We founded our firm in 1991 with the mission of providing comprehensive financial planning and the best-of-breed investment management that clients were asking for and still seek today. Our people use their skills and passion to develop great long-term relationships with clients.
Ethos and skills
We are devoted to delivering great client experiences. To us, that means using our diverse skills and experiences, and a client's tax and legal advisers, to synthesize issues and reach actionable outcomes that reduce risk, bring order and enhance understanding.
Our experience and skills span portfolio management, law, taxation, estate planning, insurance, startup situations, venture financings, executive compensation plans, alternative investments and other specialized areas.
Particular areas of strength and experience include:
Portfolio design and management
Estate planning and trust administration
Income tax forecasting and tax management of legacy assets
Private investment funds, alternative investments and angel investing
Stock option strategies and executive compensation
Charitable giving strategies
Insurance coverage and claims
Home financing alternatives
The firm or its professionals hold designations or memberships from organizations that play an important role in promulgating quality standards or training curricula related to financial advisory services. Two of our principals also have a role in a related law firm.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors—highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of those they serve. Since 1983, Americans across the country have looked to NAPFA for access to financial professionals who meet the highest membership standards for professional competency, client-focused financial planning, and Fee-Only compensation. Kutscher Rhodes & Benner, Inc. and all of the principals are members of NAPFA.
CFA Institute is the global, not-for-profit association of investment professionals that awards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) designations. CFA and its member societies offer a range of educational programs and services for our members, program candidates, investors, employers, institutions, and the press. Scott Rhodes has been awarded the CFA designation.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the body that awards the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. The Board’s mission is to benefit the public by upholding the CFP designation as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. Ted Kutscher and Cameron Barsness hold the CFP designation.
Kutscher Hereford Bertram Burkart PLLC
Kutscher Hereford Bertram Burkart PLLC (“KHBB Law”) is a law firm that is distinct from the financial planning firm Kutscher Rhodes & Benner, Inc. KHBB Law is a firm of eight lawyers focused on providing estate planning, trust counsel, trust and estate and guardianship litigation, and probate advice to individuals, families and professional trustees. The firm also represents investors and business owners in transactions, typically involving angel investments or real estate. Ted Kutscher and Scott Benner, two principals of Kutscher Rhodes & Benner, Inc., are also lawyers in KHBB Law and the two firms share office space and some administrative staff.
As a firm and individuals, we support selected organizations that benefit our community where our involvement can make a material difference.
Several of these are profiled below.
Northwest Entrepreneur Network
The Northwest Entrepreneur Network is the leading Seattle non-profit offering education and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs. Through its workshops, once a year Entrepreneur University and other educational curricula, entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs learn critical skills necessary to successfully launch and build their companies. Very young companies also have the chance to raise capital through NWEN’s First Look Forum. Scott Benner is the Vice-Chair of Northwest Entrepreneur Network.
Northwest Energy Angels
Northwest Energy Angels is a non-profit membership network of angels who invest in startup and young clean technology businesses. Recognizing clean technology is an area of financial opportunity that holds benefits for our environment and society, the angels seek to make investment returns while doing good.
Gage Academy of Art
Gage Academy of Art is devoted to classical art training for all. The non-profit academy was founded on the belief that any person with the passion to make art can be trained in the craft. Their intimate studio programs offer personal attention and hands-on, rigorous training in the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpting. Ted Kutscher is a Trustee of Gage Academy and an occasional student.
Vashon Community Care
Vashon Community Care Center is a non-profit assisted living and skilled nursing facility on Vashon Island. The center is devoted to enriching the resident’s experience of aging through creative, collaborative, caring and community-wide services. Together with other “islanders,” Ted Kutscher helped to transition the center from a for-profit business on the verge of failure to a thriving non-profit that is at the heart of elder care on Vashon Island.
An archive of our most recent and past writings.
Reflections on the Fiscal Cliff, Financial Markets & Portfolio Sustainability Nov. 2012
Managing Through the Muddle Aug. 2012
European Debt, Your Portfolio Positioning & Expectations for Volatility Nov. 2011
Roth Conversions Dec. 2009
January Newsletter Jan. 2009
Market Recaps & Snapshots:
As a comprehensive financial planner and attorney, Ted draws from the various disciplines of investment, tax and law to meet the needs of each client. A founder and principal of the firm, Ted is involved personally and substantially in the planning process for each of our clients.
He received his secondary education at Phillips Exeter Academy (1974), a bachelors of arts in English from Dartmouth in 1978, a law degree from the University of Denver in 1981 (Law Review), a masters degree in taxation from Golden Gate University in 1991, and earned his Certified Financial Planner™ certification in September 1990. As a partner in Kutscher Hereford Bertram Burkart PLLC, his law practice emphasizes estate planning and taxation. Prior to forming our financial firm in 1991, he was an assistant vice president and senior trust officer with Seattle-First National Bank in its trust division (1986-1990). From 1981 through 1985 Ted was with Lasher & Johnson in Seattle. His professional memberships and associations include the Washington State Bar Association, the Seattle Estate Planning Council, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), and International Board of Certified Financial Planners (IBCFP).
Ted and his wife Susan live on Vashon Island, Washington, with their two children, Ellen and William. They own a farmhouse on the island built in 1897. A painter "who loves the smell of turpentine," a trait he may have inherited from his mother Joan, Ted is represented by the Silverwood Gallery on Vashon Island and has many of his works displayed in our office.
