We live in a distracted world – being relevant is what drives our actions on behalf of our clients. We go far beyond just focusing on “placements.” Through our strategic PR approach, combined with our relationships and expertise, we focus on momentum. All of us are overwhelmed on a daily basis with a variety of messaging across multiple avenues. The ability to focus in on how to stand out, break through clutter, and establish a personal “voice” is the foundation of what we do best for our clients. The bottom line is that your story matters more to us than ours.
Our firm is built around the delivery of exceptional service, strategic insight, and creative PR solutions to each and every one of our clients. Central to how we operate is our recognition that companies within the financial services space seek a communications and media relations partner who thoroughly understands both industry-level and company-specific opportunities and challenges.
Our highly targeted industry focus, extensive communications expertise and deep media relationships enable us to integrate quickly with clients, get up to speed rapidly, and begin adding value immediately to every engagement. We focus on understanding your market, your goals and your company's vision to outline a strategic roadmap that delivers impactful results.
In addition to partnering closely with in-house executives, investor relations, and marketing / communications professionals, we also work on an integrated basis with our clients’ external advisors – including legal, financial and accounting advisors. This often involves coordination with other communications agencies to ensure that PR is in constantly close alignment with the client’s broader strategic needs.
Successful PR demands developing the appropriate positioning and message structure. From there, it is all about execution in delivering the right message to the right audiences in the right manner. At Haven Tower, we serve our clients in accordance with our core values and proven approach:
Every client has a core guiding vision for their business – When we commit to a client, we commit to their vision.
PR is useless when it happens in a vacuum – We learn each client’s business thoroughly because public relations must align with and directly support each client’s business objectives.
We clearly communicate expectations and hold ourselves accountable for results on an ongoing basis, so our clients always know where the success of their PR strategy stands at any given time.
Our clients’ business is the reason for our business, and our clients’ success drives our success.
Combine Powerful Video Content With Expert Messaging to Deliver Unique Visual Narratives
Our clients also gain access to Twin Haven Partners, our specialty video content and production platform with expertise in developing original and customized web-enabled and social media friendly assets. While the work we do is confidential on a general public basis, we are happy to share appropriate examples upon request, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our original video productions can be used for the following purposes, among others:
Advisor Recruiting and Retention
Introductory Videos for New Recruits or about New Platforms and Services
National Conference or Top Producer Conference Videos
Haven Tower teams bring a time-tested approach to conducting successful discussions and go-forward strategies:
The team that the client is comfortable with in the initial “pitch” conversations is the exact same team the client can expect to support his or her needs on an ongoing basis.
Constant access to senior-level expertise and insight is what marks the dividing line between success and failure with any PR agency engagement. Accordingly, each of our client support teams will include two senior professionals of the firm at the Partner or Principal level who serve as the client’s day-to-day contact to deliver constant, high-touch support.
All of our clients deserve and will have regular access to the President & Managing Partner of Haven Tower, Joseph Kuo, in addition to the senior client service professionals that lead ongoing client support teams.
We adhere to providing clear and consistent updates on strategy calls or crisis calls, providing clients with a clear roadmap to the agreed-upon approach.
President & Managing Partner
Joseph Kuo is President & Managing Partner of Haven Tower, where he has strategic oversight for the firm and all of its client relationships. Mr. Kuo has over 18 years of corporate and financial public relations experience, encompassing both proactive visibility programs as well as communications.
Joseph Kuo is President & Managing Partner of Haven Tower Group, where he has strategic oversight for the firm and all of its client relationships. Mr. Kuo has nearly 18 years of corporate and financial public relations experience, encompassing both proactive visibility programs as well as communications support for transactional and special situations.
Before leading Haven Tower, he served for approximately two years as Senior Vice President and Head of Public Relations at LPL Financial (NASDAQ: LPLA), the largest independent retail broker-dealer in the nation by revenues, where he had oversight of the company’s public relations strategy and execution, while serving as its principal media spokesperson. In this role, he led the PR function of LPL Financial through its multi-billion dollar initial public offering on the NASDAQ Stock Market in November 2010.
Prior to that, Mr. Kuo was a Partner at Kekst and Company, a leading New York City-based public relations firm established in 1971, where he worked for approximately ten years. While at Kekst, he developed and implemented strategic communications programs across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on the retail financial advice and specialty asset management spaces.
In the past, Mr. Kuo has served on the PR Committee of the Insured Retirement Institute, the advocacy and trade association for the variable annuity industry. He has also served multiple times as a PR panelist for OneVoice, the annual national independent broker-dealer conference of the Financial Services Institute (FSI), the leading industry association for independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors.
