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2011 AnnuAl RepoRt

thoughtful, insightful and committed to you

To our valued clients and friends: As we begin to see signs of improvement in the economy, a sense of calm, rational thinking has returned to the industry. With that rationality come better decisions and a sharper, deliberate focus on effective approaches to financial advice. The challenges we've experienced and situations we've witnessed over the last couple of years have shown us the true worth of a trusted financial and investment advisor. Here at Oxford, I've witnessed an ever-present commitment by our employees to make the company better for our clients and provide highly specialized expertise and tailored solutions that are executed with thoughtfulness and caring. That spirit has been overwhelmingly positive within our culture at Oxford. The Oxford culture continually evolves as we ask ourselves questions such as: Is this the best way to do this? Is there a way we can assist clients in a better, more thoughtful way? Are we proactively bringing ideas that add value? These questions we ask on a daily basis are evidence of our employees taking ownership of their world within the firm and their drive to create a successful environment for our clients, for the firm and for themselves-- most importantly, our clients' portfolios and estate plans benefit significantly due to this kind of commitment. That thoughtfulness and insight are prevalent within our dedicated investment strategy team. Having a group of dedicated experts who stay out

Jeffrey H. Thomasson, CFP ® CEO and Managing Director, Oxford Financial Group, Ltd.TM

in front of global investment opportunities and bring them to our clients is something that distinguishes Oxford in the financial services industry. Their counsel over the past year has provided customized investment recommendations along with strategic and tactical direction on client portfolios. Something else that differentiates Oxford is our Midwestern roots and sensibilities, which we turn to time and again. If we say we're going to do something for our clients, it gets done and it gets done right the first time. It's one of the ways we strive to provide unquestionable comfort, knowing your assets are with an organization you can trust to thoroughly and correctly execute on your behalf. Early in 2010, we were happy to welcome KSM Capital Advisors and their clients to Oxford. Managing Directors Karen Mersereau and Peter Reist, along with the entire KSMCA staff, have been a wonderful addition to the firm and we feel as though they've been with us for many years. Again, this last year, we've been privileged to provide you thoughtful, insightful and committed financial and investment advice and honored by the trust you've placed in us. We look forward to building our relationship with you over the course of this next year and helping you attain your financial goals. Warmest regards,

oxford's leadership team

Jeffrey H. Thomasson

CEO and Managing Director

Front Row: Jeff Stroman, Dan Fleck, Jeff Thomasson, Mike McHugh, Mike Sears, Rob Hauswirth Second Row: David Hecht, Debbi Bennett, Lorelei Tolson, Sue McMillen, Sue Mitchell, Joe Alerding Third Row: Rob Twitchell, Karen Mersereau, Kara Talbott, Gary Forbeck Fourth Row: Tim Dean, Mark Green, Bob Schaefer Fifth Row: Mike Rosen, Peter Reist, Charlie Heekin Back Row: Brendan O'Sullivan-Hale, Rick Davis



Brendan O'Sullivan-Hale and Mark Green are both members of Oxford's Investment Strategy Group, which oversees all aspects of the investment process, from investment policy to manager selection and tactical positioning. The group works closely together to develop much of what clients see on quarterly market updates and outlooks. Additionally, the group hosts quarterly webcasts as well as strategy forums to keep clients informed.

Brendan G. O'Sullivan-Hale, MBA, CFA Senior Investment Analyst

Mark M. Green, CFA Chief Investment Officer

A conversation with Brendan G. O'Sullivan-Hale, MBA, CFA, Senior Investment

Analyst and Mark M. Green, CFA, Chief Investment Officer

on an ongoing basis. We have quarterly webcasts, conference calls, monthly meetings with our client service team, weekly market updates, etc., but the focus of the investment strategy group is investment strategy. primary responsibility for client service lies with our client relationship directors. specialization and the division of labor lead to a more efficient allocation of resources. it is a thoughtful approach that we certainly believe in at oxford.

unique insight

Brendan: mark, we often talk about what our investment group

and oxford as a company offer to provide the highest level of service to our clients. What qualities enable us to bring unique insights to investors?

