Vaughan Scott

Professional Bio

Vaughan Scott, MBA, CPWA®
CEO

Vaughan Scott is a family business advocate, a thought leader on innovative ways to address family wealth and a professor in practice at University of Louisville, where he currently teaches business consulting for multiple MBA and other graduate school programs. He has been advising on the financial, strategic, transition and succession needs of family enterprises and entrepreneurs since 1997. Vaughan is dedicated to helping families and their businesses preserve their wealth, capitalize on opportunities and pass on their values to future generations.

He began his financial services career with Fifth Third Bank and then joined J.C. Bradford & Co., which was acquired by UBS. Vaughan later founded the Smith Barney Investment Center at Your Community Bank. In March 2009, he and several other members of the team moved to Wells Fargo Advisors and launched Axiom Financial Strategies Group.

Vaughan holds his Masters of Business Administration in global management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (European Cohort) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University. At Thunderbird, Vaughan was a member of the National Business School Honor Society, the National Political Science Honor Society and was elected class speaker at commencement.

He has earned every certificate the Family Firm Institute, Inc. (FFI), an association of professionals serving family enterprises, offers. Vaughan also is an instructor in FFI’s Global Education Network (GEN) where he teaches GEN202: Family Wealth, and he was inducted as a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute at the 2015 FFI Global Conference in London.

Vaughan holds an Executive Certificate in International Economics Relations from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, he has earned the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® designation. The CPWA® is the only advanced designation for financial advisors and consultants who work with high-net worth clients in their life cycle of wealth.

An avid supporter of the communities in which he lives and works, Vaughan has served in the following capacities:

  • Family Business Center at the University of Louisville – Past Advisory Board Chairman
  • One Southern Indiana – Past Chairman
  • Goodwill of Southern Indiana – Past Chairman
  • Greater Louisville, Inc. – Past Board Member
  • Floyd Memorial Hospital Foundation – Past Board Member and Committee Chairman

Vaughan and his wife have three children. His personal interests include fitness training, golf and traveling.

The Other Side o Vaughan

The Other Side of Vaughan Scott

Your Start in the Business
“I actually followed in my mother’s footsteps. She was a financial advisor in the ‘70s and ‘80s. When she approached her former boss about me joining the firm upon my graduation from college, he said, ‘Sure. Have him call me in five or six years when he gets some real-world experience. And that’s exactly what I did.’”

Strategy Dealing with Clients
“The thing I do different than many advisors is that I typically work with several generations of one family, and I tend to work with all members of the family regardless of the size of their individual accounts. It’s more about the relationship I have with the entire family than the value of each individual’s assets.”

Main Advantage to Being Your Own Registered Investment Advisory Firm
“We have the ability to make the decisions we believe are in our clients’ best interests. We are true fiduciaries now, by contract. It’s a much higher level of commitment to our clients.”

Biggest Work Success So Far
“I’m most proud of the impact I’ve had on many of the families I work with. Not just their financial success but the jobs they, and often their businesses, provide to the community, as well as improving their ability to endure.” 

Best Business Advice Ever Received
“It was from a client named Jim Robinson (deceased). He would remind me frequently that, ‘Volume is for vanity and profits are for progress.’ He also said, ‘Profit is the cost of the future. If there is no profit, you will have no future.’”

Most Important Skill for Success in This Industry
“There are two: empathy and emotional intelligence. Women tend to possess these qualities more organically, which is why I believe they will continue to thrive in this industry. That’s not to say that men won’t also thrive, but we will need to ensure that we are honing these skills.”

Where You See Axiom in 5, 10 years?
“I think we’ll be in many different markets with team members who have strong roots in or ties to those markets. We want to help other thoughtful, talented advisors to replicate, in a meaningful way, what we’ve been able to do in our region. We believe we have the right team in place to help others succeed as well.”

What Do You Do for Fun?
“I love to travel, especially to Europe and Australia. Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area, which means there is so much to discover there.”

First Job
“I was what’s known as a go-fer. You ‘go for’ anything anyone else needs. I was literally at the bottom of the ladder, and I believe it is beneficial, in many ways, for everyone to experience what it feels like to be there.”

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