By the time Deniz Franke had graduated from high school in her hometown of Istanbul, Turkey, she was already designing and producing her own fashion line. 

“I was only 18 years old, so I was kind of an entrepreneur from [the] get-go,” Franke recalls. 

It was that type of spirit that would take Franke around the world to the United States, into Tennessee’s Memphis University and on to be recognized as one of the top private wealth advisers in Iowa today. 

In her late teens, Franke joined her parents and immigrated to Memphis, where her older brother had already married and settled as a U.S. citizen. Her first goal — college — had a barrier Franke reckoned with immediately. 

“When I started college, I knew very, very little English, and I couldn’t even take the SAT or the ACT tests,” Franke said. “If I took 12 hours of credit, and if I kept a B-plus average, then I could convert to being a full-time student without taking those tests.” 

Franke lined up art, home economics, English language learning and physical education classes to lock in her first 12 credit hours in January 1980. She continued and graduated in December 1984 with two degrees in finance and marketing, and entered the accounting world.

“I went to bed with my dictionary every night, and I got up with it every morning,” Franke said. “You learn from that.” 

By 1988, Franke moved to Iowa with Michael, now her husband, and left accounting to become a certified financial planner with the company that is now Ameriprise Financial Services. Today, her clients know her at Franke Miller Group for thoroughly diving into their goals as she walks them through retirement planning. 

“Retiring is one thing, but retiring well is another thing,” Franke said. 

“We always talk, ‘What if?’ ” she added. “Even though it may sound negative at some point, unfortunately the most important thing in your life is to overcome that negativity with a positive result. That’s why we always want to get into that, to make sure they are not going to end up with that negativity, whatever that might be.

“I want to be able to take care of people just like I want to be taken care of. I can’t go wrong when I do that.”

Areas of Influence:

  • She has been ranked nationally by Forbes as Best in State Wealth Advisors 2018 and Forbes Top Women Wealth Advisors 2018. She has been a member of the Ameriprise Circle of Success from 2001 to 2017. 
  • She is a trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa and a supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the American Heart Association and the
  • Alzheimer’s Association, which closely affected her family.
  • She supports Junior League and the National Kidney Foundation and volunteers annually with her colleagues at the Food Bank of Iowa.