Mark: one of the most important and distinguishing features of

oxford is our investment strategy group. the size and structure of the group reflects the firm's overarching commitment to independence. that can only be achieved by dedicating the resources necessary to conduct our own analysis and formulate our own customized investment recommendations. there is broad diversity of thought within the group and a deliberate decision-making process. moreover, every client has direct access to that team, whether their questions are about the global economy or a specific strategy employed by a particular money manager.

informed decisions

Brendan: right, and because of that ability to specialize, there

is an enormous amount of detail that goes into formulating our recommendations for investment policy, asset allocation, manager selection and ongoing monitoring. how do we know our clients benefit from all of this insight?

Mark: We ask them. of course, we analyze a lot of data and try to

measure whether our advice has created value in all the areas that

exceptional service

Brendan: What about some of the things that make oxford's

investment strategy group stand out in the industry? the fact our primary role is investment research comes to mind. of course, we do have some client service responsibilities, but the focus on research is a differentiator, right?

you mentioned. and it does. We know that. our current allocation to emerging-market bonds is a good example: it is a tactical allocation recommendation that hits at three points--control volatility, maintain a strong flow of current income and capitalize on a weaker dollar. But, the key to your question is whether our clients believe in our process--how good are we at communicating the benefits of working with us? it is clear from their words and their actions that this model resonates with people. the past three years have been an incredibly stressful time for investors, but we consistently hear words of thanks and appreciation for the work we do, on both investment and planning sides. moreover, current clients consistently refer new clients to us. that doesn't happen if people don't feel great about the work you do for them.

Mark: absolutely. We interact with clients all the time and there is

a constant flow of communication. We meet with individual clients



As part of the client service team at Oxford , Financial Group, Ltd.TM Kara Wright and Courtney Baker work closely together to provide the highest level of quality service. Kara works as a liaison to her clients, coordinating many different requests directly from the clients themselves and their Client Relationship Director, from transaction requests to investment instructions to families and charitable gifting. Courtney supports those activities by preparing financial statements and other deliverables for client meetings and reviewing investment allocation summaries.

Kara M. Wright, CFP ® Client Service Manager

Courtney L. Baker Client Service Specialist

A conversation with Kara M. Wright, MBA, CFP ®, Client Service Manager and Courtney L. Baker, Client Service Specialist steps to take. oxford also has a deep investment research area that keeps up with market events, and they're very proactive thinkers. if they see something happening related to a certain fund or strategy, or unusual changes going on within the economy, they develop educational materials and internal and external updates to help us communicate that information to our clients.

client focus

Kara: one item that comes up often within oxford's client service

team is quality of execution: preparation and accuracy are key. We pride ourselves on the type of service we provide. that attention to detail is one of the things that really impacts our clients daily. What do you think affects the level of service we provide?

Courtney: in every aspect, we think about each item and how the

client would feel about our recommendations. We explore every detail to provide our clients the best advice. it's also our meticulous follow-up on items that may arise in a client meeting. We coordinate our deliverables and make sure we're efficiently and effectively carrying through on every request.

experience matters

Kara: at oxford, we have advisors with decades of experience who

specialize in different aspects of financial planning and investment advisory services. i think it makes for a very positive combination. for example, your financial planning education allows you to ask good questions that can help us provide the best personalized solution to our clients. how do you think our extensive backgrounds

staying current

Kara: When you work in an industry that's continually changing and

affected by so many different factors, you need resources in place to stay current. how do you feel we at oxford exhibit a commitment to staying up to date with the industry?

make oxford unique in the industry?

Courtney: We are an incredibly cohesive team because we have

people supporting us who have the education and backgrounds to ask the right questions and to make sure we stay on track. it's a wonderful mix of skills and knowledge that allows us to provide the outstanding advice and service we do. i don't think there's any other firm like oxford where you have so many opportunities to apply the knowledge you have gained.

