Thrivent Financial Northern Skies Group include (from left) Kyle Duclos, Jill Duclos, Brent Fassett, Laurie Goble and Ben Schrader.

Teams, teaming up and teamwork are concepts that go far beyond the athletic field or gym floor.

Working as a team makes sense in families, schools, churches, civic groups and at work. It allows team members to share their expertise and experience, exchange information and support each other.

In March, Thrivent Financial offices in Walker and Baxter formally announced that they have become a team known as Thrivent Financial, Northern Skies Group.

Kyle Duclos of Thrivent Financial, Walker, and Brent Fassett of Thrivent Financial, Baxter, now work together to better serve the needs of Thrivent clients.

“We’ve made some pretty big changes to how we do business,” Duclos said in early April. “Brent and I got to know each other through our Thrivent interactions. About a year ago, we started talking about forming a team between our two offices. We felt we could do a better job serving clients together, rather than separately.”

Duclos is a Thrivent Financial Consultant and Retirement Income Certified Professional with 5 years of experience, preceded by 18 years as a high school teacher. Kyle’s wife Jill Duclos, also a former teacher, is a licensed insurance office professional.

Fassett is a Thrivent Lead Financial Consultant and Certified Financial Planner with 10 years of experience. Others at the Baxter office are Ben Schrader, Financial Representative, and Laurie Goble, office professional.

Duclos and Fassett realized there was huge need to better represent and serve hundreds of Thrivent clients who live between the Walker and Baxter offices.

“Ideally each office would have 300-400 clients,” Duclos related. “Currently each has more than 1,000 households, and many more clients in the area in between who don’t have a Thrivent representative.”

To that end, they will be hiring two more financial representatives to serve the Pine River-Pequot Lakes-Crosslake area from an office located there.

Duclos and Fassett plan to focus more on advanced planning, which includes retirement income plans; estate planning; wealth transfer; tax-efficient planning with assets; and fee-based planning.

Duclos also sees this as the beginning of ‘succession planning.’  If something happened to him or to Fassett, other team members could step up and not leave clients in the lurch.

Both Thrivent offices will remain the same, so existing clients will see little difference in service. Kyle will spend a few days every  month at the Baxter office and Brent, a few days a month in Walker.

Teaming up in the financial service industry will be more prevalent in the future, and Thrivent is very much in the forefront of the practice, Duclos said. There already are Thrivent office teams in Alexandria and Grand Rapids, and others are being considered.

“Brent and I are really excited to bring our two practices together,” Duclos stated. “This allows us to market ourselves differently. Since we started working together  we are off to the best start ever.”


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