- Holden Wilen, Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal


M Financial Group won’t be moving into its new offices at The Quad in Uptown until later this year but the firm is already moving fast to hire employees with plans to accelerate its growth over the next five years.

The Portland-based insurance and financial services company, which operates legally as M Financial Holdings Inc., last year inked a 52,000-square-foot lease at The Quad, marking the company’s first foothold outside the Pacific Northwest since its founding in 1978. M Financial will occupy the 11th and 12th floors of the 345,425-square-foot office building at 2699 Howell St. being developed by commercial real estate firm Stream Realty Partners LP.

Interior construction for M Financial’s space will begin in April, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, according to filings with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The total cost of the work is estimated at $6.75 million. Dallas-based architecture firm BHA Studio Inc. designed the space.

M Financial has already begun operating in Dallas out of temporary space adjacent to The Quad, said TV Kumaresh, the company’s chief strategy officer. The company currently has about 25 employees in Dallas, he said, and plans to have 50 to 75 people by the time it moves into The Quad. And the hiring won’t stop there.

“We might just double it or triple it in that period of time,” Kumaresh said. “But our thought process is over the next three to five years to potentially have anywhere between 100 to 200 people in that location. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

M Financial specializes in insurance and also offers wealth management and other services. The company did not disclose financial figures. A federal filing shows its wealth management arm had more than $1.1 billion in assets under management at the end of December 2022.

As M Financial has grown, Kumaresh said the company decided it needed to open a second location so it could better serve its clients around the world. It chose Dallas because of its growth as a financial center and because of its centrally located position. Dallas provides easy access to airports, while being in Uptown puts M Financial around the types of client the company wants to serve, he said.

“Dallas itself has grown, not just in Uptown but everywhere along the suburbs as well, so we’ll be able to attract all kinds of talent, so that is another big benefit we see,” Kumaresh said. “But our idea was that as we see more and more financial services companies [move to Uptown], that’s what drove us to think about Uptown as the place. The nature of the segments of customers, which is high net worth and ultra high net worth, also aligns with our philosophy of where the new location needs to be.”

The new space should also help attract talent. In recent years, Dallas-Forth Worth has grown to become the second-largest hub for financial workers in the country behind only New York, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Kumaresh said the company will look to partner with universities around the region to develop a talent pipeline.

Even though M Financial is a 46-year-old company, Kumaresh said the Dallas office feels like a startup and he expects it to grow quickly. While financial markets remain uneasy because of high interest rates and the upcoming presidential election, Kumaresh said trends for life insurance remain positive and demand is growing.

“People are living longer,” Kumaresh said. “One could look at it as a challenge. But an equally important point is there is so much more opportunity as we think about it from a product innovation standpoint. There is fundamental growth that’s happening in life insurance demand for the segments we serve as it continues to grow. The changing dynamics allow us to be a lot more innovative from a product solution standpoint.”