Charles Lesko, Sr. created the Lesko Agency in 1948, after working 12 years with a major insurance company. His new venture, established to offer not only the best insurance products, but also to help customers navigate their own financial journeys, began a tradition of distinctive customer service that continues to this day.
As an independent broker, he was free to offer his clients more than one insurance company’s line of products. From that point on, Lesko pioneered the vision of the client, not the company, as employer. Lesko’s motto summarized this unique perspective — “The Clients’ Interests Must Come First” — long before current regulations required it.
Even when he retired in 1962 and the business was handed down to his sons Charles, Jr. and Michael, the emphasis on the clients’ needs persevered, leading to new products and services in an increasingly complex financial universe.
In 1971, the renamed Lesko Financial Services, Inc. began laying the groundwork for financial planning services that were just beginning to evolve. As charter members of the National Association for Financial Planning, Lesko wrote individual financial plans and counseled clients on retirement and college planning, tax reduction and estate planning.
By 1980, Lesko Financial Services understood the growing need for professional, educational services in the financial industry. The firm further expanded its range and began providing financial planning and pre-retirement planning seminars to teachers, hospital workers and employees of many major corporations in our area. In addition to seminars, Lesko provided 401(k) pension and profit-sharing plan administration, retirement plan payroll deduction programs (403B) and other business services such as SIMPLE plans and group insurance benefits.
In 1981, Lesko Financial Services became a registered broker-dealer through its subsidiary Lesko Securities, Inc., enabling clients to buy and sell individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds, treasury issues and variable annuities.
In the late 1990s, Lesko began offering its clients another alternative to traditional commissioned brokerage services through a fee-based, fiduciary-mandated Investment Advisory services program.
In 2002, Charles, Sr.’s grandson, Gregory Lesko, rejoined the firm after graduating from law school and gaining years of financial and legal experience working for law firms and the legal department of a Federal Bank. Since 2004, Greg has served as both Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance officer, providing leadership and guidance in overseeing all company business.
After partnering in 2016 with custodian TD Ameritrade, known for industry leading technology, Lesko quickly grew Its Investment Advisory business to a level requiring SEC registration and regulation by 2017. The Investment Advisory program has continued to grow, with over $330 million* in client assets entrusted to it.
Today, with third-generation family members leading the way, more than 7000 household clients and over $1 billion* in assets under management, Lesko Financial Services has grown to be a leader in innovative, independent financial products and services. The firm continues to provide consumer education, including producing informative media segments that take complex ideas and make them tools every individual can understand.
A member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, and a staunch supporter of numerous local non-profit organizations, Lesko Financial Services is proud to serve its community.
With over 70 years of fiercely independent financial planning, Lesko continues to help clients customize their financial roadmap…navigating life’s journey.
*as of 12/31/21
Securities offered through Lesko Securities, Inc.