Dan Gaugler, CPA/PFS (inactive), CFP
Founding Partner, Senior Wealth Manager
Fairway has been my life’s work and dream come true. I spend 90% of my time serving as wealth manager for 50 client families. The rest of my time is spent recruiting prospective clients and advancing Fairway’s strategic and succession planning goals.
After learning the essence of hard work and client service during six years as a caddie, I started my career as a CPA tax specialist at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in 1986. Timing was perfect because the Tax Reform Act of 1986 had just changed everything for individuals and investments. Tax-managed investment and cash-flow planning became my core expertise. I officially became a wealth manager in 1991 when I moved to Investment Advisors International, Inc., part of Mark McCormack’s IMG, the world’s leading sports marketing company. IMG was ahead of its time by having an in-house wealth management firm to care for its athlete and Fortune 500 executive clients. Deloitte recruited me back in 1996 to help launch their investment advisory business. I had a 5-year run building a client base and team (which included two of my current Fairway partners); but, when my only option for “making partner” required relocation, I got serious about starting my own firm. Actually, I started that in 1992 when, during my MBA coursework, I wrote a business plan for “Fairway Financial Group”. I got an A- on the project. The professor said my marketing assumptions stretched credibility. The Fairway plan went live right after 9/11/2001 when I asked Mark Weiskind to leave Deloitte with me. Mark was in and by June 2002 we were out. Deloitte allowed 12 clients to follow us, provided we agreed to not compete for one year. When that term ended in the summer of 2003, we approached 15 former clients. All but one hired us. Since then, we’ve been hired by more than 250 families and created jobs for 15 professionals. Over the past 18 years at Fairway, I’ve done most of the things that entrepreneurs have to do. Today, I do less of those “business” things and more of what I enjoy most…serving clients.
I have been married to Janet for over 30 years. We met in 1984 when we were Resident Assistants and Accounting majors at John Carroll University. She’s a CPA too. We have three daughters who live in Cleveland, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Two are CPAs; the third a Pediatrician. Spending time with family is my favorite thing to do, and I try to play as much golf as I can. Today, Fairway’s clients even include a few of the gentlemen I caddied for in the early 1980s.