The Golden Journey: Celebrating 60 Years at Valmark Financial Group and the 25th Anniversary of The University of Akron’s Financial Planning Program

AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Valmark Financial Group, a pioneer in the financial services industry, is proud to commemorate its 60th anniversary, a remarkable milestone that signifies six decades of unwavering commitment to Member Firms and their clients. This extraordinary journey began with a simple, yet powerful principle centered on The Golden Rule, and a vision to elevate the level of service provided to clients through continued innovation.

Established by Lawrence (Larry) S. Rybka as an agency for a single company in Cleveland, Ohio, Valmark has evolved into a full-service broker-dealer, SEC-registered investment adviser, and multi-company brokerage agency with a team of 120+ dedicated professionals supporting over 110 independently branded and owned financial services firms across 31 U.S. states.

Larry J. Rybka, Chairman & CEO of Valmark Financial Group, reflecting on his father's visionary leadership, said "My dad was a trailblazer who recognized early on that the traditional distribution form of life insurance through career agents was equivalent to a milkman delivering milk door to door. He also saw the potential in offering both investments and insurance and recognized the best financial professionals wanted to build their own business, as opposed to working for a single company.”  

Valmark's legacy of innovation is also reflected in its 25-year partnership with The University of Akron. In 1998, the company embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with the university's finance department to establish one of the country's pioneering financial planning programs. This visionary initiative provides graduates with the tools to excel in the financial planning field and to qualify for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) exam. Graduates of this program have created a dynamic pipeline of exceptionally talented professionals who have joined Valmark and risen to become an integral backbone of its senior leadership team.

As a privately held company since its inception, Valmark stands as an unwavering beacon of continuity within an industry characterized by consolidation and private equity roll ups. This enduring dedication has preserved the company's capacity to make resolute decisions with unwavering integrity, nurtured a culture of innovation, and seamlessly extended to a third generation of leadership led by President, Caleb Callahan, and Chief Investment Officer, Michael McClary. Both embody dynamic leadership, their roots tracing back to their initial roles as interns from The University of Akron, subsequently advancing into full-time positions as specialists, adeptly transitioning to managerial roles, and now proudly assuming pivotal positions in Valmark's third generation of leadership.

"I am deeply honored to stand as part of the third generation of leadership at Valmark,” said Callahan. “As we celebrate 60 years of commitment to our Members, clients, and the Golden Rule, I am reminded of the incredible journey that has brought us here. My gratitude knows no bounds as I reflect on the opportunity to shape the future alongside a team that shares the same dedication to excellence and innovation. The legacy of Valmark is not only a testament to our past achievements but a promise of continued growth, integrity, and innovative solutions and services as we step confidently into the next 60 years."

As Valmark strides boldly into its seventh decade, its unyielding dedication to pioneering financial innovation at the nexus of advisory services, investments, and insurance stands resolute and unwavering. This commitment is seamlessly intertwined with the company’s dedication to the Golden Rule, values, and relationships. This unshakable foundation not only honors the remarkable journey of the past but propels the company into a bright future.

“As we celebrate 60 years of growth, much has changed, but I am gratified to see a continued commitment to truth, values, and relationships," affirmed Larry S. Rybka, Founder of Valmark Financial Group. “Looking back, I am immensely proud of what we've achieved and the firms that have chosen to be a part of Valmark. The collaboration with our firms and the second and third generations of leadership have taken the company far beyond what I imagined. I am filled with certainty that our legacy will continue to shine as we hold true to our purpose to Bring the Golden Rule to Life."

About Valmark Financial Group, LLC
Valmark Financial Group is a holding company of several subsidiaries, including: Executive Insurance Agency, Inc., a national producer group; Valmark Securities, Inc., a broker-dealer and member of both FINRA and SIPC; Valmark Advisers, Inc., a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registered investment adviser; and the Valmark Policy Management Company, LLC, which provides ongoing policy management and monitoring services for life insurance policyholders. With a proud history of working with independently owned financial services firms committed to high ethical standards in 31states throughout the United States, Valmark offers a wide range of insurance and investment solutions for high net-worth clients. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio with operations in St. Paul, Minnesota, Valmark, through its affiliated entities, has helped its member firms place over $60 billion of life insurance death benefits and manage insurance policies with a cumulative cash value of over $8 billion dollars. Valmark’s affiliated RIA, Valmark Advisers, has an estimated $7.5 billion in assets under management, including over a billion in variable sub-account assets within its TOPS® funds. To learn more about Valmark Financial Group, visit  

Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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