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Strength Along Your Journey

Start Your Story

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Why Story Capital?

A toolbox rather than a specific tool.

Story Capital is a family services company, dedicated to Fortune 500 company Senior Leaders and high-net worth families who desire to coordinate, simplify and consolidate life by acquiring proactive, creative and comprehensive thinking around their personal circumstances.

We bring wisdom and knowledge about your complex compensation system to our Senior Leader clients and we build comprehensive financial models that empower great decision making for every client. Our elite, cross-functional team focuses on more than just your investment capital. We dedicate time to understanding and growing the human aspect by serving the entire family on issues pertaining directly to money as well as quality of life issues that go beyond money. We are a resource for the entire family where you can find solutions to both quantitative financial matters and qualitative non-financial matters. We are here to provide context and guidance through every phase of your family’s story; across multiple generations. 

Our approach to capital: 

investment capital

1. Investment Capital

Most firms are only about investment capital, but we think Investment Capital is just one aspect of excellent, comprehensive family consulting. 

human capital

2. Human Capital

Growth and development of all kinds — vocational, intellectual, educational; a solid commitment to lifetime learning. 

social capital

3. Social Capital

Integrating charitable and social impact issues into everyday planning.

Build Your Toolbox

Big-picture planning so you can thrive throughout life’s ups and downs.

Get In Touch

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What We Do

Legacy Planning

Empowerment for Every Generation

The Story Capital name itself encompasses all we do - we aim to capture your family’s entire story. We serve families who choose to think and plan across multiple generations. We prepare our client's adult children for the prospect of inheriting. We believe that a harmonious transition of wealth comes by working with the entire family, not just the matriarch and patriarch in order to develop the optimal inheritance plan.

Together we can prepare and teach your children about the responsibilities associated with estate planning, tax planning, inheriting capital, and how to protect assets. Additionally, we implement a cash-flow financial model designed specifically for you and your family. Our process ensures that as much family harmony and sense of stewardship, instead of entitlement, may be achieved today and for generations to come.

Begin With A Second Opinion

We offer two second opinion options for you and your family to choose from. 

  • The first opportunity is available to clients with equity compensation (stock options) where we provide insight around equity management strategies in a two-hour consultation. 
  • Secondly, we build a personalized, comprehensive financial model that helps your family gain context around topics such as: benefit elections, equity management, core estate planning, tax optimization & tax diversification, portfolio concentration, investment management audit, and an overall asset protection and risk allocation review. This is a cost and time efficient "try before you buy"  engagement that delivers extensive value.

Strength along your journey with financial guidance you can both see and feel.

Become An Empowered Family

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Your Team

It Takes More Than Our Team To Completely Tell Your Story

Story Capital is a family services company that surrounds your family with a team capable of covering every aspect of your financial life. Members of our team have decades of experience working in executive environments and have assisted over 1,400 individual option exercise decisions. Our combined experience benefits you and your family across multiple generations. 

Please invest time looking at our External Professional Team. In the same way that making an exquisite movie requires the talents of many specialties; it requires the talents of a diverse array of professionals inside and outside of our firm to produce the best possible outcome for each family. 

Phillip Barnhill, CLU Photo

Phillip Barnhill, CLU

Advisor & Equity Compensation Strategist
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“We help families and businesses make informed decisions around both the troubling issues and great opportunities they face on a day to day basis.”

Phillip Barnhill, CLU | Advisor & Equity Compensation Strategist
952-657-7205 | phil.barnhill@storypcapital.com | LinkedIn | Schedule A Meeting 

Phil has provided sound, forward-thinking counsel to businesses and individuals for nearly 40 years. But more than just counseling clients, Phil genuinely knows where they’re coming from. As founding partner, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of The Advocate Group, LLC, from 1999-2013, Phil brings an enormously valuable, first-person understanding of the needs and concerns of Story Capital’s entrepreneurial clients. Virtually 100% of the clientele from Phil’s former firm were officers of local Fortune 500 companies. From guiding companies through employee benefit plan design to helping executives optimize their compensation, Phil offers Story Capital clients a wellspring of knowledge and practical insight.


