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January 27, 2020

3 Questions With Gordy Abel Of Dynasty Financial Partners
Fa Magazine

Gordy Abel is managing director and chief marketing officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, where he is responsible for all strategic brand architecture and marketing development, leveraging new marketing platforms, technology and data to build awareness and increasing customer value across various channels. [...]

Gordy Abel is managing director and chief marketing officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, where he is responsible for all strategic brand architecture and marketing development, leveraging new marketing platforms, technology and data to build awareness and increasing customer value across various channels.

What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
As Chief Marketing Officer at Dynasty, my team and I are laser focused on working closely with the advisors in our Network to help them effectively scale and grow their businesses. Each day is very active and we leverage our marketing tech-stack in three key areas: strategy development, team communication and marketing optimization.

Strategy Development
Marketing can be viewed as either a cost to the bottom line or an investment in business growth. We focus on making everything we do a strategic investment in the business. This requires the use of technology and data platforms to align marketing initiatives to business objectives in a way that is hyper targeted, contextually relevant and measured against key performance indicators on a routine basis.

Team Communication
Executing a marketing plan takes a village of experts and creative partnerships. The success or failure of our work often boils down to our ability to communicate new ideas, the progress of our work and to be agile in how we respond to updates and requests. Tech platforms that have sharable projects boards and management dashboards are a great way for teams to prioritize, communicate and distribute work across groups in a real-time environment.

Marketing Optimization
Eliminating waste and refining your marketing initiatives requires a tech stack that incorporates the right data sets for review. The vast amounts of data at our disposal can often be confusing and many times paralyzing to teams that are not familiar with what they are looking at. Establishing the metrics that mater and the key data points to review are critical. Having a robust metrics dashboard allows you to review campaign and traffic activity side by side to best understand where to optimize your plan.  

What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
The marketing tech stack and toolset is rapidly growing and evolving for the wealth management industry. I believe we will see a “democratization of data” as it relates to how we further refine prospecting segments, build stronger points of firm differentiation and create a more contextual, values-based client journey.

We will be able to integrate the behavioral data from how we engage with current clients to further inform the marketing plans we create to drive awareness, interest and consideration for new clients. Data will be the fuel that sparks creativity and allows us to build a stronger client experiences, loyalty and advocacy. This will take a shift in how we think about the current organizational structure of our marketing teams.

My vision is that in the next 2-5 years we will no longer have digital marketing teams, we will all become “marketing rechnologists” across all channels of marketing. 

How do you feel businesses are adapting to the facet of fintech that your company operates within?
This really is an exciting time for marketing technology adoption in the wealth management space. As we become more tech savvy in our personal lives, our teams are translating that usage to how we adapt new tech platforms to run and grow our businesses.

Over the past few years there were a select few people on our team and across our Dynasty Network that would explore, identify and implement new marketing tech tools. Today, we are having robust discussions with a wide range of internal colleagues, clients and external partners on new areas of technology and innovation. Believe it or not, this can often come from a tech platform advertisement they see on Instagram or Facebook.

We are seeing much higher levels of interest and education around the role technology can play in enhancing our marketing work and a much faster increase in speed to adoption. They key to all of this is to avoid what I call shiny object syndrome. It’s important to explore new tech, but you need to have a filter in place to quickly assess and decide what tech tools will provide value and those that will just burn calories.

January 27, 2020

Breaking Away: A Step-By-Step Guide to Going Independent
FA-IQ

The act of "breaking away" is not a single act at all: It is a series of decisions and actions that ultimately result in the launch of a new business. The brand-new can feel equal parts exciting and terrifying, and knowing what to do in the weeks and days before and after you depart from the wirehouse can feel confusing at times. [...]

The act of "breaking away" is not a single act at all: It is a series of decisions and actions that ultimately result in the launch of a new business. The brand-new can feel equal parts exciting and terrifying, and knowing what to do in the weeks and days before and after you depart from the wirehouse can feel confusing at times.

 

When do you tell the wirehouse your big news? When do you advertise for business? At what point do you establish the necessary infrastructure and systems in your new office space? And what about announcing your move to clients without bumping into compliance issues? The change can be exciting, but taking the proper steps will ensure a lawsuit- and blemish-free transition. Here are some tips.

 

Hire legal counsel

The top priority for anyone transitioning from a wirehouse to independence is to hire a legal team. Look for firms well-versed in breakaway-specific thorny issues, such as how to navigate communication with colleagues and clients without getting sued by your soon-to-be-former employer. The timeframe for this is flexible, but the sooner the better.

 

An experienced legal team can also provide cover for advisors during crucial steps in the process. In the case of 6 Meridian, a Wichita, Kan.-based RIA, their legal team secured a new office space under a separate name to insulate the new business from premature announcement or discovery.

 

Consider A Consultant or Strategic Partnership

Since there is so much to keep track of when planning your exit, advisors run the risk of burnout or fatigue. Attempting to manage this completely new process, all while maintaining your day job, can even lead some advisors to throw up their hands and abandon plans entirely.

 

The way to combat frustration, according to Sean Keenan, director of business development at BNY Mellon’s Pershing, is to hire a consultant or work with a strategic partner such as a custodian. This allows advisors “to hit the ground running,” says Keenan. “We go through an exhaustive exercise on different critical points. We want them to have the freedom to build an external brand.”

 

Pershing’s custodial services and consulting teams help newly independent firms with transition support, an open architecture platform, comprehensive wealth solutions, and technology. Custodians are among the first options for advisors looking for guidance as they work through this process.

 

The end goal is to help an advisor or team create the best business for their unique, specific needs. “We become that landing pad that allows them to launch a firm with minimal disruption and to be their partner along the way — not just during the transition, but well beyond the transition, to help them grow,” says Keenan.

 

Keep your team informed

Keeping a quiet, united front during a period of intense anticipation and change isn’t impossible. The key: communicate clearly and consistently. Kimberly Papedis, president and co-founder of Fusion Financial, says that with large teams, decision-makers run the risk of moving quickly and forgetting to keep everyone on the same page, which can sow discontent at a crucial time.

 

"Not that everyone has a vote, but it’s about constant communication. No one likes to be left in the dark," she says. “Keeping your advisors informed is a great way to ensure that they feel like they’re included and being heard — and ensure that they’ll move with you."

 

Setting up your systems

Always remember to keep the end goal in mind. Define what your team needs to set up a new, self-contained operation. Assess your back-office needs — such as the tech stack, compliance programs, processes, and procedures — keeping in mind your team’s strengths and the service(s) you want to provide clients. Know how you will establish the proper infrastructure to get everything up and running.

 

Next up, begin sketching out your marketing and PR strategies and brand DNA, clearly outlining expectations around the roles that digital marketing and media will play.

 

Teams also need to consider "basic blocking and tackling like office space, and where you’re going to sit," says Ed Swenson, chief operating officer of Dynasty Financial Partners.

 

But all the technological bells and whistles in the world render themselves meaningless if they do not fit with your new systems and resonate with your staff and clients. The best way to avoid a tech snafu is to work with a strategic partner or technology provider to ensure staff is adequately trained and fluent in the software and systems and able to translate them accurately for interaction with clients.

 

 

“Keeping your advisors informed is a great way to ensure that they feel like they're included and being heard — and ensure that they'll move with you.”
Kimberly Papedis
Fusion Financial

Know what you want and stay the course 

If you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, that knowledge will see you through the natural periods of nervousness and anxiety which come with any big life-changing event – like breaking away. Margaret Dechant, partner and founder of 6 Meridian, recalls reminding herself and her team they were all going to something rather than leaving something behind.

 

Admitting that breaking away is not for the weak, she advises, "You have to have a vision and a strong desire to be bigger, better, faster, stronger. It’s a very detailed process. And what kept us moving was the fact that we knew what we wanted, and that was to own our own business and do better things for our clients and our people."

 

Loose lips sink ships

During the final days leading up to departure, fatigue and worry can set in. Be sure not to let slip news of your departure to clients or colleagues before the time is right. Anxiety over whether clients will follow is valid. But it’s essential to keep mum until counsel gives you the go-ahead because the repercussions of a leak could be far worse than any anxiety.

 

"It is critical that you follow the rules," says Dechant, who understands wanting to call a top client to gauge interest in moving with you because walking out the door and starting at zero is frightening. "There’s no substitute for doing it the right way, because this is a difficult but rewarding process. And if you have a lawsuit thrown in the middle of it, I can’t even imagine what that’s like."

 

Carve out an economic model and follow it closely

Swenson also stresses getting an economic model and accounting structure in place. “A very important part is what is the economic entity — this new company — what are the economics going to look like at scale?”

 

According to Dynasty Financial Partners, on average, firms can expect 50% of assets to come across in three months and 90% to come across in six months post-breakaway, so a careful tracking of your new firm’s economic model is important.

 

"After months six to 12, it’s very important to be disciplined and track towards those goals — those milestones from an economic perspective," says Joe Rizzo, director of RIA growth strategies for Dynasty Financial Partners. "With our network partners, they get to a six month or one year mark, and they understand the financials."

 

Reshuffle, reevaluate, repurpose

When finally you can breathe easy post-breakaway, it’s a great time to reevaluate your team and consider how they might be better utilized. Clients with Dynasty are encouraged to look at the middle- and back-office to review the structure and process around engagement.

 

"You might find that there’s more streamlined workflow because of Dynasty’s partnership," says Rizzo. "That means you might be able to repurpose someone to a role that’s focused on business development, versus keeping them in an operational role."

January 09, 2020

Dynasty, Envestnet Partner Up With Advisor Exchange Offering
Family Wealth Report

The exchange, going live later in 2020, is the sort of offering that plays to a range of demands that advisors now have, such as a requirement for capital growth, transition plans and exits, help with technology, and other forms of support. US-based wealth management systems firm Envestnet has set up an exchange alongisideDynasty Financial Partners that gives advisors tools [...]

Dynasty, Envestnet Partner Up With Advisor Exchange Offering

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , January 9, 2020

 

The exchange, going live later in 2020, is the sort of offering that plays to a range of demands that advisors now have, such as a requirement for capital growth, transition plans and exits, help with technology, and other forms of support.

 

US-based wealth management systems firm Envestnet has set up an exchange alongisideDynasty Financial Partners that gives advisors tools to grow their firms - highlighting how the sector is changing.

 

The offering, called the Advisor Services Exchange, is due to be launched later in 2020, Dynasty and Envestnet said in a statement yesterday. 

 

"We're doubling down on our commitment to -- and investment in -- financial advisors, and we're proud to partner with Dynasty to fulfill it. Through the Advisor Services Exchange, we believe Envestnet's clients will be able to save time on day-to-day business management activity, and bolster their services to deliver comprehensive, unified advice,” Aaron Bauer, head of wealth strategy at Envestnet, said.

