United Wealth Advisors Group (UWAG) was founded in 2013 by NAIFA National Past President Keith M. Gillies, CFP®, CLU, ChFC®; Kim Allen, LUTCF; and Mark A. Cecil, CFP®. Each ran his own independent firm within Ameritas, and the trio decided to integrate their practices to improve continuity and efficiency. Over the years, more firms have joined the fold. Now, UWAG has over 40 advisors in seven offices across six states.
While each firm has its own specialty, they share a common focus on risk-based, comprehensive financial planning. UWAG President Brian Steiner sums up the company culture, saying, “Our whole mantra is ‘Better Together’. Our organization is built on collaboration and ‘do no harm'. We're a group that works collectively to serve the greater good.”
Steiner joined NAIFA in 2003 when he became a financial advisor with Virginia Asset Management. In 2015, he joined NAIFA as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. Sharing his perspective from inside NAIFA leadership, he says, “I am fortunate to understand the importance of NAIFA from a few different perspectives. Being part of their leadership allowed me to witness first-hand the passion and commitment of the member volunteers and the collective impact NAIFA had on the industry.”
The Value of NAIFA
Steiner believes political advocacy is the most important thing NAIFA does and praises the staff who lead and organize our advocacy efforts, saying, “From the bottom up and top town they are an extremely effective and efficient group. It was great to work with them and I was proud to be part of the NAIFA staff. I am excited to continue my involvement as a volunteer and to support the incredibly important work they do on behalf of our industry.”
Getting involved in NAIFA’s political advocacy is essential, Steiner says. “Many don’t realize the impact legislation and regulation can have on our businesses. NAIFA is the main street voice protecting all advisors and the 70 million families those advisors serve.”
Steiner also believes that, in addition to advocacy, one of the most valuable benefits of NAIFA membership is the opportunity for networking and mentorship. “Connecting with people with diverse practices and interacting with industry leaders only makes you better,” he begins. “There are so many opportunities to engage in meetings, thought leadership, and education. It’s an incredible network to be plugged into!”
To those new to the industry, as well as veterans who have yet to join NAIFA, Steiner shares his insight. “NAIFA has a saying: advocate, educate, differentiate. That is exactly what being a member provides. It’s an organization that helps protect your practice, offers insight to advance your career, and provides a platform to stand out amongst your peers. If you are serious about your career, you need to join.”
Members of Note
UWAG boasts three NAIFA-National past presidents: Keith Gillies, Bob Brown, and Randy Kilgore. The firm is also home to Rebecca Schulter, a recipient of 2021 Advisor Today’s 4 Under 40 Award; several members of NAIFA’s Young Advisor Team (YAT); and two NAIFA chapter Past Presidents—Blake Gillies, DIA, and Kate Kilgore Cihon, FSCP.
With such a rich history of NAIFA leadership and engagement, UWAG aims to cultivate the next generation of advisors. As one of the architects of the NAIFA 100% Agency program, Steiner is dedicated to ensuring that UWAG continues its commitment to NAIFA’s Code of Ethics as well as its own core values.
We’re #NAIFAproud to have United Wealth Advisors Group as a NAIFA 100% Agency and are eager to see the great things they accomplish.