Origin of the firm
In American Indian lore, the hawk embodies vision, power and a higher level of wisdom. Our firm’s founder, Randy Fox, CFP®, AEP® once had the privilege of attending a traditional sweat lodge ceremony during a long and interesting spiritual journey he was on 20 years ago. Two hawks circled overhead for most of the ceremony as though they were keeping a close eye on the proceedings. He didn’t know why the hawks flew as they did that day, but the image was burned permanently into his memory. A lifelong learner, Fox started to see things more clearly after that sweat lodge ceremony two decades ago. Every day he strives for more vision, power and a higher level of wisdom—it’s a work in progress—but the image of those two hawks keeps him focused on the quest.
I studied Chinese and political science in college. Like many young people who came of age in the 1960s, I was very passionate about making things better in the country. I was also taught at a young age the importance of helping people and always going the extra mile.
As a third generation entrepreneur, I worked in several different family businesses for my father and grandfather. I learned valuable life lessons about business operations, the value of hard work and pursuing one’s dreams no matter how many roadblocks life throws at you. It’s also where I saw first-hand how family dynamics can complicate matters in closely-held businesses and ultimately erode their success. I knew there had to be a better way to build and protect family wealth while preserving family harmony.
I entered the world of financial planning in the mid-1980s. The notion of being a comprehensive planner, rather than a financial product salesperson, was in its infancy. I had no clients and no experience. I had two infant children at home and survived by doing seminars to drum up business (not my favorite thing!). After major tax law changes took place at the end of the decade, I took my first training program in charitable planning and learned about Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs). I was fascinated by the idea that you could give money away, get an income tax deduction for doing so, avoid the taxes, and still have an income stream for life. Amazing! Despite all the wealth in this country, I was equally amazed that so few highly affluent people (and their advisors) new about techniques like CRTs.
I spent a lot of time training many Chicago attorneys about this new concept in trusts and forged many important relationships that exist to this day. I also realized that I needed to round out my estate planning knowledge and enrolled in several advanced (and expensive) programs. I soon realized that I had a knack for this type of advanced estate planning and could solve the complex estate planning puzzles that many other highly trained advisors couldn’t solve.
This evolved into my current business model of being an advisor for other advisors, providing them with power, wisdom and higher level thinking than they could ultimately achieve on their own. I never get tired of learning new things, and we prefer to work with professionals who share our unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Randy A. Fox, CFP®, AEP® a third-generation entrepreneur, is the founder of Two Hawks Consulting, LLC. He is a nationally known wealth strategist, philanthropic estate planner, educator and speaker. He has dedicated his career to helping individuals, professional advisors, charitable institutions and planned giving organizations “do well while doing good.” He is also the co-founder of EzCharitable, LLC, an online training resource for professional advisors who wish to expand their capabilities in philanthropic giving.
Randy has authored hundreds of articles and presentations for attorneys, financial advisors, CPAs and HNW families. He is currently the Editor in Chief of Planned Giving Design Center, a national newsletter and website for philanthropic advisors. Randy has recently been named the Distinguished Co-Honorary Chair 2017 Improving Financial Awareness & Financial Awareness Movement by the Financial Awareness Foundation. In 2015 Randy was awarded the Fithian Leadership Award by the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy
Earlier, Randy was a founding principal of InKnowVision, LLC, a national consulting and marketing firm that developed estate and wealth transfer designs for clients of exceptional wealth. During Randy’s tenure, more than 300 families were served and more than $500 million was directed to philanthropic purposes. He served as director and faculty member of the InKnowVision Institute, which provided professional advisors with the advanced technical and interpersonal tools required to attract and work successfully with high net worth clients.