Patti Brennan’s resume is nothing short of impressive. Growing up in Newtown Square and starting her career as an ICU nurse, she later decided to pursue her passion for financial planning. “After the market crashed in 1987, we had a newborn at home, a huge mortgage and no cash flow coming into the household,” she says. “I worked as a financial planner in Center City during the week and 12-hour shifts at a hospital on weekends just to make ends meet.”
Today, she is the founder and chief executive officer of Key Financial, Inc. in West Chester and has served as a commentator on CNBC, the keynote at Forbes magazine’s Top Advisor Summit and a Main Line Today Power Woman. She is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top financial advisors by Forbes, Barron’s, Fortune and the Financial Times, while also commentating for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Worth and Kiplinger’s. To add to this extensive list, Brennan will be inducted into the Chester County Hall of Fame by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) this May.
It was that experience back in 1987 that lit a fire in Brennan. “The industry had a very different business model, and I just believed there was a better way to serve people in our community,” she comments. Key Financial, Inc., Brennan’s nationally ranked firm, strives to serve the community with a more holistic approach, taking the time to truly understand clients and their needs to provide them with best practices and advice.
“Patti’s national reputation is impressive, but what really sets her apart here in Chester County is her genuine devotion to the wellbeing of our residents and business owners,” says CCEDC President and CEO Gary W. Smith. “Patti pours her whole heart into the economic empowerment of her clients and her community.”
Even amid Brennan’s lengthy accomplishments, she is honored to be inducted into the Chester County Hall of Fame. “What makes CCEDC’s Hall of Fame award extra special is that it’s from my neighbors and the business community that I serve,” she says. “They see the real me. They’ve seen me running late to my board meetings, all too often wearing two different earrings. They’ve watched [my husband] Ed and I raise four children, trying to maintain some semblance of balance that never really exists. They had faith in me when I decided to do business with a different model and continue to believe in me to this day. I’m really humbled by it.”
Brennan will be presented with the Chester County Hall of Fame Award on May 17 at the Phoenixville Foundry. Guests are encouraged to attend in celebration of Brennan as well as to network with other business leaders. Tickets are available here.
After all is said and done, Brennan’s main goal is to make a difference. “I hope to look back in 20 to 30 years and see that I helped raise the standard for an industry that’s way too focused on the pie chart versus the families and what they want to do. Hopefully, I was efficient and effective.”
Related: Meet 2022’s Power Women of the Main Line and Western Suburbs