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Business

Longtime Financial Advisor Alan Griffin Not Yet Sold on Retirement

Branch manager is planning for the future of the first Santa Barbara office of Crowell, Weedon & Co.

After more than three decades in any business, some South Coast residents might consider retiring and perhaps moving away — but not Alan Griffin.

Alan Griffin
Alan Griffin

After taking a job this year as branch manager of the first Santa Barbara office for financial advisor firm Crowell, Weedon & Co., 111 W. Micheltorena St., the 65-year-old Griffin says retirement is nowhere in sight.

“I get to work with people I enjoy seeing every day,” he said. “I do it because I love it.”

Griffin told Noozhawk he plans to soon grow the Santa Barbara office to 12 brokers and six staff members.

He has brought on board several of his former employees, including Mark Delgadillo as a financial advisor. A second-generation Santa Barbara resident, Delgadillo began working at Dean Witter in 1986, where he first worked with Griffin. He spent 19 years there as a financial advisor, until 2005 when he moved to Smith Barney — where he again worked with Griffin.

After working for Tandy Corp., Griffin decided to leave San Diego where he grew up and make the South Coast his home in 1977 with Dean Witter. Since that time, he says he has seen “three major events” in the financial industry. He was named Dean Witter branch manager in 1983, and left to run the Santa Barbara branch of Smith Barney in 1992.

When South Coast real estate melted down in the late 1980s, “I told people to calm down,” Griffin said. When an even worse real estate crisis hit several years ago, “baby boomers got scared.”

“Was real estate overblown? Probably,” he says. “But as always, it will come back.”

He recalled the time when small financial firms were common, but later went public and eventually were purchased by big banks. Since the recession hit and many banks had to be bailed out, regional companies such as Crowell, Weedon & Co. looked more attractive to Griffin.

“There will be more (other) firms that will be less inclined to deal with the average investor,” he said. “We’re going to serve everybody. Sure we want the larger accounts, but we’re not going to charge a lot of fees.”

He described the Obama administration’s banking reforms on personal finances as “a moving target.” While the reforms may not be as sweeping as some might have wanted, he said, financial observers still are keeping an eye on what it all means.

Started in the Great Depression in 1932, Crowell, Weedon & Co. touts itself as the largest independent investment firm in the Western United States, with some $8 billion in client assets. The firm has branches throughout Southern California, serving as financial advisors to individuals, families and businesses.

The Santa Barbara branch will host its first open house from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 16 with cocktails and hor d’ oeuvres.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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