Courtney: our technical team puts together educational pieces that

keep us current on planning topics. When new legislation affects tax rates, we communicate effectively with our clients about how these changes can impact their personal situation, and what are the best



Lorelei Tolson and Eileen McCaulay often collaborate to come up with the best solutions , for Oxford Financial Group, Ltd.TM clients. In her role as the Fiduciary Officer of The Trust Company of Oxford, Eileen consults closely with Oxford Client Relationship Directors and other experts on the wealth management team. Lorelei continually strives to deliver outstanding service and proactively engages clients with new ideas in her role as a Client Relationship Director.

Lorelei M. Tolson, CPA, CFP ® CIMA® , Director

Eileen M. McCaulay, CTFA Fiduciary Officer

, , A conversation with Lorelei M. Tolson, CPA, CFP ® CIMA ® Director and Eileen M. McCaulay, CTFA, Fiduciary Officer

personal attention

lorelei: eileen, i know prior to coming to oxford you spent many

years administering personal trusts and private foundations at large banks. considering your past experience, what do you feel makes oxford stand out in the financial services industry?

comprehensive capaBilities

lorelei: the fact that the trust company of oxford is a wholly

owned subsidiary of oxford financial group, ltd.TM, allows us to offer broad, client-focused services as well as accessible and prompt decision-making expertise. how do you feel this arrangement adds value to oxford clients?

eileen: i think it's the personal attention to our oxford families'

individual needs that distinguishes the trust company of oxford. the banks i worked at reduced face-to-face client meetings. over the last 20 years, many banks have been acquired by larger institutions, causing trust departments to greatly increase assets under management, but i think the personal touch was lost in all the corporate efficiencies. so oxford really stands out in that respect.

eileen: oxford provides the entire universe of financial planning,

and the trust company of oxford is an important part of that total service. We are able to keep all assets for a client centrally located and provide detailed reporting on multiple asset allocation strategies. that would not happen very easily at a bank.

ensuring accuracy

lorelei: We both know accuracy is vital in everything we do here at

oxford. tell me what you do in your role at the trust company of oxford to ensure accuracy.

eileen: accuracy is paramount as trustees. We take that responsibility

very seriously. every transaction we process is reviewed by a second, and often a third, party. We have regular audits to ensure our processes are working and effective. fortunately, we have people in this department who are very attentive to detail. i think that's something that has generally been lost in this field.



As a Director of the Oxford Financial Group, Ltd.TM Chicago office, Rob Hauswirth appreciates the close relationships he has within the Oxford family and with his clients. He and David, Managing Director and Client Relationship Director, focus on putting the needs of clients first and foremost and building long-term relationships.

David L. Hecht, CPA, CFP ® Managing Director

Robert W. Hauswirth, MBA, CFA, CFP ® CPA/PFS , Director

, A conversation with David L. Hecht, CPA, CFP ® Managing Director , and Robert W. Hauswirth, MBA, CFA, CFP ® CPA /PFS, Director

personal touch

David: oxford is high-touch, meaning we really take a personal,

human approach with our clients and our business. What would you say are some ways we exhibit this?

cpas, attorneys, bankers and other professionals who help assure a best-in-class suite of recommendations for each client. in many instances, our institutional clients are a direct result of, or part of, a family relationship we already have, so it's a way we can serve our family clients and their legacies on another level.

Rob: our culture is certainly unique. over the past 30 years, we have

invested in people who are passionate about serving families and institutions, and it shows in our nearly 100 percent client-retention rate over many years. the long-term relationships we develop set us apart from many of the other firms in the industry who are focused on short-term results. We ask many open-ended questions and listen intently to understand the granular details of our clients and continuously think of ways to help them. Knowing our clients well allows us to be proactive and resourceful, like bringing other professionals to the team to help solve their challenges. When clients contact us, they get a response immediately, and we meet with our families regularly and correspond often, since planning to meet their goals can rarely be confined to meetings alone.

institutional insights

David: institutional clients are important to us at oxford. how do

we help those clients?