  • Meeting the financial planning and investment management needs of senior corporate executives.
  • Expanding an understanding of the powerful asset and wealth protection benefits of unique on-shore, directed trust jurisdictions such as South Dakota.
  • Leading collaborative teams of multi-disciplined professionals focused on serving Story Capital clients.
  • Deploying a values-infused process for wealth preservation planning which focuses comprehensively on the clients’ charitable, family and financial objectives, which places children in the optimal inheritor environment.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Hamilton College
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)


Jurisdictions like South Dakota may be great for asset protection, but Montana’s Big Sky Country — with its fishing, hiking, skiing and horseback riding — is the jurisdiction that renews Phil’s spirit and feeds his soul.

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Stoddard Barnhill, CFP®

Advisor & Director of Planning
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“This isn’t stereotypical financial planning. We’re there to be an advocate for our clients and to do what is ultimately best for them both now and in the long run.”

Stoddard Barnhill, CFP® | Advisor & Director of Planning
952-657-7206 | stoddard.barnhill@storycapital.com | LinkedIn | Schedule a meeting

Stoddard lends bold ideas and forward-thinking strategies to the Story Capital team that benefit the firm’s entire client roster — particularly the adult children of the firm’s clients and those professionals who are in the early stages of establishing their careers and families. Stoddard finds great fulfillment in walking alongside his clients, providing them with the tools and information they need to make educated, meaningful decisions. Regardless of their season of life, Stoddard’s clients can rest assured that he is fully dedicated to helping them achieve their goals both now and in the future.

Professional Passions

  • Getting a complete understanding of his clients’ priorities.
  • Designing and implementing fully customized cash flow models.
  • Building “what if” scenarios so clients can see potential ramifications of specific decisions.
  • Sharing his affinity for visual learning by turning numbers into colorful, client-tailored, real-time infographics.

Education & Certification

  • Bachelor of Science, Economics and Marketing, Marquette University
  • Series 7, Series 66
  • CFP® Professional

A chapter from Stoddard’s story

A huge basketball fan and former player, Stoddard still applies lessons from the court to his life, especially his profession. His motto? Show up early, stay late and work hard. It’s an easy motto to live by, since Stoddard loves and is genetically predisposed to his career as the fourth generation in his family to work in the financial services industry. Aside from work, Stoddard enjoys spending time with his wife, Mindy, and son.

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David Wischmeier, JD,CLU

Advance Planning Specialist
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“Top talent. Better value. Genuine caring for our clients. That’s what people will find with Story Capital.”

David Wischmeier, JD, CLU | Advisor & Advance Planning Specialist
612-351-8752 | 

David brings the wisdom gleaned from more than 20 years in the industry to each and every client. Attentive, inquisitive and one of the nation’s leading authorities on insurance legislation and estate and tax planning, David is highly regarded by clients and colleagues alike for his mastery of estate planning and his thoughtful approach to client advocacy. His legal experience includes serving as an estate and benefits attorney with the law firm of Parsinen, Bowman, and Levy prior to joining NBW Insurance Group as Advanced Planning Counsel where he was named partner in 2007. As one of the founding team members of Story Capital, David has played a vital role in establishing the firm’s fresh, authentic, big-picture commitment to humbly and passionately serving clients.

Professional Passions

  • Solving complex scenarios with lots of moving parts. The more challenging his client’s perceived problems, the more David enjoys working with the Story Capital team to find the solution.
  • Helping people create a legacy — something that will last beyond them and impact future generations.

Education & Certification

  • Bachelor of Science, Finance and Computer Information Systems, College of St. Scholastica
  • Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Chartered Life Underwriter

A chapter from David’s story

Newly married, and before their five children came along, David and his wife, Traci, decided to start tithing 10 percent of their gross income to their church. Money was tight, and the financial commitment felt like a big leap, but the Wischmeiers wanted to begin the discipline of thinking — and giving — beyond themselves. That early decision took root and flourished, strengthening their spiritual journey as a couple and teaching them the very real benefit of prioritizing long-term, higher-cause ‘needs’ over short-term, material ‘wants.’ Today David and Traci have a dedicated fund that enables them to support charities and causes to a degree they never would have imagined possible when they were penny-pinching newlyweds. It’s this personal experience that makes David so committed to helping Story Capital clients achieve their own goals for philanthropy and outreach.

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Sarah Leitzke

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“In a world where finances cause great stress and family tension, our passion is to encourage family cohesion around finances in a way that brings them closer together.”

