Life experiences, combined with our unique personality traits, set each individual’s perspective on this world. They provide the impetus for each step we take and choices we make. Boris Desancic can best be described as a creative thinker who not only understands the underlying correlation between the past and the future, but is capitalizing on it. At this stage of his life, his particular “life equation” has led Boris to impart his own wisdom gained through experience and his assertive view of the future onto the lives he touches through his work. And while Boris forges into the future inspired and determined to modernize antiquated financial principles, he is ever mindful of how he got to where he is.
Raised in the former Yugoslavia, Boris witnessed firsthand, both great success and substantial struggles. Despite the ongoing turmoil in the region, his parents were both quite prominent in the business world. His father, an idol to Boris, was a three-time Olympic athlete, a C-level executive, and a successful businessman, who forged his niche in the world of debt arbitrage concepts between world banks. His mother was a successful attorney, who was closely affiliated with the government’s International Cabinet for Foreign Relationships. This environment cultivated an intrinsic strength, which allowed his family to endure the eventual loss of their secure lifestyle as war ensued. Boris was sent alone, at the young age of 17, to move ahead into an unknown but safer future in the U.S., that would allow him to ultimately rebuild and then expand on his family’s legacy.
Boris, can you tell us about your company and your primary role?
Ascent Wealth Strategies is a wealth advisory firm that specializes in business tax strategies, estate and asset protection planning, and wealth management. The company was founded with a mission to assist clients in every aspect of their monetary affairs. To that end, we have developed one of the most comprehensive financial product platforms available today. Our goal is to build holistic, long-term relationships that facilitate optimal results for each client’s unique scenario.
My role is very straightforward. I direct our operations, engineer our development, and my favorite part, I consult with clients. The interactions are always fascinating. Whether the client is a family looking to manage their wealth appropriately, a successful business owner trying to lessen the tax impact on his/her revenues, or a professional athlete taking the right steps to protect and expand on his/her new-found wealth, I always feel privileged to have a role in their lives and their financial future. So, every day is both thrilling and very impactful.
You’ve worked successfully for three decades. You’ve mentored over 100 financial advisors and won a bevvy of awards. What drives you to continue?
I think it’s a combination of factors. I have always been drawn to helping people and teaching. All of the interactions with my clients are intriguing. I enjoy taking complex concepts and making them seem simple and understandable. I’m also hyper-aware that I’m carrying forth my parent’s legacy and building the legacy that I will leave to my daughter.
I’m also very proud of the niche we’ve carved out in the business planning industry, and I’m compelled to progress it further. That our Revenue Protection Program is a genuinely unique approach, gives me a sense of pride. We constantly see clients who have seven-figure revenues but were never given this particular type of insight and assistance with their business and tax planning. I feel fortunate to be able to show them something new and genuinely impact their future for the better.
Clearly you have an extensive knowledge of finance, and it is obviously a tremendous benefit to clients. Can you elaborate a bit on your career?
Well, I’ve been at this since I was 21. Straight out of college, I was an associate partner in a small, boutique wealth management firm. Shortly thereafter, I got involved as a managing principal with Waddell and Reed. They were starting a new firm in Seattle, and I was entrusted to build it up from scratch. It became one of fastest-growing operations in their history. By the time I reached year nineteen with the company, I’d begun to feel that I wanted to move into a venture of my own. That was when Ascent Wealth Strategies was born, and I continue to run it to this day.
When you founded Ascent Wealth Strategies (AWS), was there something you wanted to do differently in your firm?
One of the things I realized very early in my career is that not everyone has all the answers, including myself, so when I founded AWS, I worked hard to establish partnerships with individuals who I knew were bringing the best ideas and products to the market. As an example, through our partnership with Westpac Wealth Partners, we have access to the brightest minds in advanced business and tax strategies, and innovative insurance planning. Through our partnership with Clear Creek Financial Management, our clients benefit from sophisticated technology, investment management brain trust, and reporting. Our partnership with Helios Quantitative allows us to offer an institutional-side style of investment management to our retail clients. In addition, our relationships with prominent legal and accounting firms create access to trusted professionals who can execute on our clients’ advanced planning needs.
The three pillars of our advanced strategy that differentiate us are: income shifting, tax arbitrage, and asset protection. These key areas are supported by at least a dozen other fairly intricate concepts. It seems intuitive to me to offer these services, so they are central to our work.
Your Revenue Protection Program is a unique concept your firm brings to your Business Owner clients. Can you expend a bit on it?
Sure. For every successful business owner, it’s critical to be proactive in the pursuit of retaining the greatest portion of their hard-earned revenue. While the professionals our clients already depend on provide them with crucial services, we usually find we are able to complement the work they do with our own and really elevate their outcomes to the next level. We do this by implementing our Revenue Protection Program, reducing tax bills in many cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars, shifting much of their risk exposure, and generally restructuring more antiquated plans into much more efficient and effective strategies.
Lastly, Boris, if you had to advise me as a client with just a few words, what would you say?
I’d advise you to build, protect, and preserve your current and future wealth, to establish your legacy, and create a roadmap for the generations to come.
Boris Desancic, Founder, Ascent Wealth Strategies