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Our People

Combining industry expertise with first-hand knowledge and insight.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” — Steven Covey

For working clients, the main thing is to have enough money to send their kids to college and have enough left over to retire one day. For our widowed and retired clients, the main thing is to make sure their family is taken care of and that they sustain an income during their lifetime. We do this by creating customized, comprehensive financial plans that allow clients to manage market risk, minimize negative outcomes, reduce taxes and maximize opportunities to grow, maintain and share their wealth. 

Meet the Team

Mike Branch, CFP®  Photo

Mike Branch, CFP®

Certified Financial Planner™

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, IRA specialist and financial advisor, I have nearly 30 years of experience helping individuals with large IRAs and retirement plans minimize taxes on their assets and create lifelong retirement income so they can retire with confidence. 

As a member of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group™, a private study group of professionals with extensive IRA experience, I receive ongoing, specialized training and support related to IRAs and retirement plan distribution strategies. I have access to Ed Slott’s team of technical advisors for additional expertise on complicated or unusual situations. 

Creator of the “Pay Less For College” college planning workshop, I am also highly experienced in late-stage college planning, helping parents of high-school-aged students maximize financial aid, become smarter consumers of a college education and pay less for college so they can have more for retirement. 

My wife and I live with our two daughters, a lovable lab named Leo, a rescue cat named Logee and lots of fish.

Jacob Kruziki Photo

Jacob Kruziki

Financial Planning Associate

I joined Mike Branch’s team at the beginning of the new year in 2020. I assist the team with keeping up to date in the latest market research, opportunities, and changing tax laws allowing Mike to best serve our clients. I also assist the team with general account maintenance, client review meetings, and provide administrative support to our financial planning process.

Before joining Mike’s team, I was a small business owner in Arizona. My experience in owning a business and growing connections with clients gave me valuable insights into money management, dedication to service, and the work ethic I bring to our team at Focus Financial.

My wife, Cait, and I met in Arizona, but now reside in New Brighton.  We are new parents to our daughter Charlotte born in November 2022 and have two dogs. We enjoy tennis, biking, spending time with our family, and are huge foodies.

Jean Renner Photo

Jean Renner

Senior Client Services Manager

Working with Mike Branch since 2004, I bring a breadth of financial and college funding experience to our team. As the senior client services manager, I am responsible for all account openings and transfers, financial transactions and general account maintenance. I also assist with client review meetings and provide administrative support to our financial planning process.

My husband, Dave, and I are long-time Shoreview, Minnesota residents. We have three adult daughters and three grandchildren. When I’m not at the office, I enjoy spending time with my family and biking around the Twin Cities and beyond.

Maria VanZyl Photo

Maria VanZyl

Client Services Associate

I manage our team calendars, organize client events and provide additional services to make sure our clients receive the best service possible. A graduate of the University of Denver, I live in Lino Lakes with my husband and our three daughters.

We are avid golfers and huge hockey fans.

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