 

The exchange gives Envestnet clients the ability to use services available to Dynasty network firms, such as access to growth capital, business management tools, marketing services and outsourced CFO services.

 

As part of the partnership, Envestnet will make a minority investment in Florida-based Dynasty, a business now overseeing a total of more than $40 billion of client assets.

 

Dynasty and Envestnet are firms that have ridden the wave of trends such as launches of new registered investment advisors, RIA mergers and acquisitions, and owners’ need for business transition options and capital. In the background is a transformation of the North American wealth management market amid an expected $30 trillion transfer of wealth in coming years as the Baby Boom generation passes on.

January 09, 2020

Why The Envestnet- Dynasty deal matters
Financial Planning

Envestnet’s minority stake in Dynasty Financial Partners marks a critical strategic juncture for the industry powerhouses. In the near-term, the two companies will launch a joint Advisor Services Exchange later this year, offering Envestnet clients access to capital, marketing services and outsourced investment and financial services. Longer term, the deal may help both firms address key growth issues. [...]

Envestnet’s minority stake in Dynasty Financial Partners marks a critical strategic juncture for the industry powerhouses.

In the near-term, the two companies will launch a joint Advisor Services Exchange later this year, offering Envestnet clients access to capital, marketing services and outsourced investment and financial services. Longer term, the deal may help both firms address key growth issues.

Envestnet’s partnership with Dynasty will give the industry’s leading TAMP and software provider greater access to the fast-growing RIA market. Dynasty, which leads the industry as a platform provider for breakaway brokers, already partners with 45 firms with combined assets of around $40 billion.

“This is a smart services expansion for Envestnet,” says industry analyst Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. “It ties the leading-edge technology platform with additional services many independent financial advisors are looking for.”


The Envestnet-Dynasty partnership appears to be “strategically, a natural fit,” says Joel Bruckenstein, founder of the technology conference T3. “Advisors that use the [Dynasty] services will grow more rapidly. That should lead to more assets on the Envestnet platform.”

Dynasty, meanwhile, gains a prominent, well-capitalized partner that helps validate the 10-year old company’s business model.

Envestnet, which has revenues of $870 million in the trailling twelve month period and a market capitalization of $3.87 billion, will become Dynasty’s first institutional investor, joining such prominent private investors as Harvey Golub, the former head of American Express, and former SEC chair Bill Donaldson, a co-founder of the Wall Street firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Bill Crager, Envestnet’s interim CEO, will take a seat on Dynasty’s board.

Envestnet also participated in Dynasty’s most recent round of capital funding. Dynasty CEO Shirl Penney declined to say how much Envestnet invested, saying only that all the company’s stakeholders invested a “meaningful” sum.

“This wasn’t about the money,” Penney says. “It’s more about a partnership with an innovative company that will help Dynasty grow. It helps them better serve and take care of their clients and helps us build new services to take care of our clients.”

January 06, 2020

Why Advisors are Really Going Independent
Nasdaq.com

There is a little known stimulus behind the current trend of advisors breaking away from wirehouses. [...]

There is a little known stimulus behind the current trend of advisors breaking away from wirehouses. While many cite freedom of operations and compensation as key reasons for leaving wirehouses, one of the big driving forces is much less appreciated: the requests of clients themselves. According to Shirl Penney, CEO of RIA network Dynasty Financial Partners, “Clients are not simply following their advisors, but sometimes giving them the idea to break free … That’s the dirty little secret that not a lot have been talking about”. High net worth clients increasingly want their advice separated from the manufacturers of the products they buy, which means going independent makes sense for advisors. “So if you’re a million-dollar client of one of our advisors, you now can get independent advice, separate and safe custody and products from around the street the same way that may have been reserved for a billionaire 20 years ago”, according to Penney.
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December 11, 2019

What's the Secret Behind Dynasty's Growth?
Financial Advisor IQ

Average size of firm joining the platform has jumped from $250m-$300m nine years ago to almost $750 million today. [...]

View the link to watch the video.

December 05, 2019

RIA Owners Need to Sell and Take the Cash Before It's Too Late
RIA Intel

To the detriment of clients and the industry, advisors refuse to acknowledge a window of opportunity, according to observers. [...]

Stuart Silverman understands the challenges owners face in selling their RIA. He sold four different businesses before he became president of Bluespring Wealth Partners, a company Kestra Financial formed early this year to acquire RIAs.

“This is their baby. Their clients have become their friends and people they love. No one can do it as well as you, is the perception. But ultimately, it’s like managing a portfolio, you have to know when to sell,” Silverman told RIA Intel.

There is a window of time when it makes sense to sell an RIA and that timing is lost on owners holding out too long. Some advisors are anticipating a rising market will continue to make client portfolios more valuable, generate more revenue, and validate a higher sale price. Others are in denial that after a certain point, their RIA will become a deteriorating business, if it hasn’t already, Silverman said.

The vast majority of RIAs charge clients a percentage fee based on the assets they manage. It can be mighty lucrative. But clients tend to be older than their financial advisor and most RIAs struggle to grow organically at all. So, the day the collective decumulation of client wealth outpaces the flow of new money coming into an RIA, that firm is worth less and less thereafter.

“It's been interesting how many sellers are holding on,” said Kyle Campbell, the vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Independent Advisor Alliance (IAA), a wealth manager that oversees $8.6 billion and is affiliated with LPL Financial.

“Why do you think your business is going to be worth more in 10 years? What makes you think that?” he poses to advisors. “It's interesting to me how many sellers have not considered, what I feel, is just a basic way of looking at your practice.” 

For those reasons and others, observers are urging RIA owners to consider selling sooner rather than later. 

To be sure, it is self-serving for RIA buyers, like Bluespring and IAA, as well as lenders and others, to encourage transactions that could benefit them. But they argue time is of the essence for all stakeholders; sellers, buyers, and investors.

The broad unwillingness to sell is creating some perverse circumstances in the industry. Owners risk losing a handsome multiple attached to their business today while infatuated with hope for a better one in the future. As a result, internal and external buyers are struggling to agree with sellers on the value of RIAs, a delay that can have its own consequences.

Waiting too long to share equity and higher compensation with an internal successor can jeopardize their ability to afford to buy the RIA, further straining a would-be transaction. Successors might then choose to join another wealth manager over sticking around and gambling on when an owner will decide they want to sell.

The situation has caused meaningful rifts between RIA owners and any internal heir apparent, according to observers. Potential external buyers are even more apt to move on and find another opportunity, even in a seller’s market.

All of the above could disrupt an RIA and potentially harm the client experience. If things get bad enough, some might even leave, compounding those problems.

Those pitfalls might partly explain why few succession plans exist. It’s a tough decision that’s easy to delay acting upon. The overwhelming majority of RIAs (92%) are considering an internal succession plan, according to Charles Schwab’s 2019 RIA Benchmarking Study. But only 13% of firms said developing or enhancing a succession plan was a top-three priority, making it the least favorable.

“I think the disconnect here is that people in our industry really like what they do and they like the clients they do it for. You add recurring revenue on top of it, with a pretty reasonable work week, and the plan becomes, ‘I’m just going to do it for another five years.’ We call it the rolling 5-year plan,” said David Grau Sr., the president and founder of FP Transitions, a consultant to RIAs.

FP Transitions, founded 21 years ago, has done over 12,500 valuations for advisors but in a given year, no two are similar, Grau said. 

Some owners call and want a clean break; a sale of their business to another wealth manager and to be retired in a matter of weeks. Others want to at least feel like they are a part of the business but are willing to give up their equity in exchange for relief from their once daily duties.

The advent of lenders offering traditional loans to advisors several years ago has made for better deal structures and it continues to gain traction, said Rob Perry, the chief credit officer at SkyView Partners, a Minneapolis-based company that matches RIAs with a network of banks willing to give advisors traditional loans.

Up until only about seven years ago, advisors in need of money to buy another wealth management business relied almost exclusively on seller notes to finance the transactions. With a traditional loan, an owner typically receives most of their payout upfront and the remainder is held in an escrow account until the other terms of the deal are met, including, for example, the transfer of their clients to the new owners. 

“Sellers tend to think they are more important to the business or the transaction than they are,” Campbell said. But banks like to spread the risk of the loan around as much as they can. With money in escrow, the owner is incentivized to help the buyer and complete the transition.

Traditional loans are a sign of a maturing industry, according to Ed Swenson, chief operating officer of Dynasty Financial Partners.  “We don’t find it surprising that more traditional lenders are getting into the space. In the next several years we expect to see the private equity and venture capital providers being replaced by more traditional lenders with much lower costs of capital.” 

Still, the urgency to at least consider a sale – and new ways to finance them – feels like a mysterious unknown to advisors.

“It has been almost miraculous to see how uninformed the average advisor is. To the point where it made me wonder, are the banks, those traditional lenders, just not spending enough marketing dollars?” Campbell said. 

“It’s never been better to get a loan. I think every advisor should be looking at lending as a viable option.”

November 26, 2019

How New SEC Rules Would Disorder the Internet as Advisors Know It
RIA Intel

Two weeks ago, Justin Barish, the vice president of Digital Marketing at Dynasty Financial Partners, was reminded again that the rules governing advertisements for financial advisors are dated. [...]

Two weeks ago, Justin Barish, the vice president of Digital Marketing at Dynasty Financial Partners, was reminded again that the rules governing advertisements for financial advisors are dated.

At Charles Schwab’s Impact conference, where thousands of RIAs gather to learn from and receive an annual update from the custodian, Barish encountered a wide spectrum of advisor interpretations on what ads are permitted and where. Some RIAs are running sophisticated, digital ad campaigns targeting prospective clients, like ones Barish creates for RIAs affiliated with Dynasty. Others thought that practice was illegal (it is not).

“We’ve been living for years in gray space where the rules don't necessarily mirror or aren’t written for the modern digital world, which puts advisors in a place where the rules are very much open to interpretation,” Barish said.

He was happy to hear that on Nov. 4 the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed overhauling those rules. The last time any substantial changes related to advisors and advertisements were made to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 was 1961, the SEC states in the proposal. 

The regulator also plans to amend a separate rule pertaining to advisors and cash solicitations adopted in 1979. 

“I think, frankly, the change will democratize the digital advertising space,” Barish said. More conservative RIAs, leery of advertising without an explicit blessing by FINRA or the SEC, have been at a disadvantage, according to Barish. Clarity from regulators on ads can only help advisors.

Still, “with any rule, there are two sides to every coin,” he told RIA Intel.

It is easy to foresee some consequences of the SEC’s proposed rule in its current form. Allowing advisors to use testimonials (a practice currently illegal) would undoubtedly lead to “cheesy endorsement ads,” Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig pointed out. 

The new rules will also permit advisors to use their performance and other third-party ratings in advertisements, under certain conditions. 

