Darren Wright is the CEO and Founder of Wright Oversight & Organization. He proudly leads a team comprised of best in class financial subject matter experts in Estate, Tax, Wealth Management, Trusts, Insurance and every comprehensive category that falls under the financial space. The team collaborates for their hand-selected group of clients, and the company’s main objective is simple: hire a holistic team that encompasses the multifaceted goal of wealth management, and let them do their brilliant work.
What inspired you and brought you to your current position and career path?
Raised in a small midwestern town by two hard-working parents, I was instilled with the values of diligence and integrity that they modelled. My mother was a successful small business owner, and my father ran his own private practice as an attorney. Watching each grow their respective businesses brought me a great sense of pride and inspiration from their clientele, who looked to them for advice and counsel. While I wasn’t sure exactly the direction in which I wanted to take my career at the time, the importance of serving others was my true north.
This type of inspiration is essential when growing up in a small town, where the most exciting thing to do was attend our High School’s football game. With limited exposure to the outside world, I yearned to take the values of my upbringing and challenge myself to make my mark in the world. With my High School diploma in hand and a packed car with all of my belongings, I embarked on a new chapter and headed west, beginning my college career at Arizona State University. It was there that I found my first love — Arizona.
The wide outdoors invited me in with endless mountains, canyons and deserts to explore; the weather moved me with each passing cloud. But most important was the people, an inviting melting pot, with flavors and inspirations imported across the country. It wasn’t exactly as laid back as the West Coast, less hardened than the East Coast, and not as familiar as the Midwest. The mosaic of culture that felt just right, and a bit of all parts of the country, collectively, quickly felt like home.
What challenges have you run into in this process, and how did you overcome them?
I arrived at ASU confident that I would pursue pre-law and political science, and secured the coveted internship as a senator’s aide to the Honorable Dennis DeConcini. Although I enjoyed serving for him and the Government while in school, I discovered that law, nor politics, was the path destined for me. I discovered a book while perusing my campus library: Values-Based Selling by Bill Bachrach. I devoured the book, fascinated by each page about the importance of building high-trust client relationships. Charged with inspiration, I decided to follow a road less travelled, certainly diverting from the path that I had laid for myself. I embarked on a journey to discover what was important to people and how to help them make smart choices with their money. This was the direction for me.
I began building a traditional wealth management practice in 1993, boasting more than 200 clients, which I transformed into a seven-figure business. I had found success, yet found my attention spread too thin to deliver the absolute potential for each account I oversaw. The fire that ignited my passion for wealth management ultimately left me burned out, and knew I had to pivot to a more sustainable model. I believe longevity is a pinnacle of money management; short-term earnings pale in comparison to long-term wealth, growth and financial security.
With 26 years of wealth management under my belt, I sold my business and embarked on my next adventure. Although I had amassed far more than the High School degree, tee-shirts and posters that filled my first car when I embarked for Arizona, I prepared for my new venture with the passion and values rooted in my Midwestern upbringing. Now armed with decades of lessons, experience, and confidence on my path that were beyond my younger self’s wildest imagination—and, most importantly, the support of my incredible wife and three wonderful children—I was ready with a new, radical idea. I retained a select handful of carefully selected clients, intimate by design, impassioned to help overachiever families reach their goals.
Can you tell us about The Wright Family Foundation?
My family sold our business after 26 years and created the Wright Family Foundation to give back to those less fortunate. Its mission is to improve the quality of lives in our community. Anyone can earn money and there is more fortitude in using it toward enriching the lives of those around you; both those in your inner circle, and those struggling to create their own. Financial success is important, but passing the values of diligence, integrity and care for our community onto my children is my most valuable accomplishment.
The impact of our work on our clients is that they experience living their life with more purpose, centered on stronger relationships with those they care about, building memories, family and marital harmony, and confidence about their future for their desired standard of living. While money is means to an end for the lifestyle you strive to obtain, it should be spent living that life, not fixated on the state of your hard-earned wealth.
Our clients understand the importance of focusing their energy on being more present in their lives, their passions and to achieve their goals and invest in more important priorities including health, time, family and relationships. In today’s world, money can buy almost anything, except a day that lasts more than 24 hours. In the finite window of each day, we help our clients prioritize what brings them joy, rather than fixating on the status of their wealth.
Our philosophy is not one that fits all. We know that no families, or businesses, are identical. We tailor strategies to each client’s goals, priorities, and portfolio. We take pride in a custom approach, which is why all of our clients are organic and referral based. Instead of advertising, we exclusively invest our time and energy into each family’s finances we’ve been entrusted to oversee. Our comprehensive, goal-oriented financial services philosophy is rooted in delivering on the service for our clients. The only acceptable way for our team to operate is to consistently over-deliver and impress the clients, which is how we become trusted and irreplaceable in their lives, and only work with families with whom these values resonate.
What success stories have you played a part in recently?
We measure our success based on how clients achieve their goals. When they tell us about the incredible experiences from their latest family trip, it is humbling for me. I am proud because they did it — they found their purpose and followed through. We help our clients live their ideal life and help them build it, starting with a series of tools to help them identify their most closely held values and important goals. All meetings include both spouses and are centered around being on track to achieve goals, rather than drone on through a boring meeting about the stock market or economy, which we can all agree we don’t have omnipotent control over.
One of our clients wanted to buy a vineyard in Napa and we helped him make that happen – they are now very successful, happy and are living their ideal life.
What are the biggest challenges facing businesses and families today that you assist with?
The biggest challenge for most of our families is relationships. Money can ensure a family’s financial buoyancy throughout life, but it is the relationships that will keep you afloat amongst life’s choppiest waves. Family wealth is often emotionally charged and sensitive. Wealth can often bring more stress than happiness, and we’ve built our business and community on facilitating healthy discussion with family so wealth, values and family can intersect and thrive. We help you realize what is invaluable and often intangible, and give you the tools to live a life more robust than any account. These discussions create positive outcomes and solutions to transfer wealth and values to the next generation.
How do you intend to lead your business forward in the years ahead?
I will lead our business forward by concentrating my team of expert’s collective energy into supporting our clients to achieve their goals and protect them from blind spots along the way. You have to be successful financially to be a fit for us, but we have the experience to secure your financial house in perfect order. You’ve worked hard to earn your life savings, so if you’re ready to ensure the fruits of your labor last throughout your whole life and contribute to your family’s bond and legacy, we are here to help.
CEO, Wright Oversight & Organization