Our Unique History

Trott Brook Financial is a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm located in Anoka, Minnesota, founded in 2002 by Jim and Lisa Steffen. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, armed with a business and economics degree, Jim got his start in the life insurance business. The early days were challenging; playing the numbers game, meeting with anyone who would listen and selling insurance to anyone that would buy. Jim learned the hard way that marketing his business by cold calling and door knocking, earning a commission selling proprietary products, one transaction at a time, was not his long term vision for serving clients. Tired of the inherent conflicts of interest, sales contests and management quotas, he sought a better way. Jim moved on and joined a network of financial advisors in the Twin Cities and began to learn and study the independent model for delivering advice.

They found their dream home in Ramsey on a wooded lot, with the Rum River to the east and a gently flowing stream called the “Trott Brook” to the north. With one child and another on the way, Jim and Lisa started contemplating the possibility of their own business. The summer of 2002 was spent tearing the roof off their detached garage and building a 2nd story addition. Upon completion, with a view of the Trott Brook at the bottom of the hill, Trott Brook Financial was born.

Jim and Lisa ran the business alone for several years above the garage. They hired Nikki Cellette as their first employee in 2007 and quickly outgrew the space. Moving "out of the house" during the middle of the Great Recession was a big step for the company. Ted Erhart joined the firm a few years later and the team of Jim, Nikki and Ted have worked together ever since.

Trott Brook has been very fortunate to experience sustained growth over the years. We are also blessed to have a steady stream of referrals from our existing clients. This allows our team to focus our attention on our clients, rather than marketing for new ones.

We’re a good fit for someone who is interested in a long-term relationship built on trust, integrity and friendship. Our clients tell us it feels like family and we intend to keep it that way. So if you like the idea of being on a first-name basis with everyone here, we’d love to hear from you.