Get to Know Your Allegiant Team: Carl Watkins

KBFS Bio WatkinsIn his role as Wealth Advisor Director at Allegiant Private Advisors, Carl Watkins, CFP®, CDFA™, AIF®, works with clients to define, implement, and manage their goals and investment strategies. We hope you enjoy learning more about Carl personally as well as his path to Allegiant, in his own words:

It seems like yesterday when I joined the firm, but the past four+ years with Allegiant have flown by.  It’s been a privilege to come to the office each and every day with my work family and with our clients, who are also just like family.  I feel very lucky to be able to work with such great individuals that entrust us with their financial futures, and each day is both a joy and an adventure.  This is how I got here.

I was born and raised in Sarasota after my parents relocated here from Illinois.  While Sarasota is still a small town even after all the development that has occurred, it certainly was even smaller back then.  I attended the Out-of-Door Academy and then Cardinal Mooney before heading off to Florida State University for college.  Sports were a large part of my life as I was a two-sport athlete in both tennis and soccer at Cardinal Mooney.  Like most others, sports just became another activity in college and it was time to find a career that I would be able enjoy for the rest of my life. 

Working in various financial offices over the years has allowed me to experience the financial services industry as a whole.  I’ve worked in sales offices where the client’s needs don’t always come first and I’ve worked in offices where the client is the only focus of the advisor or firm – which is the philosophy and commitment here at Allegiant Private Advisors.  It seems like the latter case should be the industry norm, but that isn’t always the situation.  The main theme that stuck with me throughout the early part of my career was that I truly enjoyed being the quarterback or “thinking partner” for my clients.  Being able to understand each client’s goals and helping them take the right steps to reach them is one of the most fulfilling things that I get to do daily.  Experiencing the joy firsthand with each client when we’re able to help them navigate whatever life throws at them is the ultimate reward that keeps me motivated to come to work.  This sort of connectivity is what makes this profession so great and is something that the whole team at Allegiant holds dear. 

I have been fortunate to have great mentors throughout my career to help guide me along my career path, which is part of how I ended up at Allegiant. I was introduced to Marty after graduating college and kept in touch with him over the years.  Back in 2014, I started to have the urge to move back to Sarasota and reached out to him.  As luck would have it, he was in the middle of restructuring the office and was in need of a Wealth Advisor to join the team.  The timing was perfect and the office was a good fit, however one obstacle still remained.  I’d have to somehow convince my then girlfriend, and now wife, Julie, to move with me to a place that she’d only visited once.  It took some convincing on my part and a leap of faith from her, but we ended up moving to Sarasota shortly thereafter and the rest is history.  Fast forward to today, I am now the Wealth Advisor Director at Allegiant and oversee the firm’s Financial Planning practices and procedures, along with working with many of you.  The depth and scope of the team’s Financial Planning knowledge is impressive and I’m proud to continue furthering that every day.   

Julie and I have loved making Sarasota our home together and we welcomed the birth of our son, Patrick, a few months ago.  It’s great to be in a community that is so family friendly, especially with my own family nearby.  Giving back to the community is very important to us as well.  That’s why I serve as a board member and current president on my local alumni association as well as a board member and finance committee member of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota.  The opportunity to be involved with these organizations is something I’m very passionate about.  It doesn’t get any better than being able to provide scholarships to deserving students striving to attend college and putting deserving families that have been struggling into good homes.  A hand up rather than a handout goes a long way. I find this to be a great lesson for those of any age to embrace. 

I’m blessed to be able to work with such accomplished individuals and families and consider it a privilege to help guide you through whatever life throws your way.  Being a trusted resource to each client family is something that I cherish and look forward to as I go to the office every day.  I know that the entire Allegiant team feels the same way and will continue to act as your trusted advisor and thinking partner for years to come.  We are unbelievably lucky to enjoy what we do and I am excited when I think about all that the future holds for our clients and firm.