“We believe that consumers’ ability to seek out reviews and other information, as well as their interest in doing so, when evaluating products and services has changed since the adoption of the current rule,” the SEC says in its proposal.

Assuming the rules become reality, the prospect of RIAs using third-party ratings and reviews in ads could upend the Internet as advisors know it. There is no truly objective, comprehensive, and authoritative online guide to private wealth managers aimed at helping investors discover and choose one.

A sort of Wirecutter for advisors is probably impossible. But there might be a robust attempt at something similar. If the proposed rules go into effect, and advisors suddenly care more about ratings and reviews, companies will find a way to profit from that new market.

The new rules would also allow advisors to pay for ratings and reviews – endorsements but instead of a pop star singing their praise, it might just be simple, preferential placement amongst others by a third-party review website.

Aside from the nature of the reviews, there might be a lot more of them in the future that will inevitably alter the online landscape for advisors, big and small.

“Because of this change to the law, the way that the [search engine] algorithms work is going to change. The businesses that are ranking today may not have the top position in the future because we’re going to see such a large influx,” Barish said.

Google and other search engines prize the data stemming from online ratings and reviews and use it to rank businesses in their search results.

At least one study supports that. Among a list of factors that impact local search results, signals from Google My Business, which includes Google Reviews, were the strongest, with a weight of influence at 25.12%. Other reviews online, including their quantity, velocity and diversity, were weighted 15.44%, according to a 2018 report by Moz, a software company that enables businesses to analyze and increase the visibility of their websites in search results, and consequently drive more visitors to them.

The rise of third-party review websites is feasible, according to Barish. Older attempts at this for advisors “lacked sophistication” but some relatively new third-parties have already had success making themselves visible to the thousands of investors online looking for a local financial advisor. 

Last year, Focus Financial Partners, the serial RIA acquirer, led a $28 million fundraising round for SmartAsset, which used the money to build over 300,000 public profiles of RIAs and create a client-lead generation tool for financial advisors called SmartAdvisor. Those profiles and other SmartAsset web pages that list “top” advisors in cities across the country are the first to show up after paid advertisements.

SmartAsset did not say whether it planned to include reviews or ratings for advisors on its website but the company is well aware of the proposed changes.

“The proposed SEC rule change regarding customer reviews and testimonials for investment and financial advisors is a new development that we're keeping a close eye on. High-quality reviews of investment and financial advisors should help consumers make smarter decisions and allow financial advisors to better connect with new investors,” Michael Carvin, cofounder and CEO of SmartAsset, said in a statement.

Similar to SmartAsset, Expertise.com also ranks well for searches online for local financial advisors. Expertise.com could not be reached to comment.

Wealth managers who can modernize their business and leverage the power of the Internet have much to gain, Jud Mackrill, the chief marketing officer of Carson Group, said. Part of his responsibility is to help optimize advisors’ websites so that they are more visible online. He is also watching to see what impact the SEC’s proposed rules will have.

But, like Barish, he wonders about unintended consequences. “I do worry about people who will abuse it,” he said.

The SEC also acknowledged this in its proposal and said disclosures and other safeguards could mitigate that.

“We believe that testimonials, endorsements, and third-party ratings can be useful and important for investors when evaluating investment advisers. Yet, we recognize that there are circumstances in which this type of information might mislead investors by, for example, failing to provide important context in which the statement or rating was made,” the proposal states.

Ranking well for local searches can be meaningful for smaller firms, too. Taylor Schulte, the founder of Define Financial, a fee-only RIA based in San Diego that manages $69 million, said he’s put in a lot of effort to craft webpages and improve their appearance in search engine results. For example, Schulte’s website typically ranks high when searching Google for “financial advisor San Diego.”

That and other search terms that rank well generate about 75% of his firm’s prospects, he said. In 2017, visitors used his website to schedule about 100 phone calls with him and 14 became clients. Since then, he’s made changes to his site to reduce the number while improving the quality of the leads.

As of Wednesday, Define Financial had only eight Google Reviews. Schulte said that prospects might be using them as a way to validate his business but he didn’t think reviews alone were driving or deterring anyone. He didn’t know what level of impact a potential flood of online reviews for others would have on his business.

RIAs shouldn’t focus solely on SEO and engaging in a race to impress Google and earn a high ranking. Reviews and ratings, in whatever form, also give investors a form of “social proof” that an advisor exists and has clients that seem to be happy, according to Lee Delahoussaye, the founder and chief consultant of marketing firm Mindtap.

In the event a flood of advisor reviews and ratings reorders which advisors are visible and which ones aren’t, it could help Delahoussaye’s business. As long as changes are better for investors, he said he’s in favor of it. But in the meantime, all anyone can do is watch, wait and prepare.

“My advice would be watch. And get with your compliance people, make sure they are aware this is coming, and make sure that if it does happen, that you don't have to wait for them to digest the rule and give the clearance.”

November 25, 2019

Schwab seals deal for TD Ameritrade, eyes $2bn in cost cuts
CityWire

Charles Schwab will buy rival TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion all-stock transaction in hopes that it will result in cost savings of up to $2 billion by the end of year three. [...]

Charles Schwab said it has agreed to buy rival TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion all-stock transaction that would reshape the wealth management landscape. The proposed deal was first reported last week.

One result of combining the brokerages would be cost savings of up to $2 billion within the next three years, according to Schwab's presentation deck. This would represent up to 65% of TD Ameritrade's expense base or up to 20% of the blended company's cost base.

Expense savings would come primarily from consolidated technology and marketing spending, geographic footrpint rationalization and workforce overlap, the presentation said. During a conference call, executives with both companies were pretty tight-lipped about where cuts would come from and when, saying that more details would come out once the integration process is underway.

The deal would bring over to Schwab an estimated 12 million client accounts, $1.3 trillion in assets and $5 billion a year in revenue. Altogether, the combined firm would serve about 24 million brokerage accounts with more than $5 trillion in client assets.

Schwab, with more than 7,500 RIA clients, and TD Ameritrade, with more than 7,000 RIA clients, are the No. 1 and No. 2 custodians by that metric.

The combination means significant changes are in store for RIAs, particularly those custodying at TD Ameritrade, although executives said there is ‘considerable overlap’ in terms of clients custodying assets at both companies.

Meanwhile, leaders across the RIA space have already been thinking through what a Schwab-TD Ameritrade behemoth would mean for their businesses. Shirl Penney, chief executive of Dynasty Financial Partners, whose partner firms custody about $20 billion with Schwab, called the possible tie-up an 'incredible inflection point' for the RIA industry. 

Schwab and TD Ameritrade expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2020 and for integration efforts to begin thereafter.

The integration of the two firms is expected to take between 18 and 36 months and cost $1.6 billion, following the close of the transaction. Schwab's chief operating officer Joe Martinetto will oversee the integration initiative, to be assisted by a team from Schwab and TD Ameritrade.

Walt Bettinger, Schwab president and chief executive, said on the conference call that Schwab is focused on the long term orientation of the combined firm as well as the longterm implications for retail and RIA clients. He said Schwab is particularly 'excited' to bring on board TD Ameritrade's talent and technological capabilities. 

TD Ameritrade's board of directors suspended its CEO search to replace outgoing Tim Hockey and named Stephen Boyle, chief financial officer, as the company’s interim president and CEO. Effective immediately, Boyle will take the helm of the company, guiding its management team through its fiscal 2020 plan and the proposed integration with Schwab.

November 15, 2019

Access to capital is table stakes but more is coming, RIA giants say
Citywire

Dynasty Financial Partners chief executive Shirl Penney and Mariner Wealth Advisors chief executive Marty Bicknell said deals are about more than capital and predicted more capital is coming. [...]

The heads of two of the largest companies in the RIA industry are arguing that access to capital has become table stakes as the industry matures and as buyers and sellers alike wisen up to other factors involved in making good deals.

That's not to say anyone's turning off the money faucet anytime soon.

Mariner Wealth Advisors chief executive Marty Bicknell and Dynasty Financial Partners chief executive Shirl Penney spoke during an Advisor Growth Strategies webinar on how the mergers and acquisitions landscape has changed and what’s in store for advisors in the near future.

But growing into a healthy company isn't all about dealmaking.

Penney said there are now roughly 675 RIAs with north of $1 billion in assets under management and that, for the most part, those practices have evolved into businesses through a combination of organic and inorganic growth.

'It’s very difficult to grow for a sustained period of time at north of say, 20%, organically,' Penney said. Firms growing in the 10% to 12% range organically and that layer some M&A activity on top will continue to win at a disproportionate pace going forward, he added.

Bicknell said the lack of organic growth among firms in the industry is a real issue.

'There are very few firms that are growing beyond what the market is giving us for growth,' he said. 'Those firms that can demonstrate true organic growth ... are rare and are going to drive a higher valuation and probably attract a higher number of potential firms out looking to acquire them.'

According to Advisor Growth Strategies’ inaugural RIA Deal Room study, the largest RIAs are growing at roughly twice the annual rate of their smaller counterparts. Additionally, a barbell has formed in the industry, with 5.4% of firms controlling nearly 63.2% of assets under management as of the end of 2017.

 

 

Brandon Kawal, principal of Advisor Growth Strategies, said during the webinar that the ten largest acquiring brands did more than 42% of the deals from 2016 through 2018 examined for the study.

Meanwhile, 2019 has been a record-breaking year already in terms of the number of deals. More opportunities means more capital in play.

When it comes to the options now available to RIAs for financing and capital, Penney said there can be too much of a good thing.

'The good news for the RIA space, from a capital perspective, is the space is definitely discovered,' he said. 'There are more options now than ever, but that’s also part of the challenge. I really think people need to take the time to get educated.'

Penney predicted there will be more activity in the coming years by advisor-led and advisor-owned firms that are well capitalized -- not necessarily by private equity -- and focused on building a national brand.

He also said in the event of a market downturn, a handful of firms that have up to this point been 'very disciplined with capital' will open up their coffers and start making moves.

Similarly, Bicknell said he would expect upper-tier firms to take outside capital to fuel deals in the next two to three years, especially if there's a downturn. 'The pressure is there for growth and not all firms have the same access to capital as others,' he said.

According to the Advisor Growth Strategies study, prospective buyers face higher barriers to entry than ever before, as the average deal included nearly 50% cash consideration with 60% of that cash provided at closing.

‘Prospective buyers should be ready to put several million dollars down on a meaningful purchase, or they will not be competitive,’ the study said.
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December 21, 2018

Charitable Giving in the Face of Tragedy
Wealthmanagement.com

By Jeremy Zoladz ‘Tis the season of giving. From red kettles to toy drives, there are reminders everywhere—the spirit is in the air. With the recent natural disasters and an increased awareness of social issues, many have been moved to possibly give even more than the record $410 billion in 2017 (according to Giving USA). Planned or unplanned, how do your clients give more tax efficiently? After all, this results in more [...]

