Getting to Know Your Allegiant Team: Michelle Cross

The Allegiant Private Advisors team was thrilled to welcome Michelle Cross, CFP®, CPA, CDFA®, as a Wealth Advisor in the summer of 2019. Having worked in the financial services industry since 2002, Michelle’s role at Allegiant focuses on a holistic advisory approach, guiding client families through all areas of financial planning to help define and achieve their financial goals. Michelle looks forward to getting to know each of our clients and community colleagues, but first, we wanted to give her the opportunity to introduce herself to each of you, in her own words: 

APA Cross 8x10 smallEver since I was a small child, I’ve always been a planner. I was accepted to seven out of the eight colleges I applied for including NYU and Boston College.  But when it came down to it, I realized that I didn’t want to be far away from home so I enrolled at the University of Delaware, which was only 45 minutes from my hometown.  There, I majored in Accounting with a minor in Management Information Systems.  During my downtime, I practiced my leadership skills as president of my sorority.  After graduating, I began my career at Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” public accounting firms and quickly sat for the CPA exam. (I am proud to say I passed all four parts on my first attempt and in one sitting.)  Life was - and still is -  busy!

Once I graduated from UD, I thought I had the rest of my life planned out.  Working in Philadelphia for Deloitte’s investment management group, I was on the verge of applying for a transfer to Manhattan so I could get closer to the action on Wall Street.  The idea was that I would live the crazy city life for a few years, then do a rotation for the firm’s offshore fund clients in the Cayman Islands before settling down to start a family. 

Just days before I submitted the transfer request though, I met my honey, Tom, and everything changed.  Let’s just say that Tom is not much of a city boy!  In fact, he is the person who introduced me to country music which quickly became my favorite genre.  Tom and I settled in northern Delaware and had our two very active boys, Connor and Aidan.  At the time, I was still working in accounting, but longed to make a career transition to feel like I was really helping people.  

Deep down, I always knew I wanted to be a financial planner. I love talking to families about what’s truly important to them and guiding them on how to best use their resources to achieve their goals. So, after 10 years in public accounting, I took a chance and joined a large national firm as a financial advisor. 

Over the next several years, I spent time at both large and small wealth advisory firms and I learned that not all financial professionals are created equally.  Not even close.  I knew that I didn’t want to be a financial salesperson with monthly quotas. Instead, I wanted to have meaningful relationships with my clients for the rest of our lives.  And I knew I wanted to do that with other like-minded professionals but, at the time, just hadn’t yet found the right people to team up with.  So, I started my own firm.  I also moved to Florida during this time, fulfilling another goal of living close to my parents so they could be involved in my children’s lives as they grew up… something I didn’t have as a child.  

So how did I end up at Allegiant?  Well, I was lucky enough to meet Paul (Cantor, COO) and Melissa (Walsh, Wealth Advisor) at a Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council meeting one night and the rest, as they say, is history. Allegiant is the unicorn I didn’t think existed.  Everyone at the firm is not only extremely caring and sincere, but they are also at the top of their professional game.  For a relatively small firm, we have an amazing depth of expertise.  

I feel incredibly blessed to no longer be working alone in this business – and I have peace of mind knowing that my clients now benefit from the strength and stability of Allegiant’s team approach, with our entire team of professionals who always have each client’s best interests at heart and are committed to the same focus on customer service that I have always strived for. Everyone at Allegiant has welcomed me with open arms… they literally hugged me!  Every day brings new, exciting and challenging rewards and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this unique work family!