Kevin L. Davenport, AIF®
Principal and Wealth Advisor
“I do what I do because I love to help people reach their life goals through financial planning,” says Kevin Davenport, founder of Davenport Wealth Management, a boutique firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. “What I find rewarding is when someone shares their dreams with me, and our team helps them develop and execute a plan to realize their personal vision.”
Kevin’s interest in finance and wealth as a way to help people started early, with an accounting class in high school. “We played the stock market game to learn some of the basics and I really got into it,” he says. “It got me thinking about how people can use wealth building to go places in life.”
He continued that focus at Baldwin Wallace University, where he majored in business administration and played on the football team. “But really the best thing to happen to me at BW—other than meeting my incredible wife, Christie—was tearing my ACL my sophomore year,” says Kevin. “It may seem strange to say that—but I wasn’t going to the NFL, and being off the field really allowed me to become laser focused on my professional passions.”
While still at BW, Kevin completed internships with National City Bank (now PNC), Merrill Lynch, and Northwestern Mutual. After graduating, he joined one of the big financial firms, where he pushed to diversify the firm’s core focus on insurance products by building his own financial advisory practice. Kevin was interested in a strategic, diversified approach to wealth building that aligned with his clients’ personal goals and unique situations. “A comprehensive plan that brings clarity to your financial goals helps create order and gives people a sense of confidence to pursue their goals,” says Kevin.
Kevin’s work paid off, and the firm’s advisory business took off, with clients choosing to entrust their financial resources to Kevin’s guidance. But after more than 15 years in the business, he was chafing at the big-firm approach. “I just eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to realize my vision and establish my own culture for service—in my eyes, clients are relationships, not transactions,” Kevin says. “I wanted my firm to be independent and free to act in our clients' best interests, without any pressure to meet sales goals. So that is how Davenport Wealth Management was born—on a foundation of client service and relationships.”
Kevin’s loyalty has paid off, with clients following him to Davenport Wealth Management when he founded the firm in 2013. Kevin has continued to pursue his passion to great success. His past clients came with him, and he continued to add new ones, while recruiting other wealth advisors to join his team as the client base grew.
But for Kevin, the reward has stayed the same. “I’ve been at this for 20 years now, so I’ve had the opportunity to see clients send their children and grandchildren to college and watch them go confidently into retirement and do the things they’ve been dreaming of their entire working career,” says Kevin. “Knowing that we played a part in it—that’s an incredible feeling.”
Away from work, Kevin and Christie enjoy spending time with their dog, McDuff, in the Metroparks Rocky River Reservation, near their home in Berea.
Designations and registrations:
- Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
- FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 66 securities registrations (held through Commonwealth Financial Network®)
- Life and health insurance licenses
Client Service Administrator
“I love working with numbers and creating order to things—and I love being part of a high-achieving team that helps people,” says Kelly Young, Davenport’s administrative assistant. “Working with Kevin and Ryan lets me do both.” She also enjoys hearing about clients achieving their life goals. “When Kevin and Ryan tell me one of our clients just made her last tuition payment from her 529 plan to send her daughter to college, I love it—it’s really rewarding.”
At Davenport, Kelly is the oil that makes the machine run smoothly, while Kevin and Ryan work with clients to meet their personal goals through financial planning. Kelly describes herself as the “team manager,” organizing things, preparing documents for clients, keeping the firm calendar, and ensuring the advisors hit their meetings with everything they need to serve the clients. On follow-up, Kelly makes sure that clients' files and paperwork are always up to date—from updating beneficiaries to ultimately following up with clients on signatures and the like.
“Working at Davenport actually reminds me of my past life in soccer,” says Kelly, who played competitively as a goalie in college. Prior to joining Davenport, she was the assistant women’s soccer coach for Saint Louis University. Her role involved both helping the athletes excel on the field while also managing the team operations, recruiting, and scheduling. “The feel here has a lot of similarities—we’re all on the same page as a company, like a team pulling in the same direction. The main difference is that keeping Kevin and Ryan on schedule is a lot easier than a bunch of college girls!”
Following her time at Saint Louis U., Kelly moved back to the Cleveland area with her husband to be closer to family. They had met while in college in Chicago, where Kelly earned her master’s degree from Valparaiso University. She applied for the job with Davenport because she became interested in financial matters after taking a “baby steps” course on budgeting and finance. “I realized that I wanted to be part of a financial firm, and that my skill set would really add something to the Davenport Wealth Management team,” she said. Kevin and Ryan agree with that assessment.
“Kelly has really taken our firm to the next level with her detail-oriented approach,” said Kevin. “We have over 250 procedures that we document, and we want to be consistent for our clients. Kelly is a huge help on that—nothing gets by her.” When asked how she makes sure nothing slips through the cracks, Kelly saw a connection to her competitive soccer past. “I guess it’s the goalie in me,” she said.
When she’s not working at the firm, Kelly enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her husband, Bo. The Young family lives in West Park with their Labrabull, Hayden.
Manny Dela Cerna
“I’m passionate about investing for the future,” says Emmanuel “Manny” Dela Cerna, analyst with Davenport Wealth Management. This passion was something that Manny discovered after beginning his college career studying bio-chem with the intention of becoming a pharmacist. He had the academic chops to do the work, and knew it was meaningful. “But I just did not find personal inspiration—and that’s when I discovered financial planning.”
Manny was working his way through college delivering pizzas and hustling to make his dollars stretch. He knew how hard it was to earn those funds, and became interested in how to make his money work for him. He began to invest any extra cash he was able to set aside, and began listening to a podcast on financial planning. “And I got hooked.”
Soon, Manny had listened to hours of podcasts on the financial planning field while out making deliveries, and began to investigate what a career in the profession might look like. One day while out with his family after church, Manny saw two grandparents taking their grandchildren out to eat at a local restaurant, and he had a vision for what he wanted to achieve. “I realized that was something that I could help others with—putting them in a position to build wealth for their families and pass that on to help the next generation. From that moment on, I was completely dedicated to this career path.”
Fortunately for him, The University of Akron just happened to be ranked 11th nationally for financial planning instruction. The program was also able to connect Manny to Kevin Davenport and Davenport Wealth Management, where he began to intern—an experience that was transformational. “I have learned so much from Kevin and the Davenport team. From the passion he has for the work to the way he treats his clients, it really was incredible and lined up with what I wanted to achieve as a financial planner.”
After finishing his BA in business administration with a BBA in financial planning, Manny joined Davenport Wealth Management full-time as an analyst. In his role, he supports Kevin with research and analysis to position client portfolios based on their unique goals and situations. “I really enjoy working with the clients and it’s so rewarding to see them meet their goals. It’s exactly why I chose this career.”
In 2020, Manny passed his CFP® exam, and his personal goal is to become a lead advisor in the next 5 to 10 years. “I still have some learning to do with Kevin, but I’m excited about the future.”