Mr. Kuo earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude and phi beta kappa, in History and East Asian Studies from Yale University, as well as a Professional Certificate in Finance from the New York Institute of Finance.
Ruth Papazian is Chairman of the Advisory Board supporting Haven Tower Group in strategic business growth decisions and planning. She brings to the team 30 years of leadership experience across a range of senior roles in the financial services industry, encompassing asset management, wealth management and retail broker-dealers.
Ruth Papazian is Chairman of the Advisory Board supporting Haven Tower Group in strategic business growth decisions and planning. She brings to the team 30 years of leadership experience across a range of senior roles in the financial services industry, encompassing asset management, wealth management and retail broker-dealers. Ms. Papazian works closely with Haven Tower’s President and Managing Partner, Joseph Kuo, to provide a strategic roadmap for the firm.
Most recently, Ms. Papazian served as Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development at HD Vest Financial Services, a leading independent broker-dealer supporting financial advisors focused on the delivery of holistic and tax-savvy investment advice. While at HD Vest, Ms. Papazian was part of a senior leadership team that successfully grew and sold the firm from private equity ownership to a large publicly traded company in late 2015.
Prior to that, Ms. Papazian served as Chief Marketing Officer at LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer based on revenues, where she built a number of award-winning corporate and advisor-facing marketing programs and platforms, leading the marketing function of LPL Financial through the company’s multi-billion dollar initial public offering on the NASDAQ Stock Market in November 2010.
She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Stonehill College.
Chris Clemens is a Partner at Haven Tower, where he assists in formulating and executing strategic communications programs for the firm’s clients, with a particular focus on content creation and message development.
Chris Clemens is a Partner at Haven Tower Group, where he formulates and executes communications programs for the firm's clients, with a particular focus on content creation and message strategy.
With a professional career that spans 16 years, Mr. Clemens developed an extensive understanding of the financial services industry over the course of his prior eight-year role as an investment banker and corporate mergers and acquisitions professional. He also worked as a business journalist in the Denver, Colorado, area, writing on a wide range of industries, including financial services, technology and healthcare.
Mr. Clemens served as Manager for Corporate Development at Level 3 Communications in Colorado, where he managed the company’s sale of its advertising distribution business to DG FastChannel for $130 million. He also provided strategic analysis and recommendations to the company’s senior management team on competitors and possible acquisition targets.
Prior to his time at Level 3, Mr. Clemens was an investment banker in the Media and Technology Group of BMO Capital Markets in New York, where he worked on a broad array of lead-managed and co-managed IPOs, private placements and mergers and acquisitions, among other assignments.
Mr. Clemens earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University.
Matthew Griffes is a Partner at Haven Tower. With nearly fifteen years of communications and public relations experience, Mr. Griffes works closely with Haven Tower Group’s clients to provide a comprehensive spectrum of client services, encompassing industry media relations, PR strategy.
Matthew Griffes is a Partner at Haven Tower Group. With 16 years of communications and public relations experience, Mr. Griffes provides a comprehensive spectrum of client services, encompassing industry media relations, PR strategy and account management.
Most recently, Mr. Griffes has served as an independent communications advisor to companies and established public relations agencies in a wide range of industries, from financial services and technology, to consumer brands. Previously, Mr. Griffes worked at InterActive Public Relations, Inc., in San Francisco during the height of the expansion of the technology sector during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Prior to joining InterActive Public Relations, Inc., Mr. Griffes worked as a legal assistant for the law firm Brown & Wood, LLP, in New York City, which encompassed a period of time working on behalf of Merrill Lynch & Co. out of the investment bank’s offices in the World Financial Center. During that time, Mr. Griffes worked under Merrill Lynch’s corporate legal department and provided support to a group of repo traders during the Long-Term Capital Management financial crisis.
Mr. Griffes holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Occidental College.
Jessica Caris is a Partner at Haven Tower, where she helps manage and execute strategic communications programs for the firm’s clients, with a particular focus on broadcast strategies and media relations pitching and placement.
Jessica Caris is a Partner at Haven Tower Group, where she develops and implements strategic media relations programs, with a particular emphasis on national broadcast media campaigns as well as consumer finance press.
Ms. Caris brings approximately 17 years of experience in strategic communications and journalism. Previously, Ms. Caris was the Director of Public Relations at San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), managing the public relations, community relations and employee communications for the company and its three national locations.