Advising clients about portfolios and investments involves a full set of analytical skills that Scott provides as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He is a principal of the firm and a key member of our investment committee and planning team, advising clients directly about their overall financial needs.
Scott received his bachelors of business administration in finance with honors from Gonzaga University in 1984 and earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1998. He joined our firm in 1999 after working for the National Association of Securities Dealers for ten years as a securities brokerage examiner. During his tenure at the NASD he routinely inspected stock brokerage firms to ensure their compliance with federal regulations and the NASD's ethical standards. The bulk of his responsibilities involved the review of client securities transactions and brokerage operations. He also conducted investigations of customer complaints and incidences surrounding stockbrokers' terminations. Prior to Scott's work at the NASD, he was a manager of a consulting firm specializing in securities fraud litigation. In this capacity, he provided counsel to attorneys and stock brokerage firms regarding settlement structuring and damage calculations, appearing before arbitration panels as an expert witness. He still occasionally provides expert witness testimony in connecting with investment disputes and has served as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Association. His professional memberships and associations include the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Seattle.
Scott enjoys the often scenic ferry commute to and from Port Orchard where he and his wife, Tanya, raise their two sons.
Scott is a principal of the firm and a registered investment adviser representative. He serves as lead principal on several financial planning client engagements. Drawing on 15 years of experience organizing investment funds, structuring venture capital deals, and advising on equity compensation arrangements, Scott also plays a distinctive role in assisting our clients with the integration of their restricted stock, stock options, and alternative investment interests into their overall financial picture.
Scott graduated magna cum laude from Pacific Lutheran University in 1988 with departmental honors in economics. He went on to law school at New York University and graduated cum laude in 1991. He commenced his law practice in Seattle at Bogle & Gates LLP and joined Heller Ehrman LLP in 1994. His practice then included public company work, venture capital financings, and mutual fund and investment advisor compliance. After briefly serving as general counsel of Ride, Inc., he returned to Heller Ehrman in 1996, served clients from its Singapore and Hong Kong offices, became a partner and concentrated his practice on hedge funds and venture capital formation and investment. Scott returned to the U.S. in 2003 to practice in Heller's Seattle and San Francisco offices, where he concentrated on organizing venture capital, real estate, buyout and hedge funds.
Scott is active in the Northwest Entrepreneur Network and continues to practice law through our affiliated firm of Kutscher Hereford Bertram Burkart PLLC. His law practice is focused on venture capital and other alternative investments, companies organized as LLCs and personal representation of entrepreneurs and other business owners.
Scott and his wife Kimberly live on Vashon Island with their children, Brooks and Audrey.
As a financial planning associate, Jonni is an essential member of the financial team working closely with the firm's principals in the development, presentation and implementation of our clients' financial plans.
Jonni joined the firm in 2000 following a 12-year career in the legal profession as a paralegal both in private practice and with corporate entities. She earned the SEC Registered Investment Advisor license (Series 65) in June 2000 and completed the Certificate in Financial Planning Program in May 2003.
Jonni and her husband Russ live in the Kennydale neighborhood of Renton, Washington. Much of their free time is spent together in the outdoors boating, cycling and skiing with friends and family and vacationing in "sunnier climes".
Cameron, an associate on our financial planning team since 2006, works closely with the firm’s principals and directly with clients on all aspects of the relationship, including investment recommendations and financial plan analysis and implementation. Additionally, Cameron works with our custodians to service client’s day-to-day transactional needs.
Cam is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. She has successfully completed the Registered Representative (Series 7) examination and graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 2004 with a degree in marketing.
Cam and her husband Erik live in Renton, Washington, with their daughter Reece, son Thymer, and their golden retriever, Mable. Both Cam and her husband were born and raised in Montana and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2006.
As a financial planning associate, Ryan is an essential member of the financial team working closely with the firm's principals to prepare, implement and coordinate our clients’ financial plans.
A registered Investment Adviser Representative (Series 65), Ryan joined the firm in 2011 after working on valuations, bankruptcies and dispute analysis for a forensic accounting firm in Houston and leading the secondary marketing team for a mortgage bank in Scottsdale. In 2008 Ryan received an MBA in Global Finance from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and in 2004 he graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature from University of Washington, where he was a National Merit and Mary Gates Honors Scholar.
Happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan enjoys spending time with family in nearby Sammamish and getting outdoors whenever possible. Fluent in Spanish, Ryan is also an avid traveler whose recent destinations have included Brazil and India, and he has studied and lived in Spain, Mexico, Czech Republic and Argentina.
Nate is the forward-most face and voice of the firm and the office manager. In addition to assisting the lawyers and paralegals with a variety of administrative matters, he makes a point to establish rapport with each visitor and caller to the firm.
Nate graduated in 2008 from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida with a degree in both Business Administration and Sport Management. While at Flagler he served as a student-assistant coach and Director of Basketball Operations, and was a part of two nationally ranked basketball teams. Upon graduation, he returned to Seattle and worked as an assistant coach for the Bellevue Community College men's basketball team.
Nate grew up in Seattle and now resides in the heart of Capitol Hill. Nate continues to provide scouting and coaching assistance at BCC, along with public relations assistance for the Seattle Storm.
Bethany assists the principals with administrative tasks and provides other support to the office generally.
While earning her degree in Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle, Bethany spent a quarter studying in Rome. Originally from Vancouver, Washington, Bethany now calls Seattle home. Aside from traveling, she also enjoys dance and exploring the city.
Carlyle is an intern who assists with reception, office administration and a variety of tasks and projects. She is a junior at the University of Washington studying finance and health care management.