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Our Story

The story of Summit Wealth Management starts in 1988, when company founder Scott Clarke—a 21-year-old 2nd lieutenant recently graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point—sat down with a financial planner for a discussion about money and life after the military. Though brief in length and introductory in nature, Scott found himself enamored with the idea of helping people plan for a healthier, happier future through sound fiscal management. It was a career he could see himself adopting, loving, and thriving in as a future civilian.

Six years later, after completing his active duty service obligation, Scott swapped his army officer’s uniform for a suit, and launched himself headlong into a career as a financial advisor. Starting in 1995 with an entry level position at American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA), Scott diligently worked his way up the corporate ladder, and by 1999 he had earned the title of Associate Site Leader of AEFA’s Hurst office. As the Associate Leader then the Site Leader, Scott offered advisory services to a number of AEFA’s signature clients and directed the “New Advisor Development Program” for those advisors recently hired by the firm. It was a role he not only loved, but excelled in.

Yet, in spite of his success, something remained amiss. True, Scott was helping his clients, but due to the structure of his leadership role, he felt as though he couldn’t deliver the type of attentive, compassionate service his clients deserved.

So, in 2003, Scott walked away from his job at American Express Financial Advisors to start his own, independent firm—Summit Private Wealth Management.

Though a “traditional” advisory firm at its inception, Summit Private Wealth Management quickly evolved to cater to the needs of clients in the midst of significant life changes or transition points. These transition points were often a divorce, the death of a loved one, a new business venture, or retirement.

Why was one of Scott’s primary focuses the divorced? Because Scott—himself a divorcee—personally understood the unique challenges, complexities, and uncertainties that suddenly arrive when a marriage ends. Instead of tackling life with a partner, divorcees are forced to build brand new lives from scratch, while personally handling mortgage payments, credit card bills, insurance premiums, estate plans, and long-term investment strategies along the way.

Rather than leave this group of men and women to fend for themselves, Scott chose to build an advisory firm with the tools and the expertise to best help not only those recently divorced, but also those in the midst of life's transitions (widows, widowers, empty nesters, newly retired, etc.)

Through the years, Scott has grown Summit Private Wealth Management by adding exceptional people with complimentary skill sets but also share the same values and commitment to our mission statement:  Helping People Make Wise Financial Decisions During Life's Transitions.