John Degen, CFBS
Financial Advisor 

Many successful business owners find themselves wondering how they will transition from the success they have created to the kind of lasting significance they desire. This is a question John Degen has faced personally, and one he addresses frequently with clients.

Both of John's grandfathers and his father were very successful career insurance agents, setting the expectation that John would eventually enter the business. John recalls resisting initially, though a natural entrepreneurial bent simply wouldn't be stifled. In 1987, he finally made the leap and launched his career in financial services – but on his own, insisting that he wanted to learn and practice independently rather than join forces with his father.

John's independent streak strongly contributed to his success in building a thriving financial planning practice from the ground up in his hometown of Kansas City. Today, his practice focuses exclusively on the business transition needs of entrepreneurs. Over the years John has cultivated clients in the services, construction, manufacturing, medical and farming sectors, to name a few. All grapple with the same question: how best to prepare for a time when they are no longer at the helm.

As a business owner, John is very much aware of the importance of succession and exit planning. Ironically, by the time he finally did feel he was ready to join forces with his father, a massive stroke prevented father and son from working together. It is this kind of firsthand experience with the realities of business planning – or lack thereof - that gives John perspective and the ability to do critically meaningful work with his clients.

“You reach a point in the evolution of your business where success is no longer the end goal. The question is, "what am I leaving behind?" he says. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to guide my clients through this critical conversation, so that they can leave the legacy they envision. It is work that gives me significance,” he adds. And so it is that in helping his clients leave their legacy that John is shaping his own.