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Our Story: The Journey of Hanke & Co.

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Rafael Paschoal, MBA, Operations Manager    |    Milo F. Hanke, CFP, Founding Partner    |    Manny R. Apolonio, CFP, Senior Financial Planner, Partner

Rooted in Passion, Driven by Purpose

The story of Hanke & Co. begins with a clear vision: to transcend traditional wealth management by adopting a holistic, client-centered approach—the kind of thoughtful and comprehensive financial planning we wished had been available to our parents and grandparents. Founded in San Francisco, our journey is defined by unwavering dedication, constant innovation, and a deep commitment to the financial well-being of our clients.

A Vision Takes Shape

The seeds of Hanke & Co. were sown when our founder, Milo F. Hanke, embarked on his career as a financial advisor with Financial Planners Equity Corporation in December 1983. At that time, the financial advisory profession was in its infancy. The term "financial advisor" was often synonymous with "stock broker," focused primarily on selling stocks rather than comprehensive financial planning.

Evolving Through Experience

Milo spent the next decade honing his skills and gaining valuable experience with two additional financial firms. Back then, most advisors had to sell brokered and commissioned investment products, with financial planning often being an afterthought. However, technological advancements, particularly the internet and computing, made it possible for independent advisors to deliver services that previously only larger corporations could provide. The assets under management (AUM) model became more mainstream, and Milo offered a more streamlined way to deliver investment management and financial planning.

Challenges and Authenticity

Early in his career, Milo faced the challenge of being a gay man in a corporate environment. It was difficult for him to be his authentic self while trying to advance professionally in corporate America. Realizing that the only way to live authentically and progress professionally was to become his own boss, Milo decided to strike out on his own.

In September 1991, he ventured out on his own to become an Independent Financial Planner with LPL Financial. During his 25 years with LPL Financial, Milo was able to move closer to design a business model that more closely aligned with his core value of being of service, not just selling investment products.

Resilience and Community Engagement

In 2010, amidst the economic recovery following the mortgage meltdown, Hanke & Co., like many small businesses, began to rebuild and expand. Milo, with his deep-rooted commitment to community engagement, frequented the Golden Gate Business Association's monthly Make Contact mixers in the Castro district of San Francisco. These gatherings, hosted by the nation’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce, were an opportunity to connect with fellow entrepreneurs. It was at one of these events that Milo first met Manny, who was actively involved as a board member of the GGBA while also assisting small business owners at a large national bank. Their shared passions for community and a calling to help people with their financial lives quickly turned a professional acquaintance into a fast friendship.

Milo could see that Manny had a similar entrepreneurial spirit to his own and that intrigued him. Milo invited Manny to lunch, which unbeknownst to Manny, would serve as a de facto job interview. Shortly thereafter, Manny joined Hanke & Co. as a part-time administrative assistant. Little did Manny know at the time that financial planning would become his career. Manny's administrative role at Hanke & Co. became solidified when he officially converted from contractor to a bonafide employee in 2012.

A Journey of Growth and Discovery 

In 2015, Milo led the team to the national LPL Financial conference in Boston. During the event, Manny observed a significant gap in representation among the financial advisors present; very few looked like him. This realization spurred him to become the kind of advisor he had always wished to see in the field. Driven by this motivation, Manny diligently completed his FINRA licensing coursework and earned a master’s degree in Financial Planning in 2018. He continued his pursuit of excellence by fulfilling the necessary coursework requirements and successfully passing the CFP exam in 2019.

Becoming an Independent RIA

In 2017, our firm reached a significant milestone by becoming Hanke & Co. Wealth Management LLC and transitioning to a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). We moved our clients from LPL Financial to Charles Schwab, seeing an opportunity to bring greater value to our clients by making the switch. Charles Schwab’s corporate mission, "Own Your Tomorrow," resonates deeply with our values, emphasizing proactive, empowered client service.

Team Expansion and Commitment

Rafael Paschoal, an MBA and our Operations Manager, joined the practice in 2020, in the depths of the pandemic. His expertise has brought invaluable insights and helped us navigate through one of the most challenging periods. Committed to continuous growth and learning, Rafael is currently completing coursework to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). This dedication to education aligns with our core value of ongoing professional development, ensuring that our team remains at the forefront of financial planning expertise.

A New Chapter: Partnership and Future Leadership

In January 2024, Milo and Manny became business partners, with Manny now owning a minority stake in the firm. Milo plans to work into the foreseeable future, ensuring continuity and stability for our clients. Under their joint leadership, Hanke & Co. will continue to serve our existing families and welcome new ones. We are committed to maintaining a high-level of personal attention to each one of our clients. We wish to grow the practice while, intentionally avoiding the pitfalls of growing too large. In 2024, Hanke & Co. also surpassed a significant milestone in managing $125 million in assets, further solidifying our commitment to our clients and their financial success.

Building a Holistic Approach

From day one, our approach has been anything but generic or corporate. We believe that true financial planning is about understanding our clients’ fears, dreams, wishes, and goals. By creating a collaborative environment, we ensure that our clients feel safe and supported as they navigate their financial journeys.

Professionalism with a Human Touch

Milo's commitment to maintaining a professional yet approachable demeanor quickly set us apart. Clients appreciate our non-judgmental, empathetic approach, where they can openly discuss sensitive topics and feel heard. This human touch has become a cornerstone of our firm’s identity, shaping every interaction and decision we make.

Looking to the Future

Our journey is ongoing. We are continuously evolving, always striving to better serve our clients and adapt to the ever-changing financial landscape. Our commitment to a holistic, client-centered approach remains steadfast, as we help our clients achieve their financial aspirations and live their best lives.

Join Us on Our Journey

We invite you to become a part of the Hanke & Co. family. Let’s work together to build your best life. Schedule a Consultation with us today, and experience the difference of a truly holistic financial planning approach.

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177 Post Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 781-6300

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