Rob: We bring independent and insightful advice to institutions. We

work within clearly defined guidelines and toward specific, long-term goals, so they can focus on big-picture strategies and the running of their foundations, while we act as a fiduciary and oversee day-today investments. our institutional clients often come to us from an existing relationship, such as a board member who is already an oxford client, or another intermediary who has worked with us previously.

tailored solutions

David: developing close, long-term relationships with families

also factors into our ability to offer tailored solutions. let's talk about how you work with oxford clients to provide that kind of customized service.

reWarding experiences

David: We really do get to know our clients on both a personal and

professional level when it comes to offering them the best solutions and most comprehensive financial guidance. how does this impact your role at oxford?

Rob: no two families are the same, and their needs become more

complex over time. tailored solutions are only possible when we know the details of our clients' lives, and what they want to accomplish. since we have no conflicts of interest, no model portfolios and no products to sell, we can thoroughly customize our recommendations over time. further, we have a deep and strong team inside the firm to support our work and have many relationships outside the firm with


Rob: i enjoy listening to my clients tell their stories of how they built

their wealth and became successful in their personal and professional lives. i appreciate the opportunity to learn about their families and understand what they want to accomplish over their lives. i am most satisfied when i help my clients articulate their goals and gain their confidence and trust in providing them with objective, holistic advice to achieve those goals.


Elizabeth (Eli) works with Oxford's client service teams, including Client Service Managers like Matt, to ensure an overall consistency and efficiency in the way Oxford implements and communicates. In her central role, Eli gathers ideas from the service teams and all internal departments to manage a best-in-process approach to serving clients and meeting their expectations.

Matthew J. Simpson, CPA Client Service Manager

Elizabeth A. Quiett Manager of Client Service and Reporting

A conversation with Elizabeth A. Quiett, Manager of Client Service and

Reporting and Matthew J. Simpson, CPA, Client Service Manager

is one that promotes exceptional quality, thorough follow-through and creative solutions. as you mentioned, the talent at oxford has tremendous knowledge and abilities. our deep people resources provide us the ability to be highly specialized in the advice we offer and the service we provide.

consistent service

Matt: in our pursuit to enhance the financial lives and enrich the

family legacies of our clients, we all strive to reflect oxford's brand of being insightful, thoughtful and committed. What do you do in your role to reflect those qualities?

eli: i seek knowledge about all of the departments at oxford, how

they work, and how we interact among ourselves. i collaborate with others to perfect and develop efficiencies that allow us to function seamlessly with one another. this ensures each client receives consistent, best-in-process service that is indistinguishable between teams. i have seen and participated in many successes at oxford, including improved report quality and delivery, an enhanced giftingnotification process, streamlined private placement opportunities and reporting, and many others. these examples are a small sampling of how we are committed to refining our processes and deliverables to stay in front of the market and deliver service for our clients efficiently.

consistent communication

Matt: part of providing excellent client service is maintaining clear

communication with our clients. in your position as client service and reporting manager, how do you ensure communications are consistent, both in form and content?

eli: Just as our advisors solicit feedback from our clients on how

we are doing and what we can be doing better, internally we have a similar process to listen to feedback and adjust accordingly. We constantly review the content of our deliverables to make sure we are providing clients what they need. We want to ensure the information is accurate, appropriate and meaningful. our printed materials can vary from educational pieces to very tailored items for specific clients, including financial statements and performance reports. additionally, we discuss best practices and current trends among the client service managers and directors. the process of engaging associates in the discussions cements their understanding and ability to deliver a consistent message around issues.

oxford difference

Matt: oxford's size and dominance in the industry allow us to attract

top talent; however, our client-centered teams allow us to provide tailored solutions, much like a smaller financial firm. What other factors do you feel set us apart in the financial services industry?

eli: i believe oxford's commitment to excellence separates us from

other companies, both to our clients and our associates. our culture



As head of the technical team for the Family Office Services group at Oxford, Kara works with Karen and other Oxford Client Relationship Directors in developing wealth-planning strategies for clients, usually involving estate and multi-generational planning. Karen strategizes with Kara and the client's other advisors to develop optimal estate and other financial planning strategies for meeting each family's objectives.

