests, business practices and what’s coming up next for him.
Q1: What does it mean to you being involved in our community?
Ever since high school I have always been involved in the community, and even then, I always tried to think outside the box. I was also involved in politics during college and as I began to enter the business world. Now, in my current phase of my life, I try to remain focused because being involved in too many things can diminish the impact you’re trying to achieve. I think it’s important to associate with people who are empowered and successful.
Q2: Could you please explain the organizations you have a passion for?
First, I am the co-founder of the Fort Wayne Children’s Foundation, and I am very proud of that. We now have over $825,000 in the corpus—half of all our funds raised go back to the community and the other half goes back into the corpus. Last year we awarded six grants expanding our footprints to other surrounding counties. In past years, our main fundraiser was The Summit City Chef Competition, and this year we plan to host a masquerade ball with the theme “Behind the Mask”… “Unmasking Abuse in Our Communities.”
I am also on the Board of Trustees at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and am also Chairman of the Finance Committee. My wife Linn, being an art major from St. Francis, has helped increase my appreciation and interest in art. I like being involved with such a great organization that helps make the arts a core aspect of our community.
Thirdly, I am passionate about being a charter member of Legatus in Fort Wayne, which Linn and I are honored to be asked to join. Legatus is a national Catholic business ambassador program originally founded by Tom Monahan (Domino’s pizza founder) and inspired while on a trip visiting Pope John Paul II. We meet monthly to learn and discuss various Catholic issues and how we can incorporate those ideas into our lives as business people.
Q3: Do you have a business philosophy, and with that in mind, how do you define success?
In terms of business practices, I had the ability and good fortune to be hired into the financial industry at age 22. I understand my personal limitations and I can’t be everything to everybody. Early in my career I made a list on a legal pad of my positives and negatives, and how to focus on the strong ones. In the 40 years I
have been doing this, I feel I have an uncanny ability to understand women better than men in the business world. I also try to keep people’s attention and keep them engaged—a mentor of mine said if you can’t explain something in five minutes, don’t do it. What we do here at Braun Wealth Management Group is very
focused, and our list is shorter, simpler, more disciplined and easier to understand. We also have an open door policy with our clients. I believe in being politely persistent as well. Success is seeing your children meet their life’s goals and helping clients achieve theirs.
Q4: What is up next for you?
For me and my wife, an amazing partner, we will be taking more meaningful trips, such as a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Linn has been wanting to go for several years, so we might visit this year or next. Another item on our list is our son Cameron’s wedding in August, which is very exciting! Our daughter, Meredith, is on the Nike design team for children’s wear in New York, and our son Carson just moved to Baltimore and works as an analyst for T. Rowe Price, so we will visit them more. I also want to play more tennis, as our entire family has always played. I’ve never been a big golfer, but I would like to improve my game. Maybe ten years from now, I’d like to write a book about my experiences as a financial advisor. I would also like to take our model with the Children’s Foundation (half today, half for tomorrow’s generations) and help it blossom into other community organizations.
5 Questions with Byron Braun in Fort Wayne Business People Magazine December 2012
Byron Braun’s life is a mix of following passions and thinking outside of the box. By day, he helps people manage their wealth. By night, he reads Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Cosmopolitan (It’s true! Keep reading to find out why!) and other publications, sketches elaborate home and office designs on a legal pad and loves to baby his apricot-colored poodle, Mimi.
Let’s start with some of your favorite passions. Tell us about your love of wine and cigars?
My wife, Linn, and I are part owners of the Calistoga Cellars winery in Calistoga, Cali. A mentor of mine talked us into it years ago and we love it. We make about 12,000 cases a year. As for cigars, I’ve been smoking high-end cigars with my dad and brother since I was in college. In 1994, I started the Fort Wayne Cigar Connoisseur’s Club, which still meets quarterly. The thing I like about cigars is that they force you to pause and they obligate you to take time. If you have a good cigar, it’s an hour. If you have a great glass of wine and you’re doing it right, it’s 45 minutes to an hour. They go hand-in-hand allowing one to be with friends, contemplate work, family and life’s journey.