December 20, 2018

Warning for Wirehouse FAs: So-Called Sunset Agreements Aren’t Always in Your Best Interest
Financial Advisor IQ

It’s no secret that wirehouse firms want to keep their advisors captive. Protocol departures, shoring up non-solicitation agreements, deferring compensation, and mandating garden leave for those who choose to move to a competitor are strategies designed to stave off attrition. [...]

t’s no secret that wirehouse firms want to keep their advisors captive. Protocol departures, shoring up non-solicitation agreements, deferring compensation, and mandating garden leave for those who choose to move to a competitor are strategies designed to stave off attrition.

And, taking things another step further, more than ever, these firms are encouraging advisors — young and old — to sign on to their succession programs. This is essentially asking advisors to commit the next decade or more to the firm — selling off their businesses and clients at the same time.

Agreeing to spend significant time in place is a decision not to be taken lightly — especially at a time when the landscape of the industry continues to evolve and brokerage firms are doing everything they can to gain as much control of their advisor force as possible.

For the advisor nearing retirement or the next gen given the opportunity to take over a significant book of business from the retiring advisor, these so-called “sunset programs” can be win-win situations — provided all are confident their firm is the right place for key stakeholders and they are willing to accept any and all changes that come down the pike.

But the fact of the matter is these agreements further bind the next gen and their clients to the firm, without control or choice — the net effects of which often include the following:

Cash payments can be deferred for at least five years after the senior advisor retires.
The next gen loses optionality and value, especially if they are bound by a garden leave, making client portability significantly more challenging.
As more advisors are tied up by their firms, the more expensive they become to recruit, and the less enterprise value their businesses have overall.
Client attrition can increase, alienated by being sold to the firm without their knowledge or permission.
And perhaps most strikingly, these retiring advisor programs have the potential of turning a wirehouse advisor — who has control over his business and the way clients are served — into a private banker who serves at the discretion of management, without ownership or control over his business.

These efforts to transform “free-will” advisors into “captive” employees could create a new generation of “stuck” advisors who have little control and far less autonomy — shifting the balance of power from the advisor to the firm and limiting any leverage the advisors have.

For both the advisor looking at a sunset program and the next gen in line, it’s important to recognize that alternatives exist in which the senior advisor can still monetize their life’s work while allowing the successor to retain a more certain level of control over their future.

The alternative that represents the path of least resistance would be to move to another wirehouse -- which may enable everyone to take chips off the table, but would likely put the next gen in a comparable “employee status” role, with all the limitations attached to it.

Regional and boutique firms are valid alternatives for advisors who still want to be employees. These firms tend to be less bureaucratic and heavy-handed than their wirehouse counterparts and are often the right option for advisors who are not interested in being business owners.

For those who do want to be business owners and have maximum control, the RIA space has gained mainstream validation as an option for advisors of all sizes, especially those managing assets in excess of a billion dollars.

While concerns over the work involved with building a firm deterred many from exploring independence in the past, an entire cottage industry born to support breakaways has emerged, with service providers and custodians making transitions and start-up easier than ever before. Plus, many sources of capital have flocked to the space for those who want to capitalize early on or buy down equity over time.

The RIA space offers key benefits for advisors, their businesses and clients, including:

More customization, freedom, ultimate control, and the flexibility to retire when and how the advisor desires.
The ability for an advisor to build a legacy and equity, the latter of which can be monetized at a higher multiple with more favorable tax treatment. (Multiples of EBITDA range from five to nine times on RIAs, dependent upon size, predictability of revenue, and growth rates.)
Clients benefit by access to superior technology solutions and more choice, as RIAs can shop the whole of the market.
Right now, it’s a seller’s market where advisors hold all the cards, but if the scale tips — and the balance of power shifts to the firms — this paves the way for firms to deploy more draconian control tactics — such as capping advisor comp or going to salary-bonus altogether.

All wirehouse advisors — whether signing these succession agreements or not — need to pay attention to the writing on the wall. As more advisors become captive, the less leverage, optionality and control the entire advisor population will have.

By all means, no one should allow complacency or inertia to drive the process — now is the time to wake up and regain control.

December 19, 2018

Advisor Shortage? What Advisor Shortage?
Financial Advisor IQ

Excuse me, did Todd Thomson just say there too many financial advisors, not too few? Puncturing one of the RIA industry’s most widely-accepted axioms, the Dynasty Financial Partners chairman did indeed make that assertion at the recent MarketCounsel Summit in Las Vegas. Contrary to ominous reports of a talent shortage, Thomson said, too many advisors are serving too few clients. [...]

Excuse me, did Todd Thomson just say there too many financial advisors, not too few?

Puncturing one of the RIA industry’s most widely-accepted axioms, the Dynasty Financial Partners chairman did indeed make that assertion at the recent MarketCounsel Summit in Las Vegas. Contrary to ominous reports of a talent shortage, Thomson said, too many advisors are serving too few clients.

Conventional wisdom has held that as advisors get older and retire, too few younger people are taking their place, leaving the industry with a dearth of talent.

But Thomson pointed to a report by Cerulli Associates showing that 72% of the over 18,000 independent advisory firms (many of them solo practices) have assets under management under $100 million. However, the combined assets of those advisors only account for 7% of total industry assets.


 
Dynasty Financial Partners Chairman Todd Thomson discusses RIA myths at the MarketCounsel Summit in Las Vegas.Jab Buhay, Life In Vegas Photography

Meanwhile, according to Cerulli, 60% of RIA assets are held by firms with over $1 billion in AUM, yet those assets are serviced by less than 4% of advisors. What’s more, 73% of all RIA assets are held by advisory firms with between $500 million and over $1 billion in assets.

“All [those] firms have to do is increase the assets they manage by less than 10% and you literally wouldn’t need any of the [smaller] firms,” Thomson said in a subsequent interview with Financial Planning.

Thomson made clear that he didn’t think solo practices would or should go out of business. “I’m not suggesting that there won’t be an ongoing role for smaller firms,” he said.


Quote"We have way more firms than we need," says Dynasty Chairman Todd Thomson.
But Thomson did point out that as larger firms continue to grow and leverage professional management, scale and technology — not to speak of the coming artificial intelligence revolution — they will be able to absorb more and more clients.

“There’s plenty of capacity in the industry to absorb that migration,” the Dynasty executive maintained.

As a result, “we certainly don’t have a crisis of not enough talent,” said Thomson, who was CEO of Citigroup’s Global Wealth management division before co-founding Dynasty 10 years ago. “Instead, we have way more firms than we need.”

To be sure, Thomson’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, it’s in Dynasty’s self-interest to boost large firms who are the platform provider’s clients.

Nonetheless, the facts Thomson cites are real, forcing the industry to re-examine a heretofore unchallenged shibboleth: Are there really too few advisors? Or too many?

December 13, 2018

Most Indie-Bound FAs Want to Transition by 2020
Financial Advisor IQ

More than half of advisors planning on going fully independent would like to transition between 2019 and 2020, according to Charles Schwab’s Spectrum of Advisor Independence Study, released Wednesday. A further one-third of surveyed advisors are keen to break away after 2020, the study notes. And a vast majority of advisors say they are interested in independence for the increased freedom and control it affo [...]

More than half of advisors planning on going fully independent would like to transition between 2019 and 2020, according to Charles Schwab’s Spectrum of Advisor Independence Study, released Wednesday. A further one-third of surveyed advisors are keen to break away after 2020, the study notes. And a vast majority of advisors say they are interested in independence for the increased freedom and control it affords their businesses, the study reveals.

Gaining control of an advice practice was a main reason David Jumper, partner of $846 million HPM Partners, left Deutsche Bank for independence, he says. Jumper has equity interest in HPM Partners, and this creates incentive to “want to see the firm grow and prosper,” he says. At the big banks and broker dealers, that incentive just isn’t present, he suggests.

Yet the search for higher pay and prospects of career improvement are also key drivers for advisors moving to independence. For Jumper, the prospect of career advancement factored into his exit from Deutsche Bank.

“Knowing that I have a long runway in front of me was very important in my decision to go to HPM Partners” he says. Going to an independent RIA can even create incentive to help another struggling partner because “the rising tide lifts all boats,” he claims.

But not every advisor wants independence. Advisors may be forgoing independence because of a lack of understanding of what independence might truly bring, the study’s authors suggest.

One-third of advisors choosing not to go independent forgo breaking away because they are uncertain about the benefits of the RIA model, study data reveals. The study also shows more than 20% of advisors avoid independence because they are not confident their clients will follow.

Speaking with FA-IQ at the Charles Schwab conference in Washington, D.C., Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners, shares his insights into the movement towards independence and how it may continue to develop... 
(Click link to view video)

November 29, 2018

Drive growth today and be positioned to thrive in future markets
Investment News

Recent market volatility may have just done you a favor. It's a potent reminder that the bull market is long in the tooth. Hopefully, all of this volatility has you asking yourself: Is your business prepared not only to weather a prolonged market slowdown, but to thrive in it? Chances are, if you're not built to thrive — to achieve exponential growth — today, yo [...]

Drive growth today and be positioned to thrive in future markets
 
6-7 minutes

Recent market volatility may have just done you a favor.

It's a potent reminder that the bull market is long in the tooth. Hopefully, all of this volatility has you asking yourself: Is your business prepared not only to weather a prolonged market slowdown, but to thrive in it?

Chances are, if you're not built to thrive — to achieve exponential growth — today, you're not going to thrive in a changing market. In fact, your very survival could be threatened.

Chief executive officers of RIAs who design their firms for sustained and consistent growth today could actually benefit from a market slowdown. These firms have focused on building clearly defined competitive advantages. They provide client experiences that go far beyond expectations; they have the people, tech-enabled processes and overall positioning in place to win and retain coveted clients today, and they will be ideally situated to capture market share from weaker competitors when the markets change. It's conceivable that these well-positioned firms could grow faster in a downturn than they do today. It's the age-old story: survival of the fittest.

The country's most successful RIAs aggressively address any issues that could constrain their growth. They operate at high efficiency and enjoy the benefits of exponential growth. As importantly, they have a plan for the future and are prepared to seize the opportunity that a changing market, even a prolonged slowdown, might present.

Here are the issues most successful RIAs have addressed to achieve exponential growth and profitability now and position themselves to lead tomorrow.

1. Build an organizational structure to unleash growth. Too many RIA CEOs are trapped by day-to-day responsibilities. They are typically the firm's rainmaker, but they are so overwhelmed with running the company they have a very low return on time — and that means no time to help drive growth.

Successful firms institute structures that free leadership to power growth, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the internal team, which is segmented into three core groups: Finders (those who directly contribute to increasing revenue), Minders (those who deliver your services and tend to your clients' needs) and Grinders (the back-office backbone of your organization).

