Rachel Namoff, managing partner at Arapaho Asset Management, is a finance guru committed to financial literacy in Denver South and beyond. Here’s how her company is helping individuals and companies across Denver South make better financial decisions every day.
DS: What does Arapaho Asset Management do and how is it different from other financial
RN: We are a financial planning firm that specializes in education. Our market includes educators,
community colleges, and corporations teaching the public. We are unique in that our advisors are educators who teach classes at Arapahoe Community College, typically as part of the non-credit department. While none of our advisors have a PhD in education, we are all highly qualified and take the teaching part of our jobs very seriously.
DS: How did Arapaho Asset Management get its start here?
RN: Arapahoe Asset Management officially opened for business in 2005, but we really got our start long before that as a mountain company in 1999. Our first office was in Silverthorne, our main office was in Frisco, and our practice spanned from Denver to Grand Junction, with advisors and educators across a 300-mile stretch. It got to a point, however, that that managing such a big operation wasn’t allowing us to provide the level of service that we wanted to. So, in 2005, part of the company spun off to become an asset management entity and the other part became Arapahoe Asset Management.
DS: How did the transition go?
RN: The transition took place about 10 years ago, now, and it went very well. Basically, Todd Walker and I were the business owners and we had the choice to go wide and broad or to focus on a specific service and market segment. At the time the two of us were managing all business operations in addition to ensuring that every advisor and instructor was compliant with curriculum requirements. Because of this, and because we wanted to solidify our existing relationships, going deep and narrow appealed to us. Rather than stretch geographically, we decided to focus on the metro-Denver area, and eventually Denver South. We have such an amazing relationship with Arapahoe Community College (ACC) in particular; we are very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to expand the scope of what the college can offer to the community. We’ve also really been able to dig deep with our corporate clients by training their employees with the knowledge-base and skill sets that enable them to feel competent about day-to-day financial decisions, allowing them to really focus on the job at hand.
DS: Is there anything about Denver South that has helped you?
RN: We love Denver South. As I said, we were originally a mountain-based company that moved to Denver, and then migrated south. Since the time that we were the new kid on the block, we have experienced a very real sense of community to the point that it almost feels like a family.
We haven’t been around for 20, 30, or 40 years like some businesses, but nonetheless the open and supportive nature of the business community here has enabled us to do our best work. Also, when we have a need for a strategic partner or resource, it’s been easy to find the right one here in Denver South.
DS: What lessons have you learned as a female entrepreneur over the years?
RN: I don’t necessarily subscribe to female entrepreneurship as that different from male entrepreneurship, but I would say the most important advice that I have as a female entrepreneur myself is to be authentic. As I grow as a person and as a business owner, I have found that the more that I can rely on my personal vision and purpose, the more long lasting my sense of personal and professional satisfaction are.