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Chris Smith Investments Transitions to Wilde Wealth Management Group; Michael W. Obenauf Joins Payson Team to Increase Personalized Service to Clientele
By Alison Bailin - Tuesday Sep 08, 2020
Chris Smith Investments, located at 112 West Main Street in Payson, has formally merged with Scottsdale-based Wilde Wealth Management Group, an award-winning independent financial services firm that provides comprehensive retirement, investment, real estate, insurance, legal and tax planning services all under one roof. Through the merger, Chris Smith Investments will formally change its name to Wilde Wealth Management Group.

“This name change comes after several years of partnership between our firms. Like us, they are proudly Arizona owned and operated,” says Chris Smith, who founded Chris Smith Investments in 2004 after working in the industry in the region since 1992. “I initially met Trevor Wilde in 2005, and in 2015 we formally affiliated with them to add depth to our bench and expand on service offerings for our clients. Changing the name makes sense to better reflect our affiliation both externally and internally.”

Smith, along with all other members of the Payson team, will remain in their same roles, and there will be no interruption of service to any clients in the area. Michael W. Obenauf, an independent investment adviser representative with Wilde Wealth Management Group, has moved to Payson to assist Smith as the firm continues to grow. In his role, Obenauf will focus on wealth management, retirement income planning and asset protection planning while continuing to provide exceptional service to all clients.

“Michael is a coach at heart, actually coaching youth hockey in his spare time, in fact. His approach to client service is to educate versus dictate, talking to each client versus at them. That, combined with belief in the importance of tailoring investment strategies and actuarial science to effectively accomplish unique financial planning needs, makes him a perfect fit for our Payson team,” said Trevor Wilde, MBA, AIF®, the managing director of Wilde Wealth Management. “An avid outdoorsman already in love with the area, he jumped at the chance to make this move.”

Obenauf earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a valued member of the Arizona team. Community minded, Obenauf is a member of the Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club. The organization is comprised of 50 men between the ages of 20 and 40 that are business and community leaders. The primary focus of the organization is philanthropic fundraising to support local children's charities. Once established in Payson, he looks forward to similar community engagement and volunteerism opportunities.

In addition to Obenauf, the team will continue to work closely with Trevor Wilde himself, who was recently named to Barron’s annual list of top 1,200 advisors nationwide and No. 1 overall in Arizona. This is Wilde’s 12th consecutive year being honored and highest ranking to date.

According to Wilde, who founded Wilde Wealth Management Group with his father, Bill, in 2003, the mission for the Payson team as well as the rest of its offices across Arizona and Indiana is two-fold: to offer boutique, customized investment planning advice, and to offer clients expanded in-house service offerings from fellow independent specialists in the fields of legal, taxes, risk management, family services, real estate and insurance.

“Together, the team is able to not only take all the pieces of a client’s financial puzzle and organize them, but use them to build a solid foundation that will serve not just the client, but his/her family for generations to come,” says Wilde, who in 2018 was honored as among the Most Admired Leaders in Arizona by the Phoenix Business Journal, and has been among the Top 15 Advisors out of more than 1,200 Cetera Advisors annually since 2012.

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