Branch Transformation, Retail Banking, Bank of the Future | DBSI

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BRANCH DESIGN True Story: WEALTHNEST Wealth Management

A Clever and Unconventional Wealth Management Office Space

The challenges

Evolve the Business

Craft a strategy to move clients from primarily using only tax-prep services into more comprehensive wealth management products.

Engineer the Experience to Tell the Brand Story

Create a physical extension of the company’s new brand identity, consistent with its holistic and healthy values.

Differentiate All Service Aspects

Traditionally, most wealth management offices are designed and laid out the same. Wealthnest wanted to create a “home-field advantage” by differentiating every aspect of the client journey and experience from the moment a client walks in the door.

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The process

Wealthnest10Rather than a bank or credit union remodel–we were asked in late 2014, “how about working on our new wealth management office?”

Well…it’s still within the financial industry realm. So, why not?

Plus, when we learned the office wasn’t far from our headquarters and had a compelling new name, we couldn’t refuse.

Reimagining a Business and Typical Client Journey

Wealthnest was looking to launch as a new financial-planning business, evolved and re-envisioned from the stakeholders’ former, more established tax-preparation firm.

With the evolution of a business and space, DBSI saw an opportunity to do Wealth Management in a completely different way than had been done before.  There would be no boring conference room where you take the client on the first visit.  No stuffy office feel.  Instead, this would be an engineered client journey that spoke to the experience a client felt, as well as be a physical embodiment of the vibrant Wealthnest brand.

Defining the Problem to Find the Solution

Just as we do for each of our hundreds of clients every year, we followed our established 6D process: Discover, Define, Design, Document, Deliver & Debrief.

As Steve Jobs put it best, “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” Exactly. So the Discover process of this project included an extensive research of other wealth management companies–how they design their firm today, what works and what doesn’t, and where Wealthnest can differentiate themselves from the rest.

Starting with a generic office space; something a dentist—or (yes, even) a tax accountant—might use, we took to transforming it into a “destination” for clients.

The result


Our standard timeline for a remodel can stretch to about 6 months, but at Wealthnest—the entire overhaul took just 8 weeks.

And yes, you might happen upon some of our Wealthnest design touches on Pinterest these days, because visitors are so taken by the environment that they want to “pin” photos of their favorites on their social media feed.

The “wow” factor is palpable. It’s memorable for clients and a serves as great place for employees to work. It’s just what the clients asked for when they regularly mentioned wanting a “home-field advantage.”

With Wealthnest focused on client happiness and financial well-being, the new space serves as an extension of the message. Natural light and a massive flat-rail sliding door made of reclaimed wood are integral elements of the design. The floorplan flows organically, with the color touches and other finishes drawing visitors’ eyes through the space—often followed by “oohs” and “aahs” as they are led to an office or meeting space.

One of those meeting spaces, The Clubhouse, is a fun feature, too. It’s a conference room for meeting select clients, where drinks may accompany sound financial advice along with a round of golf on the simulator. In fact, we even created a “pairings menu”—showing drink and service combinations, starting with tea and coffee and moving up to signature cocktails.

At every turn, DBSI has engineered a client journey that effectively expresses Wealthnest’s revitalized commitment to long-time and brand-new clients seeking financial peace of mind.


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Client Quote

“One of the things DBSI emphasized was how to be different and stand out from our peers. My office is close to the front door, and every time a customer walks in, nothing is short of rave reviews.”
—Kevin Foster,Board Member

The DBSI X-Factor

  • To create real differentiation and uncover ways to stand out from the crowd, DBSI first spent time understanding competitors and the typical client experience. Through that research, a reconfigured design and client journey was developed to bring Wealthnest’s value to life in a truly engineered manner.

Our Responsibilities

  • Consulting
  • Design
  • Interior Design
  • Construction
  • Marketing materials – strategy and graphic design
  • Project Management