Entrepreneur and CEO helps families make a larger impact with their finances
Eric Dunavant is the owner and CEO of Paradiem, a financial advising company with the goal of helping families use their wealth to impact future generations without sacrificing their inheritance or lifestyle.
Based in Mandeville, Louisiana, Paradiem is dedicated to providing financial advising that isn’t just about return on investment — but also returns on intention. Eric Dunavant and his team work with clients to develop highly customized plans supported by holistic family and financial strategies, so they can save on taxes, be more intentional with their finances and mindfully grow or sell a business.
Eric Dunavant gained years of experience in the financial industry before establishing Paradiem, and during that time, he encountered many of the largest problems in the industry.
“In my pre-Paradiem life, it became abundantly clear to me that most financial advisers are more concerned with easily implementing a certain system, strategy, or tool than they are about doing what’s truly best for the long-term family health of their clients,” he said. “Many financial advisers have tunnel vision — they may get decent financial results, but they’re missing the bigger picture.”
When Eric Dunavant became the owner and CEO of Paradiem, he knew he wanted to do things differently. Since 2007, he has grown a team of intentional, thoughtful specialists who bring a wide variety of talents to the table and the same goal in mind: to help clients do more with their money by making more holistic, intentional financial decisions, so they can be a blessing to their family and community.
The work at Paradiem begins with getting to know each client on a hyperpersonal level. The Paradiem team learns the ins and outs of the client’s account and their family and business. Paradiem’s financial planning starts with establishing the family’s vision and values so that they can craft intentional strategies that help clients get the desired results.
The Paradiem process is highly customized for each client’s circumstances. However, generally, the process includes:
- Clarifying the family’s values and personal vision
- Developing a precise mission and financial plan for the family business, if applicable
- Establishing tax savings strategies — saving many clients tens of thousands on their capital gains taxes alone
- Healing potential rifts or misunderstandings in the family
- Coming up with a responsible, values-driven plan for future generations’ inheritance that can begin during their lifetimes to facilitate generational interaction
Paradiem works diligently to help clients discover the joy and impact that can happen when the intersection of family and finance is addressed.
One of the big challenges Eric Dunavant faced in building the Paradiem brand was that it was completely unchartered territory. There are experts who can help mend a family from an emotional or social perspective. There are experts who can help implement smart money strategies. However, taking care of a family and their finances, all under one roof, is a much larger task.
But it is one Paradiem takes seriously, and their team of dedicated, passionate people have helped to turn Eric Dunavant’s vision of what financial advising could (and should) be into a reality.
“I have an incredible leadership team that partners with me to help manage the business and its finances,” he said. “I see Paradiem as a collaborative effort — I may be the owner of the business, but I believe each person in a leadership position should take ownership of how we spend and invest our finances. My longer-term vision is to share in the ownership of the business through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). When you run a business, you must position your leadership team to have a voice over all of the decisions that are being made. Sometimes their vote is limited based on bigger decisions that need to be made, but if you trust your team, then their voice will help guide your decisions.”
The team at Paradiem loves being able to bring multiple generations of a family together, helping everyone come to common ground in terms of their values and ultimately helping grandparents ensure that their hard work will result in a multigenerational blessing for their family and their community.
To everyone who has a goal of starting a business, Eric Dunavant urges the importance of perseverance.
“Whatever you do, there has to be a dream and a vision that carries you through the hard times,” he said. “Business is never straight up. There will be days you will ask yourself if you want to keep going. Knowing that you are on a bigger mission and aligned with a bigger calling is what sees you through the darkest of times. I’ve seen hard times like this on two or three occasions. Through it all, I’ve never stopped. I always had faith that things would work themselves out. I know every setback comes with a lesson and a gift. Sometimes, we just have to stay in the struggle long enough to discover both. In every instance where I’ve struggled, I’ve come out better, stronger, and ready to move to higher levels. My worst day working toward my vision and for myself beats the best day I’ve ever had working for someone else.”
To learn more about Paradiem and Eric Dunavant, visit www.paradiem.org.
Company name: Paradiem