Sarah Leitzke | Analyst
952-657-7204 | sarah.leitzke@storycapital.com | LinkedIn |

Sarah has discovered a passion for helping people feel both knowledgeable and at ease with their financial decisions. She is naturally curious and driven to find solutions to complex problems and, as such, has begun studies to become a Certified Financial Planner. Before diving into the financial industry in mid-2017, Sarah was in church leadership for 6 years and received a Bachelor of Arts from both the University of Minnesota and North Central University in Political Science & Communication Studies and Music, respectively. She looks forward to the challenge and excitement of working with Story Capital’s clientele for many years to come.

Professional Passions

  • Empowering clients to feel knowledgeable and at ease about their financial future
  • Distilling complex information into understandable snapshots
  • Being an education bridge between the generations with our client families

Education & Certification

  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science & Communication, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • Bachelor of Arts, Music, North Central University

A chapter from Sarah's story

Sarah does not give up. Five years after failing to finish the Twin Cities Marathon, she completed Grandma’s Marathon in 2019 and considers long-distance running to be one of the most formative psychological experiences of her life. She is not afraid to dive into a challenge and finish strong!

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Jeffrey Bird, JD, CLU, MBA

Advance Planning Specialist
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“Story Capital ties everything together. We help clients think about things that might never have occurred to them.”

Jeffrey Bird, JD, MBA | Advance Planning Specialist

Jeffrey is not only an unwavering advocate for his clients, he’s also an educator, sought after by colleagues and regional industry peers alike for his expertise in the life insurance and estate planning fields. Jeffrey’s work ethic was ingrained in him at an early age while growing up on a farm in western Iowa. Since then, he has applied his intelligence and industriousness to being an accountant, a tax attorney, a life insurance and retirement expert, and General Counsel for The Brehm Group. The sheer breadth of Jeffrey’s life insurance and retirement planning knowledge and experience makes him an invaluable member of the Story Capital team and enables him to serve clients at the highest, most comprehensive level possible.

Professional Passions

  • Working with business owners to audit existing life insurance policies and counsel clients on establishing optimal plans.
  • Establishing due diligence procedures for trustees in order to place and monitor life insurance policies.
  • Sharing his expertise at regional conferences, where he is a sought-after presenter.

Education & Certification

  • Bachelor of Science, Accounting, University of South Dakota

  • Master of Business Administration, University of South Dakota

  • Juris Doctorate, University of South Dakota


Jeffrey and his wife, Widdy, have worked hard to instill in their six children a passion for helping and serving others. The Birds find enormous fulfillment in their involvement with numerous non-profit organizations, including Hope Academy, a private, inner-city faith-based school for low income and minority children. Jeffrey helped found the school and currently serves as board president.

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Michele Perry-Barnhill, JD

Director of Operations & Client Experience
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“The real value in Story Capital is the delivery of intellectual knowledge and lasting relationships around bigger issues than money.”

Michele Perry-Barnhill, JD | Director of Operations & Client Experience
952-6577-7203 |  michele.barnhill@storycapital.com | LinkedIn

Incredibly focused and a shining example of principled leadership, Michele has spent 30 years in the financial, insurance and estate planning industries. After a brief stint in the world of public accounting, Michele established a private estate-planning law practice, which she ran out of her home for 15 years while raising three children. Michele then joined The Advocate Group, a large regional Registered Investment Advisory firm, as a founding partner to head up the operations department. Today, Story Capital’s clients directly benefit from Michele’s artful mediation skills in addition to the broad array of abilities that make her an essential member of the team.

Professional Passions

  • Managing and monitoring today’s complex insurance underwriting process while maintaining exquisite communication with clients who are actively engaged in underwriting.

  • Mediation: assisting families transitioning to “parenting their parents” and handling sibling and intergenerational issues.

  • Diving into and monitoring details to optimize Story Capital’s processes.

Education & Certification

  • Bachelor of Science, Syracuse University Magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa

  • Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law

  • Certified Mediator

A chapter from Michele’s story

As a trained mediator and an active member of her church’s Elder Board, Michele is a firm believer that listening and hearing the concerns of others is essential to making a difference in people’s lives. She has extensive experience in the caring for aging parents and their estates, and considers the work she did for her parents and in-laws one of the greatest honors of her life.

Proactive, hands-on, collaborative team approach to planning your future

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. Experience tells us that it certainly takes a "village of professionals" to provide strength and insight to a family across multiple generations. Both Story Capital and Story Family Institute enjoy working with a select group of External Professionals who add depth and versatility to the Story Team. Collectively, we are "the village" who are here to support your family across generations.  These External Professionals are resources to call upon and in no way are our relationships with these professionals intended to replace our clients' existing trusted advisers. 

