The W&A Story

“We are in the relationships business,
not the transaction business.”

- David Waddell


Every good business solves a problem. Waddell and Associates (W&A) began in response to our belief that there was a systematic flaw in the wealth services industry. Incumbent providers defaulted to a product-centric, transaction-based model for managing assets. We felt this narrow approach to “selling” the wealthy grossly underserved them. In contrast, we constructed a client-centric, fee-based approach to managing wealth that honors and nurtures long term client relationships. As a firm, we celebrate life events and accomplishments alongside our clients rather than the commissions extracted from them. Helping clients maximize their financial potential in alignment with their goals cannot arise from a transaction. Achievements take time, collaboration, and flexibility. They require trust, common values, and commitment.

Waddell and Associates exists to enrich life by providing clarity.

We understand the struggle and sacrifice it takes to amass wealth. We understand the complications that wealth invites. We understand the fear and confusion that plague the big life decisions of building families, educating children, starting and divesting businesses, transitioning into retirement, processing divorce, designing estates and more. We understand these issues. We have faced them ourselves. We built this firm to help. We built this firm to provide you comfort. We do a lot of calculations at W&A, but everything we do starts with the heart.

When you know what matters, the journey toward it is worth the while.

The W&A story starts with David Waddell's parents: After navigating a successful business career, Duke and Clara Waddell moved from an office in Bryn Mawr, PA, to a boat in Ocean Ridge, FL. Their accumulated assets, amassed over years of shared sacrifice, required strategic attention and management. They interviewed the usual financial service providers and found the self-centered offerings inadequate at best and opportunistic at worst. Capable of managing their assets themselves, they chose to go it alone. Word spread. Friends and prior business associates, likewise disenchanted with the usual Wall Street way, encouraged Duke and Clara to manage their assets as well. They recognized Duke’s investment acumen but also the sensibilities of his approach. It was methodical and intentional. They also recognized Clara’s caring and empathetic way with people. The unique combination of Duke’s competence and Clara’s empathy seemed to fill a void in the personal financial services industry. Emboldened by their friends, they joined hands, walked the beach, and began dreaming of Waddell and Associates.

The best decisions we make are the ones we make together.