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The doldrums of an economic recession might not seem like the best time or place in which to launch a wealth management company, but for certified financial planner and certified divorce financial analyst Kelly Pedersen, it fit.

By 2009, Pedersen had a decade of experience in the financial services industry. She looked around at how most advising relationships were handled in large accounting firms and thought she could improve on the model by developing more high-touch, forward-thinking relationships with clients. “It was actually helpful to open in the midst of a financial downturn,” she says. “Either people are prepared for a crash, or they didn’t have a solid plan in place. And a recession really proves that.”

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