Before founding TruOptions in Raleigh, Bruce Matthews worked for 14 years in a financial services role at a major national firm. He left behind the big city and the prestige that comes with an established business to launch his own company. Starting a new business is a highly-uncertain venture, even in prosperous economic times, but Matthews took on the risk because he didn’t want to have to answer to rigid corporate leadership. “They want you to do what they say,” Matthews said. “I wanted to do business differently. More personally.

The risk paid off. As founder and CEO, Matthews has kept TruOptions in business and thriving for 20 years now. Some of its clients got on board at the very beginning and have stayed on since — a testament to the loyalty and personalized service cultivated by Matthews and his staff.

Working with clients in the Triangle and across NC, TruOptions provides a wide range of financial planning services and insurance plans, available to individuals, families, and businesses. These services range from the common (life insurance and auto insurance) to the specialized (estate planning and general liability insurance), though they all tend to share the purpose of helping people successfully navigate major events in life and business.

With each new client, the first step for Matthews is to get to know them, with an eye toward where they’ve been and where they’re going. Everyone has their own history and their own needs. “We sit down and talk with them. We listen to what might be troubling them and what’s important to them.” For a business, it could be succession planning, key person life insurance, a deferred compensation plan or disability insurance. For a person, it could be protecting wealth and preparing for retirement. Throughout the process, security and privacy are paramount

After completing this prompt initial evaluation, Matthews presents the client with their best options. It’s not about pitching one cure-all product to everyone that comes through the door. Knowing the clients personally means understanding their specific goals, and having a range of services means being able to create customized plans that will help them attain those goals. In the company’s phrasing, it’s “everything you need and nothing you don’t.”

This client-centered, people-friendly approach is what drew Matthews to the business. Ultimately, he says, it’s about building trusting relationships so that he can help people solve their problems and accomplish their objectives over the long-term. With its focus trained on mass transactions and short-term profits, corporate America can lose that personal touch.

“I don’t answer to corporate America. I don’t answer to shareholders. That means I can answer directly to clients,” Matthews said.

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