In addition, growth-oriented firms enhance their overall resources — while keeping payroll costs in check — by outsourcing roles that are either too expensive or hard to fill. These include many C-suite roles, such as CFO, chief marketing officer and chief compliance officer.

Finally, CEOs at high-growth firms benefit from being part of a network of like-minded RIAs. Having other RIA teCEO peers to connect with who understand the challenges and share ideas and best practices can be very rewarding.

2. Become tech-enabled. Technology is so critical to everything you do it often feels as if you're running a tech start-up, not an RIA. The truth is, technology provides the tools to propel your growth and productivity while giving you the competitive advantages you need to raise your client experiences to new heights.

Unfortunately, technology is also often the greatest obstruction to growth. Many RIAs use Band-Aid fixes — or worse, add staff and create manual processes, the antithesis of their tech goals — to address shortcomings in their platforms.

RIAs that are growing at a rapid pace and are positioned to achieve greater efficiencies in a downturn have tech-enabled all aspects of their business, from operations, compliance, investments, marketing and finance to the client experience. Their technology is integrated so detailed information about each client is at their fingertips. They also give clients access to their accounts through online portals, especially mobile apps. If you don't have an app in Apple's App Store, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

3. Build a clear business plan and track it. RIAs driving profitability and growth make the time to create annual plans that include one-, three-, and five-year business initiatives so they can understand how and where to use their capital to achieve the greatest ROI.

Your business plan should address at least six areas that are critical to your profitability and growth:

• Building your brand

• Your client experience

• Your investment process

• Your business development process

• Streamlining your operations

• Refining your service model

Each area needs clear objectives and tactical steps. Progress should be measured throughout the year and shortcomings addressed promptly. As importantly, the plan needs to be flexible to accommodate changing conditions, with a Plan B in case market challenges emerge.

4. Access capital and retain control. Right now, there's an abundance of capital chasing the RIA market. As you seek to drive growth — either organically or through M&A — you're going to need to tap into this capital. Before you do, ask yourself: How much control are you willing to give up in return for capital? And which sources of capital will exert the most pressure on you and your organization should times and markets change?

The source of capital that typically seeks the most control is private equity, as they often require board seats and have their own exit goals that may not align with yours.

The best source of capital is one that gives you various financing options to suit your needs plus the freedom to use the capital at your discretion. These capital sources won't insist on board seats or any control of your organization; they don't have an exit plan to achieve; and they are flexible enough that they won't force you into making uncomfortable decisions in the event of a downturn.

Shirl Penney is president and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners.
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December 22, 2017

Breakaway Advisors Absolutely Love Their Independence
Financial Advisor IQ

It’s almost comical. One hundred percent of former wirehouse or regional-brokerage advisors in the independent RIA channel are happier for having made the move. That’s according to a blind survey of 450 FAs by Dynasty Financial Partners — a sponsor that, as an infrastructure provider to breakaway RIAs, has to be pleased with the result. [...]

It’s almost comical. One hundred percent of former wirehouse or regional-brokerage advisors in the independent RIA channel are happier for having made the move. That’s according to a blind survey of 450 FAs by Dynasty Financial Partners — a sponsor that, as an infrastructure provider to breakaway RIAs, has to be pleased with the result.

 Indeed, Dynasty’s CEO Shirl Penney says the survey confirms “advisors who choose independence are happier, less stressed and better able to serve their clients.”

Supporting this claim, no less than 96% of those polled think they “have greater upside” in their “earning opportunity” as a result of going independent; 96% say they now “have the ability to realize their business vision;” 93% agree they “have greater opportunity to build equity value;” and 93% reckon they “have more control over important business decisions.”

And the big numbers keep coming. Eighty-two percent of ex-wirehouse FAs now in RIAs say the transition is directly attributable to their ability to “provide conflict-free advice," and 72% believe their independence “allows them more freedom to focus on clients’ unique needs,” according to Dynasty’s Independent Advisor Survey.

Of course poll outcomes like that are bound to raise eyebrows. So we asked some breakaway advisors for their views on the lopsided feedback their peers provided in the Dynasty survey.

All we got was confirmation.

“We’re much happier at Summit Trail,” says Jack Petersen, a co-founder and managing partner of Summit Trail Advisors, a New York-based RIA with regional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Chevy Chase, Md. “It was stressful in the first six months” after the firm’s mid-2015 launch, he admits. “But after that we started hitting our stride.”

Of Summit Trail’s 39 employees, Petersen says “34 of us came out of the wirehouse world,” so he figures the firm, which manages about $5.5 billion — including about $1 billion brought in this year organically — has a keen sense of what it’s like providing financial advice in different business models.

The biggest strike against major brokerages like Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS Financialcomes down to “the law of large numbers,” says Petersen, who began his career with Morgan Stanley before joining Lehman Brothers’ wealth management division and its post-meltdown successor unit at Barclays. “That’s no one’s fault: they have to make sure they’re protecting the firm by creating consistent policies and procedures.”

Though that’s a prudent course for trillion-dollar companies, it’s tough to provide truly customized services from a monolithic platform. Working from an RIA, however, allows for such tailoring, which Petersen sees as necessary to providing fiduciary services.

Advisor Blake Pratz, who left UBS early this year to co-found Houston-based Icon Wealth Partners, which manages about $650 million, agrees with that assessment.

Further, says Pratz, the Dynasty survey result of 100% agreement among breakaways that they’re in better boats now is nothing to wonder at given conditions at the wirehouses — “whether you want to look at compensation, the fact they’re devoid of cultural spirit or the fact that management there is out of reach.”

And though at breakaways the peripheral parts of life at a wirehouse might be missed — for example, some aspect of a particular reporting interface — Steve Schwarzbach, who left Morgan Stanley with FA Mark McAdams to co-found Icon with Pratz, says “You don’t make this kind of move if you’re going to focus on minor details.”

Rather, says Schwarzbach, “You do it because you have a strong feeling you’re going to make more money and you’re going to serve your clients better.”

And when an advisor puts their career on the line and takes action on that belief only to see it confirmed, the result is a surge of relief and happiness. “That’s what I think the survey points to,” says Schwarzbach.

“But,” cautions Pratz, “that doesn’t mean there aren’t frustrations” that come with independence. “That could be the two clients you thought of as sure things hesitating to follow; it could be the Friday morning call saying the system is down and you’re responsible for getting it back up.”

For all that, though, running your own firm means you’re likelier to head home at the end of the workday having given “good advice, and solved problems for clients,” according to Pratz. “You feel re-engaged, like you’re part of something bigger, and you can see it in your clients’ reactions and responses.”

Summit Trail’s Petersen understands that feeling. Since going independent, he says he’s “never been this excited to come into work every day.”

The unanimity on that score among breakaways reflected in the Dynasty survey makes sense to Jeff Spears as well. The president and head of wealth management at Fort Point Capital Partners in San Francisco used to run Sanctuary Wealth Services, a Dynasty-like support-service provider to independent RIAs.

Ex-wirehouse advisors who have joined or started RIAs “are happy to not be associated with the brand and management of their old firm,” Spears tells FA-IQ.

For some FAs, especially at a certain level of seniority, being tied to a big brokerage is simply a drag on business, Spears explains. Continuing in the relationship past that point exacts an “emotional toll” on advisors who stick it out. Conversely, advisors who go independent at that stage are apt to feel relief and happiness as their employer-related stress diminishes, he adds.

December 21, 2017

WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Taxes and Independence, Adviser Profile, Secrets Podcast
WSJ

The tax overhaul is likely to give brokers a new incentive to leave traditional Wall Street firms in favor of going independent and setting up their own shops, says Rudy Adolf, head of Focus Financial Partners, a firm that helps advisers make that transition. As employees of a firm, “advisers pay ordinary rates–t [...]

Read the full storyhere

December 15, 2017

Behind Discount Brokers’ Boom: Advisers, Not Day Traders
The Wall Street Journal

Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade rake in client assets, catering to wealth managers and reinvigorating their businesses [...]

Business is booming for discount brokerages.

But this time the players driving the boom aren’t day traders chasing dot-com riches. They are independent financial professionals known as registered investment advisers who manage rosters of typically affluent clients and trade on their behalf with the assets held at the brokerage firms.

By catering to these wealth managers, the brokerages have reinvigorated a business that was racked by the tech-stock bust at the beginning of the century and the financial crisis. Two of the firms leading the way in serving these customers, Charles Schwab & Corp. and TD Ameritrade HoldingCorp. , have pulled in about $200 billion combined in net new assets this year, most of which has come from the independent advisers, according to the companies. Smaller rival E*Trade FinancialCorp. made a recent acquisition to better tap this business.

 While the discount brokers have long served independent advisers, the business has picked up in recent years. “Firms that set up custody businesses for financial advisers are reaping the benefit,” said Devin Ryan, managing director at JMP Securities LLC, as independent advisers “have been the fastest-growing area of the wealth-management industry.”

The boom underscores two trends that have been upending the wealth-management sector in recent years: The first is a wave of traditional brokers leaving firms like Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley as they seek to keep more of the fees and commissions they generate, and to maintain greater control over their business and less pressure to market certain types of products, from proprietary funds to credit cards to mortgages. The second is a new federal retirement-saving regulation, known as the fiduciary rule, aimed at curbing conflicted investment advice that has forced traditional brokers to retool their business models.

By 2020, research firm Cerulli Associates predicts that independent advisers will control more assets than Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS Group AG and other major brokerages combined.

Matthew Celenza, an independent financial adviser in Los Angeles, is among the converts. Mr. Celenza this year launched his own wealth-advisory business, Boulevard Family Wealth, with about $1 billion in assets after a six-year run with Merrill Lynch’s private banking and investment group. “Going independent gives us better positioning in the business,” Mr. Celenza said when he left Merrill in July.

 

Yet without the infrastructure provided by a traditional brokerage, finding a place to keep clients’ money was one of the first things Mr. Celenza had to do upon going independent. He went with Schwab and estimates that his clients save 0.15% to 0.20% in annual fees now that their assets are held at the discount brokerage versus his former firm.

“I know the perception is that Schwab is a discount brokerage,” Mr. Celenza said, but “they offer every service a large brokerage service would.”

Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger said in October that his firm has logged substantial increases in the number of advisers, up 35%, and assets coming over from broker-dealer firms. At Ameritrade, which ended its fiscal year in October, new client assets on the adviser side surpassed last year’s results by more than 50%, CEO Tim Hockey said in October, marking a record year for asset gathering.

Executives and analysts say the trends behind the discount brokerage boom are poised to continue, thanks in part to an increase in consumer awareness about the impact of investment fees and the differences between brokers and advisers. Registered investment advisers have for decades been required to put clients’ interests first and typically charge fees, while brokers have operated under a standard in which they could recommend products that would pay them the most in commissions as long as the investment was deemed suitable.