Ms. Caris also previously served as a Vice President at Sloane & Company in New York, an award-winning public relations and investor relations firm, specializing in financial services. While there she led PR strategy and a team for large, multinational accounts.
Before her career as a public relations executive, Ms. Caris was a financial journalist and television reporter. She was a producer and on-air reporter at Bloomberg Television in New York, covering Wall Street and the global stock, bond and currency markets. Prior to Bloomberg, she was a television writer and producer at CNN in New York, focused solely on the station’s international business news.
Ms. Caris earned her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University’s College of Communications.
David Kronfeld is a Partner at Haven Tower, where he brings nearly 30 years of financial communications and public relations experience. For the past 11 years, Mr. Kronfeld has served as a strategic communications advisor to companies in a wide range of industries.
David Kronfeld is a Partner at Haven Tower Group, where he brings nearly 35 years of financial communications and public relations experience. For the past 11 years, Mr. Kronfeld has served as a strategic communications advisor to companies in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to biotechnology, and with an emphasis on financial services firms.
He has focused largely on the creation of corporate content, key messages and corporate literature, including annual reports, brochures, newsletters and by-lined articles, speeches, advertising and web copy.
He has also provided counsel and expertise in media relations, investor relations and corporate image and branding. He often works closely with design firms in the creation of corporate literature so that word and image advance the same message.
Previously, Mr. Kronfeld was a Partner at Kekst and Company, where he worked for 16 years in strategic corporate communications. His experience at Kekst included crisis communications, corporate image counsel, and ongoing media and investor relations support.
While at Kekst, he worked with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, including major foreign-based multinationals.
Prior to joining Kekst, Mr. Kronfeld worked at The Wall Street Transcript, an investment publication.
Mr. Kronfeld holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Brown University and a certificate from the Careers in Business program at the New York University – Stern School of Business. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University.
Michael Dugan is a Partner at Haven Tower. He combines an in-depth knowledge of the financial services and securities industries with a strong track record in journalism. Mr. Dugan joined Haven Tower with over five years of experience in banking and the financial services industry.
Michael Dugan is a Partner at Haven Tower Group, where he focuses on media thought leadership campaigns. Mr. Dugan combines an in-depth knowledge of the financial services and securities industries with a strong track record in journalism, and his career spans over 10 years.
He joined Haven Tower in 2012 with over five years of experience in banking and the financial services industry, having served as a personal banker at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and, most recently, its investment arm, Chase Investment Service Corp., where he was a registered representative, with his Series 6, Series 6.5 and insurance producer securities licenses.
Prior to his work in the financial services sector, Mr. Dugan was a reporter for The East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Ariz), at one time the Phoenix metropolitan area’s second largest daily paper, which enjoyed a circulation of over 100,000 before the publication’s transition to an online only format in 2008.
Mr. Dugan attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, as well as in Political Science.
Julius Buchanan is a Consulting Principal at Haven Tower. He provides strategic communications support to the firm's clients, with a particular focus on media thought leadership as well as PR programs in support of regulatory affairs and succession planning transactions between independent financial advisory firms.
Julius Buchanan is a Consulting Principal at Haven Tower Group. He provides strategic communications support to the firm's clients, with a particular focus on media thought leadership as well as PR programs in support of regulatory affairs and succession planning transactions between independent financial advisory firms.
He leverages 12 years of experience as a securities attorney at leading corporate law firms, a global private bank, and monetary policymaking institutions.
Previously, Mr. Buchanan served as Director, Legal Counsel at Citi Private Bank, where he advised internal clients on securities-related issues encompassing product disclosures as well as contractual matters regarding investment funds, derivative products, equities, and debt. He also advised internal clients on cross-border regulatory affairs.
Prior to his work at Citi, Mr. Buchanan was a Senior Associate at Latham & Watkins LLP, and before that, practiced securities law at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as well as Kaye Scholer LLP, where he worked on initial public offerings, mergers & acquisitions, and offerings of global depositary receipts and convertible and non-convertible bonds.
Mr. Buchanan also spent three years serving as a policymaker at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of the Republic of Singapore. While at MAS, Mr. Buchanan served in the division responsible for securities, brokers, and financial advisers. During his time at MAS, Mr. Buchanan participated in the formulation, proposal, and drafting of legislation and regulations for the financial services industry.
Mr. Buchanan earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Birmingham-Southern College. In addition, he holds a Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from National Taiwan University.