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Rick Kaufman

AmeriStar Agency
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What Does Rick Do For Our Family Clients?

Rick provides a comprehensive review of existing Property, Casualty, and Liability coverage for our client families (including adult children if desired).  Rick’s review of current coverage is then augmented by Story’s thorough understanding of the client’s current circumstances and prospective risk issues.  Rick will then be in an empowered position to ask a few additional targeted questions about the family’s overall exposures and preferences and then he will execute a highly informed, comparative analysis of current coverage laid against proposed alternatives.  If current coverage is in great shape, Rick’s review will reflect that in his findings.

What is Rick's Expertise?

An astounding number of our client families are served by long-standing, wonderful professionals who “captively” represent companies like State Farm or Farmer’s where the agent is an employee of the insurance company.  Rick is completely independent of all Property, Casualty, and Liability companies which allows him to singularly represent the interests of our family clients and NOT a specific carrier.  Further, Rick has underwriting relationships with all the specialty carriers who uniquely serve the diverse needs of executive and high-net-worth families. Frequently, multiple carriers are utilized in fully serving a client family.

Why Does Story Enjoy Collaborating With Rick?

Rick and his team are as polite and service-oriented as possible.  He fully understands the busy schedules of our clients and he has worked out a system in our collaborative process to minimize the distraction and time involved in executing a comparative analysis in this vital area of asset protection.  Proper P&C coverage is THE foundation of proper Asset Protection for our client families.

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Angela Alvig, CPA

Simplify Wealth, LLC
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What Does Angela Do For Our Family Clients? 

Part of improving the quality of life of our family clients is being able to help them reduce stress by organizing just about anything one can imagine (be that finances or one’s closet!).  Angela and her team can either take over a process like bill paying on behalf of a family or, if preferred, Angela’s team can teach a family member how to most effectively execute a process of record keeping, bill paying, and financial organization. Recent research indicates that spending money to free up time and create peace of mind, has a more lasting and satisfying impact on lifestyle than buying more stuff.  Angela and her team help our clients enhance life satisfaction by “delegating and decluttering” wherever satisfaction can be generated. Angela’s team also helps provide administrative services for some of the specialized estate and charitable planning techniques utilized in Story’s consultative process.

What Is Angela's Expertise?

Angela is a CPA, formerly affiliated as a senior Manager in the Private Client Services group of WIPFLI, LLP, a prominent local Accounting firm. Angela’s team does not do income tax compliance work, but they help a cadre of clients to organize financial information to make tax preparation fast and efficient. Angela also has extensive experience managing a multi-client family office for a group of partners in a local Hedge Fund organization. Regardless of the complexity of a situation, Angela’s team can cut through the clutter.

Why Does Story Enjoy Collaborating with Angela?

Angela is a super organized, sponge for information and she can get to the nub of an intricate issue in record time.  We often turn to Angela to assist with complex issues like researching assisted living options and managing the financial mechanics for the parents of our clients, which is a process somewhat affectionately known as “Parenting Parents” for clients who are simultaneously parenting their children and their parents. Using a third party like Angela to record keep and pay bills can help to maintain family unity in difficult circumstances.

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NBW Insurance Group

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What Does NBW Do For Our Family Clients?

In the world of Legacy Planning, Asset Protection, Charitable Planning, and Sophisticated Tax-Free Investment Management (with Private Placement Insurance products), the many varieties of Life Insurance and a firm’s ability to independently underwrite the coverage with a multitude of carriers becomes essential. NBW’s primary market has been underwriting extremely large insurance policies on the lives of our region’s notable entrepreneur families through their family offices, individuals of ultra-high-net-worth, and senior executives.  Their unique expertise has frequently come to the aid of Story Capital and Story Family Institute when comparative analysis of existing insurance is required. NBW has been involved in underwriting over $200 million dollars of coverage on one life.

What Is NBW Expertise?