“Fee-based, fiduciary models are the fastest growing areas of the industry,” said JMP Securities’ Mr. Ryan, and “there’s massive market share opportunity” for “firms that set up custodial businesses for [independent advisers] and are reaping the benefit.” He said the four big custodians—Schwab, Ameritrade, Fidelity Investments and Pershing, a unit of Bank of New York Mellon Corp.—have about 50% of the market for independent advisers and they continue to make inroads as they invest in their platforms.

Schwab and Ameritrade both attribute their strong net new asset growth largely to independent adviser clients. In the latest quarter, Schwab said core net new assets climbed 72%, or $51.6 billion, from a year earlier, while Ameritrade reported $19.9 billion in net new assets for the period, a 32% year-over-year increase. For Schwab, assets brought in by independent adviser clients rose by more than two-thirds; Ameritrade said such money accounted for about 80% of its net new asset growth.

Meanwhile, E*Trade Chief Executive Officer Karl Roessner said during the company’s latest earnings call in October that E-Trade has been losing assets to independent firms, among others, and handles just about 10% of customers’ investible wealth. “Accordingly, we have been searching for the optimal way to approach this population,” he said on the call in discussing a deal to buy a custodian firm.

Observers say the discount brokerages are poised to gain more share of investor dollars as the independent adviser ranks expand. Dynasty Financial Partners, a firm that supports independent advisers and helps them break away from brokerages, has brought more than $25 billion in assets to firms, including Schwab and Fidelity, said CEO Shirl Penney. “The lifeblood is assets, and they’re going one way, to the [independent adviser] space,” he said.

December 13, 2017

Biggest recruiting moves in 2017
Financial Planning

It was a big year for recruiting moves. Nearly two dozen mega teams ― those managing $1 billion or more in client assets ― switched employers in 2017, according to hiring announcements. [...]

It was a big year for recruiting moves. Nearly two dozen mega teams ― those managing $1 billion or more in client assets ― switched employers in 2017, according to hiring announcements.

That's double the figure for 2016, though about on par with 2015.

The moves this year represented more than $43 billion in client assets and reflect the upheaval transforming the recruiting landscape. Three of the wirehouses have cut back on hiring efforts. Meanwhile, UBS and Morgan Stanley have exited the Broker Protocol ― which spurred a raft of advisor departures. Though nearly all of the mega teams left wirehouses, almost none joined another wirehouse. Instead, they formed independent firms or joined smaller regional brokerages, which have been on a recruiting tear this year.

RBC, Baird, Dynasty Financial Partners and J.P. Morgan Securities, a small boutique wealth management unit, were among the big winners.

Though these and other firms are ending the year on a strong note, 2017 did not start out promising, according to recruiters.

Uncertainty around the fiduciary rule and the Trump administration's intentions with regard to the controversial regulation spurred many advisors to stay in a holding pattern.

"People were really understandably leery about joining a firm and not knowing what their policy on retirement accounts would be because that was kind of a work in progress," Mark Elzweig, a recruiter and On Wall Street contributor, says.

The breakaway advisor movement also picked up steam this year, in part because of the success past breakaways have had.

"We've seen teams that are going independent now are larger than they ever were before," says recruiter Louis Diamond. "It's partly because of the validation of other groups that have done it, the advancement of platforms and introduction of service providers in the space like Dynasty and Hightower that have enabled it to be so."

Although the Broker Protocol's future may be in doubt, advisor moves will likely continue because the reasons brokers want to switch firms haven't changed, according to industry insiders.

To see where the industry's biggest teams went in 2017, read the below article: 

https://www.financial-planning.com/slideshow/biggest-advisor-recruiting-moves-in-2017

December 08, 2017

What advisers should consider before taking a capital infusion
Investment News

Many RIAs have access to external cash, but should be clear on how that money would be used and the motivations and time line of the investor [...]

Advisory firm valuations might be nearing a top, but advisers should not expect the appetite for investing in their businesses to drop off anytime soon.

 
"Our industry is all of a sudden very fashionable, and we are awash in capital," said Rich Gill, partner at Wealth Partners Capital Group, during a panel discussion Wednesday at The MarketCounsel Summit in Miami.

"What's really important is understanding the motivations of the capital and their time lines," he said. "If you think you're going to need capital down the road, I would start educating yourself now to be more prepared when the right time comes."

Mr. Rich was joined on the panel by Marty Bicknell, chief executive of Mariner Wealth Advisors, and Shirl Penney, president and chief executive of Dynasty Financial Partners.

Access to capital for registered investment advisers can come in many forms, including both debt and equity financing, and from private-equity investors or a longer-term partnership.

Mr. Penney said the primary reasons an RIA considers outside capital are ownership diversification, to invest in the business, to make acquisitions and to finance succession planning.

But whatever the reason, the panelists stressed being as informed and prepared as possible before entering into any kind of capital agreement.

"You have to understand what the motivation is of the outside investor," Mr. Penney said. "And the best time to raise capital and sell a piece of your business is when you don't have to."

In other words, if you're desperately seeking a capital infusion, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

 
In terms of preparation, which Mr. Gill said should begin at least three years before actually taking outside capital, the idea is to make an RIA presentable but also in a position to stand up to strict scrutiny from potential investors.

"Think about professionalizing your organization," Mr. Bicknell said. "If I can't see a bench, then I worry about my risks. A strong organization built around a strong leader tends to push me to the higher end of the valuation range."

Mr. Penney advised establishing a board of outside directors to help guide the process.

In terms of valuations, panelists agreed that assets under management is not the biggest factor.

"Growth and scale are key elements of valuations, but the other thing is people," Mr. Gill said. "You can't have a situation where if a person gets sick for two weeks the business comes to a screeching halt. You need a next generation of advisers, operational staff and professional folks. As an industry, not enough firms have made the necessary investments or the necessary partnerships."

For RIAs just starting to consider outside capital, the good news is, there is plenty of time to get ready.

"Regarding the opportunity for capital wanting to come to this business, there's plenty of runway and it will be around for years," Mr. Bicknell said. "But I do think valuations have run a little too high."
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December 20, 2016

ICONS IN THEIR OWN WORDS …

Shirl joins an impressive group of Icons & Innovators in discussing their aha moments and what they led to. [...]

December 19, 2016

Shirl Penney Named To InvestmentNews Icons & Innovators
Investment News

Before founding Dynasty Financial Partners in 2010, president and CEO Shirl Penney spent 18 months doing a listening tour. [...]

Before founding Dynasty Financial Partners in 2010, president and CEO Shirl Penney spent 18 months doing a listening tour.

He had observed an accelerated trend of wirehouse advisers with ultrahigh-net-worth clients outgrowing their platforms and going independent. He saw an opportunity.

After meeting with about 50 registered investment advisers, along with custodians and turnkey asset management providers, Mr. Penney came away with a thesis: Advisers are asking for simplicity and integration.

His answer to that need was Dynasty, an integrated platform company focused on the specialized needs of top RIA firms across the country. 

“Our innovation was to aggregate a community of like-minded RIAs into a large buying unit, similar in size to an institutional investor,” Mr. Penney, 40, said. “This enables connectivity across the whole industry to get more choice, with access to products for their level of need, along with our proprietary technology.”

A major focus of the company is to enable advisers to offer conflict-free advice and collaboration. In six years, the company has grown to about 40 members with more than $25 billion in assets under management.

Mr. Penney, who launched his firm at age 34, displayed a fearlessness and drive that sprang from living in poverty as a child.

Raised by his step-grandfather in rural Maine, Mr. Penney was homeless from age 11 through 12. He persevered, making it to college and then Wall Street.

“Despite what people told me, I had a belief in myself and wanted to live a life that would make my grandfather proud,” he said. “When you go to bed cold and hungry, that’s a motivator.”

– Deborah Nason

December 14, 2016

PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH SHIRL PENNEY, CEO OF DYNASTY FINANCIAL PARTNERS
RIACast

On this episode, we gain insight into Dynasty Financial Partners through our conversation with its CEO and Co-Founder, Shirl Penney. [...]

Listen Here: http://riacast.com/episode-8-interview-with-shirl-penney-ceo-of-dynasty-financial-partners/

Among other topics, Shirl and Matt discuss: 

  • Dynasty’s service model
  • Shirl’s predictions about a Trump administration’s impact on the RIA space
  • Why Dynasty offers its employees equity
  • The biggest challenges facing Dynasty
  • What the best advisors are doing differently
  • Shirl’s charitable passions and interest in thoroughbred racing

November 30, 2016

DOL Rule Pours Gas on RIA Movement Fire: Dynasty CEO

Hi, I'm Danielle Verbrigghe, reporter with Fundfire. I'm here today at the Schwab Impact Conference in San Diego with Shirl Penney, president and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. In the broker-dealer space, firms are facing a lot of change right now with the implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule, which is set to go into effect in April initially. How do you expect that to affect the RIA chann [...]

November 23, 2016

Trump's Tax Plan Threatens to Soften SMA Sales Pitch
Fundfire

Lower tax rates for top earners could soon be a reality, with president-elect Donald Trumppoised to take on the presidency and Republicans controlling both houses of Congress. While welcome news for some wealthy investors, the prospect could prove a headwind for separately managed accounts (SMA) strategies focused on tax efficiency, industry sources say. [...]

Lower tax rates for top earners could soon be a reality, with president-elect Donald Trumppoised to take on the presidency and Republicans controlling both houses of Congress. While welcome news for some wealthy investors, the prospect could prove a headwind for separately managed accounts (SMA) strategies focused on tax efficiency, industry sources say.

Tax-friendly strategies, such as tax-managed equity and municipal bond strategies, have been amongst the fastest growing parts of the SMA industry in recent years. Indeed, SMA managers have touted the tax loss harvesting capabilities of the vehicle as a key selling point. Unlike a mutual fund, investors own the underlying securities within an SMA, allowing them to write off losses at the individual security level. 

In fact, more than two-thirds of financial advisors surveyed by FundFire for a recently released research report, said that they used SMAs for tax management. Of those who did, 46% said they performed tax loss harvesting themselves, while 26% used a tax management overlay, and another 28% said they relied on an SMA manager for tax management techniques. 

But tax efficiency could become a less effective selling point for SMA managers if the new Republican administration follows through with proposed plans to effectively lower the top short- and long-term capital gains rates, says Ryan Nauman, market specialist at Informa Investment Solutions.

“SMAs really benefit because of the tax efficiencies that they offer,” Nauman says. “So with lower taxes, that would reduce some of the demand and that would be the biggest drawback or side effect of the new president and new policies [on the SMA industry].”

The incoming president has proposed lowering the top effective tax rate, which also applies to short-term capital gains, to 33% from 39.6%, and eliminating the net investment income tax, which would essentially lower the top effective long-term capital gains rate to 20% from 23.8%, when including that tax. 

“I think the demand for municipal SMAs or those tax managed SMAs could definitely decrease if Trump gets his proposed new tax brackets passed,” Nauman says. 

