From Small Beginnings to Big Dreams

We were founded to serve others: our clients and our community.


Proving skeptics wrong since 2004

We’ve come further than anyone ever imagined, and we’ve still got BIG DREAMS for where we want to go. But no matter what, we’ll never forget where it all began, like so many entrepreneurial dreams do: as a big idea, sitting around the kitchen table.

After working in the industry for several years, Cody Foster and David Callanan knew independent financial professionals deserved more from their marketing partners.

That’s when they started thinking out loud about what an ideal partner should provide:

  • 1.

    Incredible service and support for every aspect of the business

  • 2.

    The ability to learn from producers who are more successful

  • 3.

    The best methods for getting new prospects and closing those prospects

  • 4.

    Integrity – delivering on every promise made

Cody and David, along with their third founding partner and friend, Derek Thompson, cashed in their 401(k) plans, took second mortgages on their homes and piled together every penny to their names — and they didn’t look back. They were determined to succeed because they believed in what they were trying to build.

Initial estimates pegged potential growth of Advisors Excel to 50 employees and $1 billion in annual paid production. The founders easily obliterated those goals through an uncompromising work ethic that focused on all aspects of advisors’ business operations.


Never Stop Growing

Our founders continue to push us to never settle for less than excellence. Our way of doing business transformed the entire financial services industry — and we aren’t done yet.

Oh, and remember those founding principles from around the kitchen table? They’re inscribed on a plaque in the lounge near the AE soda fountain in the main office building, hanging right next to the tabletop where our story began.


Cody Foster Founder

Cody Foster is a co-founder of Advisors Excel, an industry-leading marketing organization assisting independent insurance agents and financial advisors around the country.

He is originally from Stockton, Kansas, and graduated from Washburn University in 1999 with a degree in mass media.

Immediately out of college, Cody joined the financial services arena as the director of marketing for a corporately owned, national field marketing organization. With a passion to pursue something larger and help others succeed, he and close friends David Callanan and Derek Thompson opened the doors to Advisors Excel in 2005, chasing a dream to redefine their industry.

Cody and his wife, Jennifer, were married in September of 2001 and have two wonderful children, Dylan and Ella. Cody's involvement with his family and his responsibilities with Advisors Excel leave him limited time for other passions, but when such pockets are available, you'll find him pursuing his interest in real estate, tucked away in a great book or cheering on his beloved Kansas State University Wildcats.


David Callanan Founder

David Callanan is a co-founder of Advisors Excel, the nation's leading independent marketing organization assisting independent insurance agents and financial advisors around the country.

David is a native of Benton, Kansas, a small town just northeast of Wichita. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in management and marketing from Washburn University in 1998, entering the financial services industry the following year.

David served as director of annuity sales for a large, corporately owned insurance marketing organization. Under his guidance, the company's annuity volume skyrocketed from roughly $400 million to just under $1 billion in 2004. Convinced that there was simply more possible, David joined college friends Derek Thompson and Cody Foster in 2005 and formed Advisors Excel.

David and his wife, Karlun, were married in September of 2003 and have been blessed with two beautiful little girls, Chloe and Jolie. A die-hard University of Kansas fan, you can find David courtside, rooting for his Kansas Jayhawks when he is not soaking up time with family or friends.


Making a Difference

We understand how incredibly blessed we’ve been as an organization year after year. It’s our duty to give back to the community that helped us succeed from the start.

While Advisors Excel gives a significant dollar amount to worthy causes and organizations each year, we strive to do more than that. Each quarter, every employee spends time volunteering and helping advance one of our company’s key community engagement pillars:

  • Children & Education

  • Poverty

  • Hunger

  • Financial Literacy

  • Mental Health

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