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VOL. 126 | NO. 44 | Friday, March 4, 2011

Red Door Hits First Year by Exceeding Goals

By Andy Meek

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Red Door Wealth Management, a financial advisory business that has an alliance with local accounting firm Cannon Wright Blount PLLC, just wrapped up its first year in existence this month.

The firm’s name hearkens back to the days in early America when a red door on a home meant travelers would find welcome inside.

In Scotland, a red front door once meant the homeowner inside had paid off his mortgage.

Those images of success and a warm greeting are likewise appropriate ones for the first 12 months of Red Door, which has clearly found a welcome of its own in the investment marketplace.

When making early projections for the firm and without putting any constraint on growth, company founders Fred Hiatt and John Phillips decided to reach for a minimum of $15 million in assets under management and a high target of $25 million.

Red Door has already come in north of $30 million in assets – doubling the minimum it wanted to reach and beating its high mark, too.

“We knew a number that we needed to be at,” said Hiatt, Red Door’s chief operating officer. “And so we benchmarked that as being an absolute must, as far as assets under management. And then we set a higher target, which we would obviously be happy with, and we exceeded that. So that made us obviously very optimistic about what we were doing.

“So in setting those goals for this year, we lifted them up a little bit higher to try to see if we could make those, as well. And so far, we’ve really started out strong again.”

The firm has several features its principals believe make it unique, such as having an advisory board stacked with executives and business owners from a variety of industries, plus the alignment with Cannon Wright Blount, which broadens the palate of services Red Door can provide.

Hiatt, though, believes the reason for Red Door’s reception thus far is pretty straightforward.

“When you simplify a complicated business and do the right thing, it resonates with people,” he said.

Red Door’s chief investment officer John Phillips said the firm’s ambition this year is to at least double in size, in terms of assets under management. Along with that would likely come adding new staff and employees.

Red Door currently has a staff of three. In addition to Hiatt and Phillips, there’s also chief financial officer Doug Wright – who also is the chief financial officer at Cannon Wright Blount. Principals with the accounting firm also have an ownership stake in Red Door.

The firm is looking at adding an administrative staffer this year. Long-term, there’s a hope it can open more offices elsewhere as needed.

Red Door’s advisory board is another key feature of the firm. Its members work in fields that run the gamut from banking to real estate to logistics.

The board meets regularly to give Red Door valuable market insights, and the board assists the firm’s investment committee by making tactical adjustments to the firm’s investment outlook.

The members are Kevin Adams, CEO of CB Richard Ellis – Memphis; Kirk Bailey, chairman, president and CEO of Magna Bank; John Dobbs Jr., president of Dobbs Equity Partners; Neely Mallory III, president of Mallory Alexander International Logistics; and Jake Saunders, executive vice president – automotive division with Great Neck Saw Manufacturing.

“They help us keep our finger on the pulse of the real economy,” Phillips said.

PROPERTY SALES 207 263 9,865
MORTGAGES 197 246 10,862
BUILDING PERMITS 138 686 21,643
BANKRUPTCIES 0 256 6,219