COBA PROVIDES FOUNDATION
Seth Murray is a 1999 finance graduate of Missouri State University. As a Private Wealth Advisor with Ameriprise, Seth is a member of an elite group. Only three percent of Ameriprise financial advisors (of which there are more than 10,000) achieve this status. Working with his partner, Ron Penney, Seth is responsible for investing hundreds of millions of dollars of client funds. Seth also holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) certification and is currently working towards becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
During his time at Missouri State, Murray worked as an intern at Wells Fargo Financial. After leaving Wells Fargo, Seth joined American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise) as an employee of the firm. Seth said he chose the firm in part because of their focus on financial planning and advice versus merely offering a “brokerage product” to clients. After a little more than a year with the firm, Ameriprise made the decision to eliminate employees like Seth and move to a franchise system for their wealth advisory practices. While most employees might see this as a setback, Murray saw an opportunity, setting up an Ameriprise franchise in Springfield with his partner Ron Penney. Their original office, with two partners and two employees, quickly became too small to serve the growing practice. Now with two partners and eighteen employees, Penney, Murray & Associates is taking over additional space next to their Kingsley Street office. As part of the practice’s growth, Seth’s sister Abigail, a recent MSU graduate in Finance, has joined his firm as an Associate Financial Advisor.
On April 9 of this year, Great Southern Financial Services announced a new alliance with Penney, Murray & Associates, transferring the brokerage accounts of their clients from Raymond James Financial Services to Ameriprise Financial Services. According to Murray, this alliance has resulted in an approximately $180 million dollar increase in the value of assets managed by the partnership. The partnership has also located eight employees in the Great Southern Investment Center at the corner of Sunshine Street and South Oak Grove Avenue in Springfield to better serve the needs of their new clients.
Murray, originally from Gladstone, Missouri, resides in Springfield with his wife Hillary (also an MSU grad), their new son Alexander and their dog Frodo. Hillary previously worked as the Human Resources Director for Greene County, but is now focused on being a full-time wife and mother. The Murrays attend First Evangelical Free Church in Springfield. Seth is quick to give God the credit for the growth and success of his business. Before launching his career in business, Seth considered becoming a missionary. During his time on the Missouri State campus, he worked with Campus Crusade for Christ and accompanied the group on a missionary trip to Hungary.
When asked for his advice to current FGB students, Murray says that students should take advantage of the resources available on campus – particularly the professors. He specifically mentions Professors George Swales, Kee Kim, Wayne Anderson, James Pettijohn and Vencil Bixler as being important in his development as a finance professional. Dr. Bixler led the New York Study program for many years, and took a group of students including Seth to New York to learn about this great financial center. The trip left a lasting impression on Murray, who has used all of his COBA experiences as a strong foundation for a successful career.