Karen H. Mersereau, CPA, CFP ® Managing Director

Kara J. Talbott, CPA/PFS, CFP ® Family Office Services Technical Advisor

, A conversation with Karen H. Mersereau, CPA, CFP ® Managing Director , and Kara J. Talbott, CPA /PFS, CFP ® Family Office Services Technical Advisor of the family's total picture. do the ideas coordinate with the family's objectives and enhance their overall financial legacy? We offer a holistic approach as opposed to offering a strategy du jour that may not really fit for a particular family. We talk and share ideas within our team and then collaborate with the advisors. there's a real team approach here, which i think brings more breadth to our advice.

staying current

Karen: as a client relationship director, i look forward to receiving

updates from your team, Kara. What type of information are you continually monitoring and providing to oxford advisors so that while we are working with clients and strategizing, we have the benefit of the most current information and strategies?

Kara: our team keeps up to date with current and pending tax

legislation and what's going on in Washington that may be relevant for our clients. We send out periodic e-mails to advisors about our research and findings. We also send out monthly information on relevant rates, such as the applicable federal rates that we use for estate-planning strategies, and whether they're going up or down, to help with the timing of strategies and implementation.

service excellence

Karen: When you think about your role as a technical advisor and

head of your team, how do you define excellent client service?

Kara: i think excellence comes from several things. one is having

passion for what you do. it is listening and being responsive. i also think it's the team attitude that we have both with our internal oxford colleagues and with a client's outside advisors. We have the unique opportunity of working with so many different external advisors. combining that extensive experience and knowledge with ours to benefit our clients allows us to provide another aspect of excellence to our client advice.

Brand essence

Karen: as you know, the essence of oxford is to be thoughtful,

insightful and committed in serving our clients. how does that impact your team's activities?

Kara: i think the mission of our team is to constantly and proactively

plan for our clients--not only bringing them the best planning strategies, but also taking into consideration their specific family circumstances and goals. for our clients, we go beyond just providing the list of strategies. We carefully consider planning in the context



on to the next chapter...

approximately 25 years ago, a young man and i had lunch at a local restaurant and we discussed the possibility of him joining a six-person firm called oxford. oxford was in its infancy, and i had a vision for the creation of something meaningful and significant to our clients, our associates and the communities in which we serve. mike sears caught that vision, supported it and aided in executing this vision with enthusiasm and vigor. he has been a wonderful partner for the last 25 years and i know his oxford colleagues and clients would confirm the same. We will all miss mike's smile, laugh and great personality, and particularly his unique ability to approach an issue or a dilemma from a different perspective. many would call this wisdom. mike's wisdom has been unquestionable to his clients and the fine firm he helped build into what it is today. We wish mike the very best in this new chapter of his life and know it will be equally successful. fondly, Jeff thomasson and mike's fellow oxford associates

"A little over a year ago I began the process of bringing closure to my career at Oxford. I sensed God leading me to this next step in life, and through the journey of this year, I am overwhelmingly assured of His perfect timing. My 25th year has been quite an experience, filled with the emotion of change and the humbling appreciation for wonderful clients, supportive advisors and my excellent teammates at Oxford, who are committed to enhancing relationships and service to our clientele. I'm excited about the opportunities ahead and I'm learning to be patient as God helps me grasp what being "available with a purpose" really means. I look forward to staying in touch with the wonderful friends I've gotten to know through the years. I'm confident the relationships I have been privileged to experience and help develop will only become stronger under the watchful care of our thoughtful advisory team at Oxford." ­Mike Sears 30 31

for a no-obligation consultation, please contact us. We would be delighted to meet with you. additional copies of this annual report are available upon request. a complete copy of part ii of the firm's adv and privacy notice, as required by the securities and exchange commission, under the investment act of 1940, is available at no charge upon written request.

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