Edwards Jones Financial Advisors in Small Town Tenino Launch National Trailblazing Team

Edward Jones team photo
The Edward Jones financial advisors and staff in Tenino are trailblazing a new non-family team structure, the first of its kind in the company's history. Photo courtesy: Edward Jones

They may be in a small town tucked into south Thurston County, but the Edward Jones financial advisors in Tenino are being watched nationally with the launch of their new office team structure, the first of its kind in the Fortune 500 company.

The individual offices of Brent Conklin, Chris Hallett and Tyler Whitworth were chosen by the Edwards Jones home office in St. Louis, Missouri, to start the company’s first non-family team. The Tenino team also includes junior financial advisors Jimmy Du and Jacob Conklin, plus five administrative staff and an intern.

The Edward Jones home office’s approval means the Tenino team now work together to deliver enhanced financial guidance and resources to clients.

“We are trailblazers at the largest company in the U.S. financial industry, in a town that doesn’t have a stoplight,” says Chris.

Chris Hallett (pictured), longtime financial advisor at Edward Jones in Tenino, received home office approval on his innovative proposal to work with other company financial advisors in Tenino in a new team format. Photo courtesy: Edward Jones

How the Innovative Team Concept for Edward Jones Offices in Tenino Came to Life

Edward Jones guides its clients in their financial goals with strategies for retirement, insurance and annuities, wealth management, investments and estates. Individual branch offices throughout North America are headed up by financial advisors who typically work independently to support their individual clients. Some of the company’s financial advisors are family members who work cooperatively to advise clients. For example, a family team may include a parent preparing to retire from Edward Jones who is authorized to collaborate with their child to transfer their clients to them.

But several years ago, Chris had a new and different idea. He worked on a concept to establish the company’s first team of non-family members who collaborate in their financial planning. He wrote a proposal and discussed his idea with the Edward Jones home office. After about six months, four Edward Jones partners traveled to Tenino to meet the staff and evaluate the idea. With the partners’ approval, the new team started in September 2023. “They felt really excited for us to have the first non-family team,” says Chris. “The partners were very excited, and the parties locally were very excited.”

From left: Financial advisors Tyler Whitworth, Chris Hallett and Brent Conklin. They launched a trailblazing new team format for Edward Jones, providing clients additional resources and support from their Tenino office. Photo courtesy: Edward Jones

And here is just one reason the local parties are excited. Edward Jones has more than 15,000 offices with approximately 40 in Thurston County, housing 50,000 employees including 19,000 financial advisers. If the Tenino advisors have a positive experience as a team, the model may be scalable for use in other Edward Jones offices around the country. “I have gotten a lot of phone calls,” says Tyler. “People want to talk about it.”

“What we are doing is spearheading a new direction of teams at Edward Jones, in a non-retirement setting,” adds Brent.

“We will try it and see how things work,” says Chris. “We need grace to work through it, but it’s worth the challenge.”

Tyler Whitworth (pictured) is a financial advisor and certified financial planner at Edward Jones in Tenino. In a new team structure, he and the other team members bring their expertise and experience to clients, Photo courtesy: Edward Jones

Team Approach at Edward Jones in Tenino Provides Benefits and Resources for Clients

And meeting the challenge is providing more benefits to clients. The premise is that every client will still have a primary financial advisor and a primary administrative assistant, and the team structure adds advantages to that relationship. “We can offer more resources for clients,” says Chris. A team delivers more varied expertise. “We all bring different credentials to the table,” says Tyler. “We can deliver lots of different experiences for clients.” For example, Tyler is a certified financial planner, a credential required for certain financial transactions.

“There are synergies with a team,” adds Brent. “We feed off each other and learn from each other.”

Chris adds that now they also have coverage if a financial advisor is traveling, at a conference or retiring. An established team is in place, and they know the clients’ goals.

Edward Jones in Tenino is Forward-Thinking with Other Innovations

Financial advisor Brent Conklin (pictured) says their staff are spearheading a new direction of teams at Edward Jones, based out of their Tenino office. Photo courtesy: Edward Jones

In addition, Tenino’s Edward Jones team is leading the way with other forward-thinking innovations.

For instance, while many financial advisors lease office space, the Tenino team is bringing all staff members together in a new building they will construct and own. They plan to relocate from the two current offices to a new building in Tenino that should be completed in 2025. The new location will put all staff under one roof, with room to grow. And the new building will have space for other financial businesses, like a lawyer working with trusts. “It will be state of the art,” says Brent.

In yet another development, the Tenino team brought summer intern Nathan Kassler on board. He is one of only 12 students nationwide selected for the Edward Jones pilot internship program. Nathan is a Tumwater High School graduate who is studying at Linfield University in Oregon.

Contact the trailblazing Edward Jones team of financial advisors in Tenino to talk about setting and achieving your financial goals.

Edward Jones
Hallett/Conklin/Whitworth Financial Management Team
213 Sussex Avenue W., Tenino

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