But other industry sources say that even with lower taxes, they wouldn’t expect demand for tax-efficient SMA strategies to abate.

Even if tax rates go lower, “the fact is we’re still going to have death and taxes, so tax efficient strategies are still going to be in vogue,” says Bill Kennedy, CIO of Fieldpoint Private.

“The ability to compound wealth over a market cycle, and certainly over generations, is very dependent on the after-tax rate of return,” Kennedy says. “Ensuring that is optimized is very important when the statutory tax rate is at 39%. It’s still equally important if the statutory rate is 33%.”

“Philosophically, what’s critical here is not whether it’s higher taxes or lower taxes,” Kennedy says. “It’s that after-tax [and after fee] return a manager can generate. We don’t think the emphasis on tax optimization will decline.”

The 33% short-term and 20% long-term top capital gains rates under Trump’s plan would be comparable to the Bush tax cut era, when short-term gains were taxed at 35% and long-term gains were taxed at 15%. That period still experienced high-demand for tax management strategies, explains Rey Santodomingo, director of tax managed equities for Parametric Portfolio Associates.

The fact that investors could be left with more money to invest, due to less going to taxes, could be a boon to asset managers, Santodomingo says. 

“It might actually free up more assets to flow into these index-based strategies, because some investors might look at the lower tax rate as an opportunity to diversify out of stocks they’ve been holding onto for a while,” Santodomingo says. 

In addition, increased market volatility could provide more opportunity for tax loss harvesting, which could be a boon to tax-managed equity SMAs, Santodomingo says.

“Trump has been calling for change, and I think change will kind of translate to volatility in the market as the plan unfolds,” Santodomingo says. “If there is market volatility, then tax managed strategies are a great way to take advantage of that volatility [through] systematic loss harvesting.”

The other area in the SMA market that has benefited from wealthy investor interest in managing tax exposures is municipal bond strategies. Municipal bond SMA strategies had grown to represent 33.7% of the overall SMA industry assets in the first quarter of 2016, compared to just 10% in 2007, according to data from the Money Management Institute(MMI) and Dover Financial Research. And municipal bond SMAs have continued to gain strong flows this year, with municipal bond SMAs tracked by Informa netting nearly $12.9 billion in net flows year to date.

And while high tax rates have benefitted municipal bond SMAs, the prospect of lower taxes may not be enough to cause wealthy investors to pull back from the asset class, observers say.

When it comes to municipal bonds, tax rates are not the only factor that matters, Kennedy says.

“I think there’s a false assessment that it’s really the tax rates that drive munis, when in fact it’s really default risk and liquidity risk that drive munis and help to explain why munis trade at a premium or discount to treasuries,” Kennedy says.

The new administration’s policies may not be all bad news for municipal bond SMAs, Kennedy says. 

“While lower tax rates may prove to be a bit of a headwind for munis, there are other things about the new administration’s plan that could be potential tailwinds,” Kennedy says.

He points to the proposal to repeal Dodd-Frank, which could inject more liquidity into the municipal bond market. In addition, the prospect of potentially higher economic growth, and a proposed tax holiday that could encourage corporations to repatriate profits held offshore, could be credit positive factors for municipal bonds, Kennedy says.

Lower taxes could be a potential headwind to tax efficient equity and municipal bond SMA strategies, but demand is unlikely to evaporate completely, as individuals in the top bracket will still likely look for tax efficiency, says Nauman, of Informa.

And other factors, such as the impending Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, could also help offset any reduced demand for tax management capabilities, Nauman adds.

“The DOL regulation could offset some of that weakened demand, as some financial advisors look to SMAs to outsource the investment management process,” Nauman. Despite speculation that the Trump administration may attempt to roll back the DOL fiduciary rule, and other regulation, it seems unlikely that the rule will be completely scrapped, Nauman says.

In addition, the money investors may save on taxes could be put back to work benefiting mangers.

“That extra money that investors are saving by not having to pay taxes could go to investing in other assets, other SMA strategies,” Nauman says.

Regardless of where tax rates end up, advisors should increase their focus on considering after-tax results, says Scott Welch, CIO of Dynasty Financial Partners.

“Tax efficiency should be paramount,” says Welch. “You can’t control the market, but you can control fees and taxes.”
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December 28, 2015

Breaking Free: 8 Best Practices for Advisors Seeking Independence
Financial Planning, Written by Shirl Penney

At Dynasty, our most successful transitions were executed with advisors who had done exhaustive due diligence before deciding to move to the independent space. The due diligence allows time to mentally prepare for the change, consider whether the move is right for you and your clients, plus give you new perspective on various options. We encourage advisors to look a [...]

For advisors considering the RIA space, a few lessons learned on the client side are key to a successful transition.

Do your due diligence

At Dynasty, our most successful transitions were executed with advisors who had done exhaustive due diligence before deciding to move to the independent space. The due diligence allows time to mentally prepare for the change, consider whether the move is right for you and your clients, plus give you new perspective on various options. We encourage advisors to look at all the various options available, to learn the language of the RIA space and to talk to their peers or other advisors already in the space. In other words, doing your homework today may prevent regret tomorrow.

The battle is won in preparation

Any transition to independence requires a significant amount of work, which in itself can be chaotic. We developed a 150-item checklist and project plan that helps to provide order to the move, plus software to help manage the transition in a secure and confidential manner. The best transitions are led by advisors and teams who make sure all their work on the front end is done prior to their move.

Perform a detailed financial analysis

We spend a good amount of time helping to teach the language of independence from a P&L perspective. We work with advisors to run detailed P&L analysis on their new business. The best advisors know what their startup costs will be, fixed and variable costs going forward, and targeted gross and net margin levels before they launch. They then decide if they will self-finance, take a loan, sell a piece of equity or some other option. These advisors take a disciplined approach to managing their finances through the transition in order to be able to hit preset financial hurdles.

Tackle big items first

We tend to encourage teams to tackle the big items around the move first. In general, we find that picking a name, finding and negotiating real estate, determining equity splits, building operating documents, getting seed capital in place, building brand and marketing pieces, and getting ADV work done are some of the bigger items that can take time and slow down a transition. Get in front of these items first so they don’t slow you down later.

Map for success

It’s important to do detail capability mapping for your clients. Investing the time to map unique investment product needs, loan products and rates, manager access and pricing, research and trading needs, and any alternative investment needs will prevent any surprises for you and your clients later. The most successful transitioning advisors we work with were relentless on behalf of their clients, making sure they could do everything their client needed and, in some cases, more, on the move to independence.

Practice client communication

We have partnered with advisors on some of the fastest transitions in the RIA industry and have seen several transitions actually completed in as short a time as a month. In all of these expedited transitions, the advisors invested time in role-playing conversations with clients and media. Writing out talking points and rehearsing the conversations, creating an anticipated FAQ list and answers, and practicing it with your team will have you ready come transition time.

Be mentally ready for the administrative push

The best advisors and teams making the move to the independent space understand that it is going to be roughly six months of heavy lifting ahead of them. Often times we suggest adding some temp staff to help with paperwork during the transition. However, being mentally and physically ready for the administrative grind is important. We encourage teams to put proper rewards and incentives in place, to over-communicate with family around the transition time frame and to celebrate as family and involve them where it makes sense. We also look for ways to make it fun and keep energy up while encouraging employees to get proper rest as they prepare to make the move.

Don’t jump the gun

Almost without exception we hear from teams “I wish I had done this sooner.” While success breeds more success and it’s easier today than ever before to make the move to independence, it's important that advisors make the move at the right pace and time for them and their teams. Rushing things can have a negative impact on your new business; too much thoughtful preparation for your move to independence can never be a bad thing.

Shirl Penney is the founder and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners.

December 24, 2015

INTERVIEW: Dynasty's Success Reflects The Breakaway Client - Not Just Advisor - Trend
Family Wealth Report

Family Wealth Report caught up with the chief executive at Dynasty Financial Partners about the firm's success and how this reflects the evolving wealth management landscape. Many positive developments led to an increase in US advisor headcount in 2014 – for the first time in nine years – by 1.1 per cent. There [...]

Family Wealth Report caught up with the chief executive at Dynasty Financial Partners about the firm's success and how this reflects the evolving wealth management landscape. 

Many positive developments led to an increase in US advisor headcount in 2014 – for the first time in nine years – by 1.1 per cent. There has been a heavier focus on teaming and onboarding rookie advisors into multi-advisor practices while there is also greater awareness about succession preparedness, according to Cerulli Associates.

Against this backdrop, more and more advisors are spinning off from larger institutions and “going independent,” which as one executive told Family Wealth Report previously used to be a point of anxiety but is now a point of confidence – particularly given the ongoing fiduciary debate.

New York City-headquartered Dynasty Financial Partners, which develops, sources and integrates wealth management capabilities for independent advisors, recently toasted its fifth birthday; 2015 was a stand-out year for the firm, having taken on close to $10 billion in assets. Dynasty's success is evidence that the wealth management landscape is getting more sophisticated and transparency-orientated, said Shirl Penney, chief executive at the firm.

"When we talk about the fiduciary movement, end-clients think in terms of wanting advice that is separate from where products are manufactured and sold,” Penney said.

"If you look at asset flows – billions and billions a year – from banks and wirehouses to the independent channel, half of that has been from advisors going independent,” he said. “The other half has been from the breakaway client movement, which has received less attention. Growth is being magnified by advisors making the move to independence and clients looking proactively for an independent-based advisor.”  

Describing Dynasty's banner year, Penney said the firm is onboarding teams from all corners of the industry: independent broker-dealers who feel they've outgrown their current platform and want to launch their own RIA as well as established RIAs who are tired of juggling different vendor balls and are spending too much time on middle- and back-office related items, as well as larger wirehouse breakaways.

"The size of the teams making the move has also increased because the road to independence is well worn now, and success breeds more success,” Penney said. “We're providing a safe passage and an easier transition for bigger, more sophisticated teams who cover larger end-clients. We're also seeing groups of advisors more often; we've even seen teams in different cities launching multi-city RIAs.”

Dynasty's business model

Dynasty doesn't own any equity in any of its underlying advisors and nor do they own equity in Dynasty, and the firm works with advisors in four ways. The first strand is with the transition and set-up of newcomers (the fee for this varies based on the complexity of the team and how long Dynasty is needed on-site with them during transition.)

The second area relates to “core services” - the running of the middle- and back-office, or essentially all that is required to run an RIA successfully. This includes all third-party services and costs as well as Dynasty’s proprietary advisor desktop technology and support of Dynasty’s 45-member home office team. Then there is financing – say if the RIA has broken away and needs money to launch the business, or if they're already independent but need money to buy another RIA.