Ted Gersten is a Consulting Principal at Haven Tower, where he leads the firm's Twin Haven platform, which specializes in developing web-based and social media-friendly original video productions that combine visual creativity with in-depth industry expertise for independent broker-dealers, Super-OSJ groups and independent financial advisory practices.
Ted Gersten is a Consulting Principal at Haven Tower Group, where he leads the firm's Twin Haven Partners platform, which specializes in developing web-based and social media-friendly original video productions that combine visual creativity with in-depth industry expertise for independent broker-dealers, Super-OSJ groups and independent financial advisory practices.
Mr. Gersten, who has over 14 years of experience in video production and editing, most recently served as a partner at Butcher Editorial, a post-production boutique agency based in Los Angeles, where he has worked on projects for clients such as Nike, Starbucks, HBO, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Microsoft.
Mr. Gersten attended SUNY Stony Brook, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Studies, French & Communications.
Mickey Madden serves as Administrative Manager at Haven Tower. In this role, he acts as a day-to-day coordinator for logistical and administrative needs in connection with the firm's client relationships. Additionally, Mr. Madden also serves as a creative professional supporting the firm's Twin Haven Partners platform.
Mickey Madden serves as Administrative Manager at Haven Tower Group. In this role, he acts as a day-to-day coordinator for logistical and administrative needs in connection with the firm's client relationships. Additionally, Mr. Madden also serves as a creative professional supporting the firm's Twin Haven Partners platform.
Mr. Madden brings approximately fifteen years of experience across a range of marketing communications, market research and sales support roles within the commercial real estate space.
Most recently, he served as marketing communications and administrative manager with Playa Capistrano Enterprises (PCE), a Los Angeles-based sales planning, marketing strategy and practice management consulting firm specializing in coaching, educating and training independent sales professionals within the commercial real estate sector.
Mr. Madden attended Occidental College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies.
Cameron Sun serves as Controller at Haven Tower Group. Mr. Sun brings over 18 years of finance, accounting, operational, and strategic planning experience in various industries including advertising, apparel, entertainment, retail, and technology.
Cameron Sun serves as Controller at Haven Tower Group. Mr. Sun brings over 18 years of finance, accounting, operational, and strategic planning experience in various industries including advertising, apparel, entertainment, retail, and technology.
Mr. Sun has worked with various sized companies serving as CFO to such companies as KP Fashion, AllSaints USA, NowLive and IMIO. In addition, he has experience working for international companies from Taiwan, Russia, and the United Kingdom to help establish their US operations.
Mr. Sun received his BA from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Pepperdine University.
We initially retained Haven Tower to develop a market positioning PR and media strategy to help brand our relatively unknown firm. The additional value, strategy and thought leadership we received exceeded all our planned outcomes and elevated our image, presence and sales. Their ability to become an integrated part of the team, with a passion for our business that matched ours was a key differentiator in their approach.
Haven Tower is unique in that they have a very senior team that not only helps with the strategic vision but with the actual implementation of the strategy. They bring their experience, creativity and sound judgment to every project and produce real results. Our members face an increasingly burdensome regulatory environment. Working with professional communicators and media relations experts who have actually worked at a senior level within our industry and don’t face a learning curve means your organization starts to get the results it needs immediately.
Retaining Haven Tower shortly after our firm's inception was one of the best decisions we could have made. The Haven Tower team was able to understand our vision for growth right away, and align their efforts around the specific areas that would most add value for our firm. A number of our growth milestones since 2014 have been driven by the PR strategy and execution Haven Tower has provided, including generating sophisticated press results that have contributed directly to our robust pipeline of inbound inquiries from potential advisor practice acquisition targets.
Joe Kuo is probably the only PR professional today who has spearheaded public relations for both the independent broker-dealer industry's largest IPO, with LPL Financial, as well as the industry's largest successful Chapter 11 reorganization, with Cetera Financial Group. Working together with Haven Tower over a period of more than two years as CEO of Cetera, I developed a very close relationship with Joe and his team based on a high degree of trust in their abilities and their integrity. Haven Tower provides incredibly strategic and disciplined PR support that combines in-depth industry knowledge with a unique ability to manage complex corporate situations. The firm's insights, discretion, attention to detail and responsiveness make them the ideal PR partner, especially when the stakes are so high that you just can't afford any execution risk.
What distinguishes Haven Tower from the rest of the pack is the remarkable creativity of its senior professionals, which reflects the firm’s enormous body of collective experience and industry expertise. All of this, combined with a culture based on a singular drive to deliver high impact results, makes Haven Tower the best possible PR agency for anybody who wants to get their message out there to the right people, at the right time, and in the most effective way possible.
