A Millennial Powerhouse Makes The List
Innovative Financial Group Included on the 2020 Inc. 5000 Prestige List Ranking As One of the Nation’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.
I had the opportunity to interview Tyler Rees, majority partner at Innovative Financial Group (IFG). I
have interviewed several insurance agency owners throughout the years, but never somebody who ranked
on the INC. 5000 List of fastest growing private companies. Tyler has a very genuine way about him as
he cares as much about his employees as he does his clients and considers them his extended family.
Tyler provides personalized guidance to individuals and businesses seeking to achieve their lifelong
finance and insurance goals. Tyler built his company and success on the fundamental values of
commitment, integrity, and results in order to be a positive force in the lives of his clients and agents. IFG
is certainly the team we all need in our lives.
OR: Share your background with us.
TR: I grew up in Dillsburg, PA, a small country town located right outside of Harrisburg, PA. I lived
there with my siblings and the most amazing parents a kid could ask for. After graduating high school, I
went to Rider University on a wrestling scholarship where I studied Business Administration. Upon
working for a door to door marketing company for two years, I was able to travel all over the country. At
the end of 2008, I decided to get my insurance license and worked for a local family owned insurance
brokerage that specialized in Long Term Care. I learned a lot working for them and remain grateful for
the opportunity they afforded me. At the end of the day, I was not family, so I knew I needed to create my
own business in which I could start a legacy for my family. I promised myself when I walked out the door
to the office on March 15 th , 2015, I was going to build a company focused on empowerment and
OR: Tell us how Innovative Financial Group (IFG) was born?
TR: One of the amazing benefits of working as a successful broker in the insurance industry is the ability
to earn through production vacations that are given by the individual insurance companies. In 2013, I was
blessed to visit Switzerland on a trip with Foresters Financial. On that trip, I had the pleasure of meeting
John Spinner and Jeff Burch, the owners of what was then Innovative Insurance Brokers. After spending
time with them I realized that there was a lot to our business I did not know. After returning from
Switzerland, I knew I needed to venture out and create my own success. On March 15 th , 2015, my journey
as an independent business owner began and I started Rees Financial. I had built a relationship with John
and Jeff and chose to place all my contracts with Innovative. In the beginning of 2017, I was asked to join
Innovative Insurance Brokers as an equal partner. Brick by brick we built Innovative into a powerhouse!
All of 2018, we were being sought after by companies who were interested in buying Innovative. Toward
the end of the year, Jeff and John made the decision that they wanted to sell. I did not have any interest in
selling so I purchased Innovative Insurance Brokers from them and that was when Innovative Financial
Group was formed.
OR: Congratulations on joining the prestige ranking of Inc. 5000. What does this recognition mean
to you and your team?
TR: This recognition is an extreme honor and is truly a reflection of the entire IFG family. We believe in
teamwork, empowering others, and creating efficiency through technology and processes. Our recognition
by Inc 5000 is such a blessing and we are grateful for the opportunity.
OR: Talk us through the Inc. 5000 selection process.
TR: To be considered for the Inc 5000, we had to verify annual earnings that exceeded $1,000,000 in
2016 and $3,000,000 in 2019. This had to be authenticated by a certified public accountant.
OR: Insurance is a competitive business. What do you equate to your success?
TR: Freedom of choice is what separates us from the rest of our competition. For our agents, we are a
platform, not a brokerage which is a major difference. Most brokerages are rigid and specific in their
structure and only offer a few products. We are different. We offer a unique opportunity for an individual
to meet with us and share their dreams and goals. If it is morally, ethically, and financially responsible,
we will help them create it. We leverage their skill sets with ours and then utilize our resources to help
them grow. For our clients, we are their one stop shop. I wanted to create an environment where our
clients could call one place home for all their insurance needs. We have experienced licensed
professionals who can help with any type of insurance. The best benefit for our clients is that we represent
them. We get to shop their coverage with hundreds of companies to make sure we find the product that is
best fit for them. We rarely run into a situation where we can’t improve our client’s situation. We have
agents in all 50 states and can handle sales over the phone, face to face, or virtually.
OR: What are the most important coverages people should have?
TR: It truly depends on the individual situation, their goals and their stage in life. Insurance is a vehicle
used in multiple ways to help achieve different outcomes. We need to spend time with each of our
customers to look at their personal situation and assess what is most needed for them.
OR: What do you think of the Millennial generation that have entered the work force? Do you
think that they are conscience about different insurance available to them?
TR: I am a millennial and take pride in our generation, but we often get misunderstood. Millennials want
freedom and flexibility to choose their path. Many of us watched our parents work for other people and
their lives were enslaved to their jobs and schedules. Millennials want the ability to create opportunity,
but on our terms. A large portion of what makes up the IFG family is comprised of Millennials. We are
starting to see our company being influenced by the Generation Z and we could not be happier. Their
youth, knowledge of technology, social media prowess, and creative thinking is infectious and we are
already seeing the benefits. The younger generations need to be educated on their insurance options as
you can really leverage insurance products to protect and grow wealth and the earlier you start the better.
We are developing strategies that appeal to the younger audience which includes educating through online
and direct to consumer channels.
OR: Where would you like to see the company in the next 5 years?
TR: My goal is to continue to help and serve people while maintaining the highest level of honesty and
integrity. We are growing into one of the largest brokerages firms in the country and I believe there will
be a day that we will be the largest. We love to compete and look forward to the challenge of creating the
best opportunity the insurance industry has seen. I feel we are doing that.
OR: Since your company is growing exponentially, how can agents join your team?
TR: If you are an agent in the insurance industry or financial services space or maybe you are looking to
enter the industry, the quickest and easiest way to join our team is to visit our website at
www.teamifg.com and click on the button that says get in touch. We would love to hear from you and
have you as the next member of the IFG family!
OR: What would you tell your 8-year old self?
TR: I would tell myself to be humble but always believe in yourself. My delivery as a kid needed work
but the desire to want to be great was the right way to think. People do not achieve success often because
they are scared to try. Empower and encourage success of others. I feel people often fear talent around
them rather than empowering that talent. I have always spent my life wanting to be surrounded by the best
and it always served me well. If you are the most talented person in the room, you need to find a new one.
Lastly, spend time with God every morning. He will open your mind and heart which will help you focus
on living for him and through him.
OR: Thank you for the great interview! I wish you continued success and look forward to catching
up with you in the coming months.
TR: My pleasure and thank you for taking the time to speak with me.