Nestled in the heart of West Newport Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, stands lifeguard tower 68. From age 16 to 24, our Founder and CEO Ken South served as a lifeguard, keeping a watchful eye over the beach and its ever-changing visitors.
In 2006, Ken established The South Group, a boutique financial firm in Newport Beach, combining one-on-one personalized financial advice with strategic investment analysis and portfolio management. After years of growth, Ken recognized the opportunity to better serve his clients by going independent. In 2021, The South Group formed Tower 68 Financial Advisors, named in honor of Ken’s earlier years as a lifeguard on Newport Beach.
While the ocean is a continuously moving environment, the lifeguard tower holds steady; providing stability in comparison to the ever-changing swells, winds, and currents. Likewise, as trusted financial advisors, we will continue to provide our clients with the expertise and skills to navigate ever-changing markets and provide the stability to address any financial challenge.
Founder and CEO
Ken South started his career in 1985 at E.F. Hutton & Company. He founded The South Group in 2006 as a Financial Advisor.
His educational background consists of a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Southern California. For the last 23 years, Ken has been a guest teacher at Newport Harbor High School, where he teaches stocks and bonds to all senior economics students every semester. Coursework includes in-depth study on the purpose, use, and management of stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds. He covers all aspects of both technical and fundamental analysis as well as the interpretation of the most common economic indicators.
In the 1990s, Ken was a regularly scheduled commentator on the state of the economy for GEM RADIO, the “Money Radio” station of Orange County, California. In 1991, he was voted Business Person of the Year by the California chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, the National Business Fraternity. In September of that year, he was the Profiled Advisor in Registered Representative, the highly recognized periodical for the retail securities industry.Ken currently lives in Newport Beach with his wife and their two children. He has served as an ocean lifeguard for the City of Newport Beach, but now spends his spare time surfing the local beaches with his son and building custom furniture.
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder
Steve comes to Tower 68 from Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Los Angeles office for the past twenty years. He was named Branch Manager in March of 2020, and prides himself on leading with efficiency, and on his reputation for attracting and retaining top sales talent. He began his career in 1984 with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc./Morgan Stanley. As an avid golfer, Steve is a San Fernando Valley Community Committee Member for the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation. Steve has a grown son and lives in Sherman Oaks with his wife and two daughters. In his downtime, he enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, and bike riding.
SVP of Client Relations
Peter Jones joined The South Group in 2006, bringing more than 14 years of experience in sales and client services within the financial arena from Security Pacific Bank and Smith Barney.
At Tower 68 Financial Advisors, Peter, who has worked with Ken South since 1999, is an integral part of the team, assisting clients and providing meticulous administrative and operational support.
He holds the General Securities Representative Registration (Series 7) and the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination (Series 63).
A Los Angeles native, Peter was raised in Glendale. He graduated in 1982 from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He currently resides in Irvine, where he enjoys playing tennis and listening to music.
Director of Client Development
Rich began his financial career in 1980 with Fahnestock and Company (now Oppenheimer), supporting trading desks for large international and domestic mutual fund companies with a focus on technical analysis. After joining a unit of Prudential in 1990, he eventually managed a billion dollar trading desk where he managed direct trades and invested in the international markets with both stocks and currency. He later transitioned into a Financial Advisor role at Prudential, assisting high net worth clients with their investment and planning needs.
In 2003, Rich shifted to TD Ameritrade as an Investment Advisor working with high net worth clients and Money Managers to meet their investment needs. After 17 years in this role, he brought his years of experience to Tower 68 Financial Advisors to assist with the day-to-day needs of both clients and the team members.
Rich has lived in Dana Point for over 25 years. When he’s not enjoying the beach and the desert here in California, he enjoys visiting his mom and sister in New Jersey.
Executive Director of Business Development
Graduating from Southern Methodist University with a Major in Communication Studies and Fashion Media, Spencer possesses an innate skill of recognizing a trend, its potential, and how to maximize off its success. Over the past 6 years, Spencer has used this skill in a Global Marketing role for some of the top beauty brands in the International and Domestic space. Today, she uses her understanding of consumer behavior and how to appeal to the masses to help drive the Business Development Division at Tower 68 to new heights as it continues to serve its robust client portfolio.
While she currently lives in Los Angeles, Spencer is a Newport Beach native, and grew up overlooking the Tower 68 lifeguard tower in her backyard. Outside of work, she spends her free time enjoying her lifelong hobby of horseback riding.
Our Extended Team
We sit on the same side of the table as our clients and provide advice based on a complete understanding of your needs. Creating long-term relationships built on trust is our ultimate goal. Focusing on a select number of clients allows us to devote the necessary time and understanding to help each client address the financial challenges that can accompany great wealth. Together, we work to leverage the firm’s broad resources and focused capabilities to advance client interests.