Dual pronged PR strategy comprised of both consumer / national broadcast media for end client acquisition and retention, as well as industry media coverage and thought leadership to support advisor recruiting and retention for $600 million AUM Super-OSJ firm.
IHT Wealth Management: Crafting PR Strategies to Directly Support Business Growth Goals
Background: When Steven Dudash, an 11-year veteran Merrill Lynch financial advisor decided to start his own independent wealth management firm headquartered in Chicago in 2014, he had a vision: He not only wanted to run his own independent book of business, but he also sought to build a world-class "Super-OSJ" platform - Recruiting, retaining and helping to grow the businesses of former wirehouse advisors looking to own their individual practices and work in partnership with a well-resourced provider of comprehensive turnkey back and middle office support and services, under a shared broader brand.
At the same time, Mr. Dudash also wanted to position his new Super-OSJ firm, IHT Wealth Management, as the preferred transaction partner of choice to successful independent advisors seeking to retire from the industry by selling their practices to a well-resourced, trusted acquirer.
Solution: Haven Tower worked closely with Steven Dudash and his leadership team shortly following IHT Wealth Management's inception in 2014 to provide in-depth media training, message development and develop a multi-pronged media relations strategy geared at reinforcing retail client acquisition effortswhile reinforcing advisor recruiting, retention and practice acquisition initiatives.
Since 2014, IHT Wealth Management has grown its client advisory and brokerage assets from approximately $350 million to $800 million as of the second half of 2016. Advisor recruiting and retention, combined with a steady pipeline of successfully completed advisor practice acquisitions have primarily driven this growth in assets.
Creativity and Aggressive Tactics Drive Success for a Challenger. Brian Kovack, President & Co-Founder of Kovack Securities, a national full service independent broker-dealer and RIA firm, decided to challenge FINRA's nominee for the organization's mid-size firm Board seat as a dissident candidate in its Board elections (2015).
Kovack Securities: Creativity and Aggressive Tactics Drive Success for a Challenger.
Background: Mr. Kovack faced a number of significant challenges initially, including the FINRA leadership team's publicly professed preference for his opponent in the elections across the media and in key election materials disseminated by the organization.
Solution: Haven Tower moved quickly to identify all of the major inflection points in the FINRA Board elections. The firm developed messages, media outreach and communications tactics around each inflection point under a broader strategy characterized by the following:
By the end of the FINRA Board elections in the summer of 2015, Brian Kovack won the contest for the organization's mid-size firm seat on its Board.
Development of a comprehensive media thought leadership campaign across national, local and industry press outlets geared at mobilizing muliple constituencies with a clear interest in influencing the final form of the DOL fiduciary rules.
Financial Services Institute (FSI): Sound Judgment and Expertise in Developing High-Impact Media Thought Leadership Campaigns
Background: The Financial Services Institute (FSI), the nation's leading advocacy organization for independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors, needed to energize its members while engaging the widest possible field of public allies to influence the final version of the US Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary rule for retirement plan financial advice. In its initial draft form, the proposed rule would have dramatically curtailed the ability of American retail investors to access affordable, professional advice on their retirement plan assets.
Solution: Haven Tower partnered closely with FSI's leadership team to develop and roll out a comprehensive media thought leadership campaign across national, local and industry press outlets. The campaign was geared at mobilizing multiple constituencies with a clear interest in influencing the final form of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule to enable the continued delivery of affordable professional financial guidance for retirement plans.
In particular, Haven Tower supported FSI's efforts in the following key ways:
When the final fiduciary rule was released, it was clear that the DOL had attempted to address many of the operational features of the rule, due to the advocacy efforts of FSI. However, FSI and other like-minded trade organizations were compelled to litigate the rule, as it continues to threaten the industry and hard-working Americans’ dream of a dignified retirement.
Haven Tower continues to provide robust media relations strategy and execution support for FSI, as the organization continues to combat within the legal arena the most deleterious aspects of the final DOL fiduciary rule.
If you are interested in retaining Haven Tower for your PR needs, please contact Joseph Kuo, President & Managing Partner, via email at email@example.com and via phone at 424.652.6520, ext 101 during regular business hours (PST).
If you are a member of the media and on deadline, please email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main office line at 424.652.6520 during regular business hours (PST).
If you are a current or prospective vendor to Haven Tower Group, please contact us via email at email@example.com