Your office is absolutely gorgeous. Did you design it?
Yes, I’ve always been a wannabe architect. If I had to choose another profession, I’d probably be an architect. The outside of our building is Mediterranean style, which I love. Our lake cottage is the same way. I love designing things because it gives you a chance to put your signature on something, as does creating portfolios for our clients. This building has rooms with high ceilings, which offer openness and functionality. I like to call it polite elegance, because it’s not too bold. You would be amazed how comfortable people are as soon as they walk into a room like that. The design of the room leads to comfort, trust and building new bonds. It makes people feel like they’re at home.
Come on; do you really read Cosmopolitan?
Yes I do! But there’s a good story behind it. When I was a senior at Bishop Dwenger, I won the William Randolph Hearst Scholarship and part of it involved spending a week with the Hearst family and Mrs. George Randolph Hearst, who was Patty Hearst’s aunt. Anyway, she took a liking to me and we corresponded over the years. She was the owner/publisher of Cosmopolitan and she suggested to me that a successful businessperson and a successful man should know what females are all about. That’s why I read Cosmopolitan.I believe that most men don’t understand females. The majority of my clients are women, so this magazine and others I read, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, O, and Prevention, help me relate to and understand women.
You said you like to think outside of the box. Tell me more about that.
The common thread to my life is this: I always look at something and try to look outside of the box, never inside. I always try to do what’s right and what’s best. Some of my mentors told me when I began my career that if you do what’s right and you’re ethical and you do it properly with passion, success and money follow. I suggest to you that too many people look to money first and therefore, they will never be financially successful.
You’re so busy; will you ever retire?
I learned from three close friends of mine that if you retire, you’re done mentally. And then your mind gets weak and it ultimately affects your physical health and you die. You have to stay in the game. My goal is to work 100 percent for the next 10 to 12 years and then cut back, but stay in the game well into my 70s. I know I have a lot of passions, but the Fort Wayne Children’s Foundation, a charity created to help prevent child abuse, is really important to me. We have six other passionate board members and our goal is to be proactive instead of reactive. We don’t have selfish agendas, just the will to make the world a safe place for kids. If you have passion about something, you don’t have to sell yourself. I’ve got a passion for wine; I enjoy fishing, tennis, art, my work, cigars, the Fort Wayne Children’s Foundation and my friends. I’m blessed to have an amazing wife who supports me, is my landlord and business partner, and I’m blessed to have three children who are successful in their own right, and I’m blessed to have good health.
Byron Braun named as one of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network’s Premier Advisors in 2021
Byron Braun, President, of Braun Wealth Management Group, LLC. in Fort Wayne, IN has been recognized on the Premier Advisor list by Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. This is the 14th consecutive year since 2007 Byron has made the Premier Advisor list.
This accolade represents a list of professionals that come to work with one goal on their minds – helping their clients succeed.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by WFAFN as one of the Premier Advisors,” said Byron. “As investment planning has become more complex, my top priority is to work with my clients to develop strategies to help give them confidence around all facets of their financial lives and achieve their short- and long-term investment goals.”
Byron has more than forty years of experience in the financial services industry. He is a graduate of Indiana University and earned a Bachelor’s of Biological and Political Science.
The Premier Advisor distinction is held by a select group of Financial Advisors within Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network as measured by completion of educational components, business production based on either of the past two years, and professionalism. Additional criteria, including length of service, may also be used to determine recipients.
Byron Braun has held the designation of PIM Portfolio Manager since May of 2017.
What is a PIM Portfolio Manager - The PIM Portfolio Manager designation allows financial advisors to handle the task of choosing and actively monitoring investments. This designation is allowing Braun to make investment decisions on his client's behalf based on the appropriate level of risk, tolerance, and financial objectives. Braun conducts detailed investigation to companies, industries and overall economic conditions in seeking to design a strategy that is appropriate for his client's portfolio and all other investment needs.
The Private Investment Management program is not designed for excessively traded or inactive accounts, and may not be suitable for all investors. Please carefully review the Wells Fargo Advisors advisory disclosure document for full description of our services. The minimum account size for this program is $50,000.