Three factors distinguish NBW’s unique position in the industry:

  • NBW’s two principals hold the following degrees between them: 2 CLU, 2 JD, 1 MBA, and 1 CPA. The firm’s knowledge base is unmatched in the Upper Midwest.
  • NBW is a Partner firm of the Nation’s oldest and largest Co-op of insurance underwriters known as The M Financial Group out of Portland Oregon.  The M Group’s market niche and international productivity has allowed them to negotiate institutional pricing with many of the nation’s largest carriers. Institutional pricing is a major product benefit for our client families.
  • Because of NBW’s vast knowledge of insurance products, combined with their independence from any one company, and their exhaustive knowledge of estate planning; family offices, attorney’s and CPA’s across the Upper Midwest seek them out and this knowledge uniquely serves the needs of Story family clients.

Why Does Story Enjoy Collaborating With NBW? 

We enjoy collaborating with NBW because of the integrity and knowledge of its principals.  NBW is “the best” at what they do.  For full disclosure, Story Capital is an affiliated firm of M Holdings Securities and M Holdings RIA through our relationship with NBW.  Story Family Institute is NOT affiliated with NBW or M Holdings.

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External Legal Team

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What Do Attorneys Do For Our Family Clients?

Within the context of Story Capital and Story Family Institute, though we have several attorneys on our internal team, Story does not draft legal documents.  We need attorneys to create the legal framework which enables great ideas and concepts to make the leap from conception into reality.

Broadly speaking, the most frequently encountered areas that require outside drafting are:

  • Core or foundational estate planning documents.  These documents are the starting point for all great estate and legacy planning.  Creating great “foundational” documents is the first step which allows our clients to build nicely upon this new foundation as their goals, objectives, and tolerance for complexity come into greater focus. Two of every ten clients have perfect foundational documents; eight of ten do not and they are thrilled to take this first step in “getting things in order.”

The Story team will collaborate with any attorney the client desires yet; as is said in medicine: “There is no such thing as minor surgery, only minor surgeons.” We prefer collaborating with a select group of practitioners with whom we have worked in the past, many of whom will provide an institutional discount to the client because of our extensive existing knowledge of the client and because of the past introductions made to many of these practitioners.  Story never receives referral compensation from attorneys.

  • Advanced or Phase II estate and legacy planning documents. There exists another universe of estate and legacy planning; one might also say that there exists another palate of colors to draw from beyond “foundational estate planning” which have immense tax, social, and family benefits. As a client’s net worth skyrockets due to acceleration through stock options or other circumstances, there arises a need to apply new color and fresh thinking to more fully accomplish Family Objectives. What is true in athletics is also true in the law; almost any kid with athletic ability can play middle-school basketball, but to step on a court with Michael Jordan or Lebron James requires serious skills!  Advanced legacy planning, where we are creating a Family Bank, or drafting a trust in another jurisdiction like South Dakota or Nevada, require a certain skillset which most core estate planning practitioners simply do not possess.

  • Asset Protection Planning. This is the most arcane, and least often utilized aspect of Family Legacy law, yet it can be the most powerful aspect of retaining assets in the family bloodline, away from the reach of creditors, outside the reach of state income tax, and well beyond the reach of Federal Estate Tax as assets pass from one generation to the next.  Practitioners in the art of Asset Protection are like great baseball pitchers: “they are as scarce as hen’s teeth.”

Many of our clients are first generation wealth creators and as such there exists a preexisting mindset that legal fees are something to minimize or avoid.  In reality, legal fees are a direct investment in the family.  Legal fees are not something to be avoided.  In reference to the kind of legal implementation both Story Capital and Story Family Institute are focused upon, legal fees are the very breath which gives life to creativity, inspiration and vision. 

Why do we like to use attorney's in our sphere of influence?

  • They are friendly
  • They speak English, not legalese
  • They draw pictures which illustrate complex legal concepts
  • They interface with our technology platform
  • Like sub-contractors, they want to keep our clients happy, which keeps the Story Team happy. We call this quality control. 

Care and counsel that is full-spectrum, forward-thinking, and life-enhancing. 

Tireless commitment to the fulfillment of your vision.

Dedicated to the delivery of enduring value and big-picture guidance.

Add to Your Story

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What’s your story? We’re eager to hear it.

Schedule An Introductory Consultation


Story Capital, LLC
706 2nd Ave. S. Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55402





For your convenience the following Regus office locations are available:

Eden Prairie – Crosstown Corporate

6385 Old Shady Oak Road
 Suite 250

Roseville – Bonestroo

2355 Highway 36 West
 Suite 400

Edina – Grandview Square

7701 France Avenue South

St. Louis Park – West End

1650 West End Blvd.
 Suite 100

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