The last area covers products and services to implement strategies for end-clients such as life insurance, capital markets, investment banking, TAMP, SMA, UMA, and – one of Dynasty's fastest-growing businesses – outsourced CIO. To contextualize the costs for these different areas combined, the average RIA working with Dynasty typically gets a 65-70 per cent gross income on their business after expenses by the time that all fixed and variable costs are accounted for in their RIA P&L, Penney said.

Today, Dynasty has 35 network partner firms, comprising more than 100 advisors representing over $600 million in combined average client assets per firm. As the firm has seen bigger teams joining its ranks it has made significant investments in areas such as capital markets, trading and alternative investments to accommodate the needs of wealthier clients.

Penney believes Dynasty is not simply taking advantage of a trend toward independence in wealth management, but is equally driving the movement forward by making it possible for advisors to more easily replace legacy systems at a time when many firms are grappling with how to make technology upgrades or even complete overhauls. The firm recently launched the Dynasty Desktop, for example, which provides integrated client engagement, investment management and business management tools for high-end advisors.

“It has been great to see advisors join our community come from legacy RIAs who seek better scale and operating efficiencies with their firm, IBD-based advisors who want to launch their own RIAs, or wirehouse advisors who are seeking independence for the first time,” said Dynasty’s head of service and transition, Jason Pinkham, in a recent statement.

A report by Cerulli in January of this year predicted that asset marketshare gains in the RIA and dually-registered channels are likely to come at the expense of wirehouses and independent broker-dealers in the next five years, reinforcing the trend that set in after the financial crisis and which has continued. The trend has been described as “historical and expected,” and due to a range of factors including the flexibility and autonomy inherent in the independent channel with regard to portfolio construction, operational flexibility, fee structure and technology. Penney is certainly optimistic about the future of Dynasty, and aims to have 50 network partner member firms by this time next year.

December 23, 2015

Coaching Helps Level the Playing Field for Wealth Managers
The Wall Street Journal

Even the smartest professionals can benefit from a fresh set of eyes looking at their business practices and strategies from time to time. In the wealth-management business, such guidance is now available from companies that provide investment products and account-custody services, as well as from newer firms that empower “breakaway” teams to leave their employers and build new [...]

Even the smartest professionals can benefit from a fresh set of eyes looking at their business practices and strategies from time to time.

In the wealth-management business, such guidance is now available from companies that provide investment products and account-custody services, as well as from newer firms that empower “breakaway” teams to leave their employers and build new registered investment advisers.

And the assistance typically has no explicit cost, because the companies will benefit in higher fees or assets under management if the advisers grow their businesses.

The executives at these companies are like management consultants who are laser-focused on the changing landscape of wealth management. Their expertise, along with various services available from their firms, are leveling the playing field between the large and small shops of wealth management.

John Anderson, the head of practice management solutions at SEI Investments Co., recalls a confident statement made by the founder of a thriving advisory firm serving people who had become suddenly rich in their early 20s. The firm had never lost a client as a result of not having a website, the adviser told Mr. Anderson, whose company provides investments and account-custody services.

After searching online for the RIA’s corporate name, Mr. Anderson realized the adviser was missing opportunities to grow his business. The No. 1 listing in an online search was a company offering payday loans. There were no hits for the RIA with its carefully considered wealth-management services—even though the firm targets millennials, who are always online and expect to find answers on the Web.

Blocking and tackling skills

On one level, this story illustrates how all financial advisers, whether they work for RIAs or wirehouses, can get lost in the day-to-day exigencies of finding and retaining clients. Been there, done that.

But marketing expertise is just one part of what practice-management consultants like Mr. Anderson and other industry experts offer their clients. Their services often address the broader management needs of RIAs, including operating issues like employee retention or how to increase profit margins.

“We can bring more of a global perspective into running a small business,” Mr. Anderson says.

David Canter runs the practice management and consulting group at the Fidelity Investments unit that works with independent financial advisers. Comparing his group within Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions to the management consultants at McKinsey & Co. or Bain & Co., he says there are 30 professionals at his Fidelity unit who “help advisers grow, improve and succeed.”

“It’s hard to focus on growing a business when you’re running one,” Mr. Canter observes.

I buy that—especially given the size of most RIAs.

Fidelity’s 2015 Benchmarking Study, released last week, reports that $214 million is the median assets under management at RIAs. These are small organizations, which can support only so many people—about nine employees on average for firms with under $500 million in assets, according to Fidelity.

The same study included 83 firms with over $1 billion in assets, and even they typically employ only about 24 people. All owners, at large RIAs or small, are no doubt pulled in hundreds of different directions by the minutia that goes into operating a business.

Mr. Canter describes widely diverse assignments. His team helps RIAs “update, enhance and refresh messaging” to move beyond throwaway statements like, “We provide holistic wealth-management services,” which are far too vague.

Succession planning and technology

His team also helps RIAs address issues like succession planning, an especially important consideration given industry demographics and the ensuing impact on clients. According to the Fidelity study, 37% of firm owners are going to exit the business over the next 10 years.

In addition to business expertise, practice-management consultants help implement proprietary technology from their firms. Fidelity, for example, is introducing an automated-investing platform for advisers during 2016. Mr. Canter’s team will roll it out among RIAs that want the capability and believe it important for finding and retaining wealth-management clients.

Dynasty Financial Partners is a different kind of firm, a noncustodian. It helps breakaway advisers start and build companies, guiding them on myriad choices, like which technology platforms best suit their needs and whether to outsource mission-critical functions like compliance.

Ed Friedman, the director of strategic relationships at Dynasty, explains that there has been “an outcropping of businesses that service RIAs.” That growth has created options for financial advisers that didn’t exist five years ago—and the ensuing need for advice from experts who regularly review and evaluate what’s available.

The Rise of adviser-entrepreneurs

I have three takeaways:

1. These industry experts are culling through winning strategies and coaching an emerging breed of “adviser entrepreneurs,” whom I define as the founders of existing RIAs or recent breakaway teams.

2. Adviser-entrepreneurs who leverage the expertise and institutional capabilities of their coaches have the ability to create and deliver highly customized client experiences—thereby forcing all financial advisers, whether at wirehouses or RIAs, to continuously examine and refine their own value propositions.

Good for clients. Good for the industry.

3. A level playing field means advisers can choose what kind of operating environment they want, big or little, and still deliver sophisticated services and advice to their clients. And career flexibility is a beautiful thing. As Mr. Canter from Fidelity says, “There has never been a better time to be an adviser.”

December 21, 2015

Dynasty introduces portfolio manager service
PAM

Wealth management platform Dynasty Financial Partners has added a new financial data service to its offering after increasing demand from the ‘significant’ number of advisors taking on the dual role of portfolio manager for their clients. Under the agreement with Chicago-based data platform YCharts, Dynasty said it can now offer a service through its Dynasty Desktop channel allowing RIAs to function as portfolio [...]

Wealth management platform Dynasty Financial Partners has added a new financial data service to its offering after increasing demand from the ‘significant’ number of advisors taking on the dual role of portfolio manager for their clients.

Under the agreement with Chicago-based data platform YCharts, Dynasty said it can now offer a service through its Dynasty Desktop channel allowing RIAs to function as portfolio managers.

The Dynasty Desktop provides client engagement, financial planning, investment management, research, and business management tools for advisors operating in the Dynasty network.

“Through our partnership, Dynasty and YCharts empower advisors who choose to manage their own client portfolios,” said Scott Welch, chief investment officer at Dynasty Financial Partners.  “YCharts’ analytical and graphical functionalities not only help advisors build and manage their portfolios but also clearly illustrate what they are doing for their investors. This helps those advisors to deliver differentiated investment solutions and an enhanced overall client experience.”

The addition of YCharts gives Dynasty’s financial advisors the power of an institutional level platform.  YCharts gives advisors the option to monitor the macro environment with their database of more than 400,000 economic indicators, add visualizations of data for over 20,000 US/Canadian listed companies, and 40,000 funds.  In addition, numerous advisors rely on YCharts for their easy-to-use screeners and Excel Add-in to speed up their workflows.

“We find that leading-edge technology remains one of the key driving forces behind the ultra-high net worth advisory movement and our job as the premier independent platform services provider is to continue to partner with those technology leaders in the space which we are happy to have done again with YCharts,” said Ed Swenson, chief operating officer, Dynasty Financial Partners.

December 21, 2015

Dynasty Financial Partners Expands its Innovative Dynasty Desktop by Partnering with YCharts
Business Wire

Dynasty Financial Partners and YCharts today announced that YCharts will now be an integrated offering through Dynasty’s proprietary advisor Desktop. [...]

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dynasty Financial Partners and YCharts today announced that YCharts will now be an integrated offering through Dynasty’s proprietary advisor Desktop.

The Dynasty Desktop is a fully integrated desktop customized for high end, independent, financial advisors that provides a full suite of client engagement, financial planning, investment management, research, and business management tools. YCharts is a financial data platform specifically designed with the Independent RIA in mind.

Dynasty Financial Partners continues to innovate in the Independent RIA Space and continues to refine and expand the Dynasty Desktop capabilities. The addition of YCharts gives financial advisors the power of an institutional level platform. YCharts enables advisors to monitor the macro environment with their database of 400,000+ economic indicators, add visualizations of data for 20,000+ US/Canadian listed companies, and 40,000+ funds. In addition, numerous advisors rely on YCharts for their easy-to-use screeners and Excel Add-in to speed up their workflows.

The Dynasty Desktop provides Dynasty's Network of independent financial advisors a next generation workstation providing a seamless single sign-on point of entry. This single sign-on capability enhances an advisor’s, along with their staff’s, efficiency throughout the day by providing easy transition through multiple, integrated platforms like reporting and performance reports, CRM, business analytics, financial planning tools, and practice management content.

“We find that leading-edge technology remains one of the key driving forces behind the ultra high net worth advisory movement and our job as the premier independent platform services provider is to continue to partner with those technology leaders in the space which we are happy to have done again with YCharts,” said Ed Swenson, Chief Operating Officer, Dynasty Financial Partners. “Dynasty’s size and scale allows us to continue to enhance our proprietary technologies and programs on behalf of our advisory network.”

“Advisors are looking for ways to differentiate their services and provide value to their clients. We have found that Dynasty works with pre-eminent advisors around the country, and the addition of YCharts to the Dynasty Desktop meets an important need for these types of RIAs,” said Dave Lubnik, VP Sales at YCharts. “Using YCharts, advisors have access to robust data and investment research functionality, through a modern, easy-to-use web-based product.”

Trend: RIAs as Portfolio Managers

Financial advisors are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate their services and provide value to their clients. As a result, a significant number of advisors are becoming portfolio managers for their clients.

With this new agreement, YCharts and Dynasty Financial Partners are now able to provide the platform to enable RIAs to function as Portfolio Managers. This is leading to better results, improved client relations and an edge for advisors to win more clients and keep existing clients.

"Through our partnership, Dynasty and YCharts empower advisors who choose to manage their own client portfolios," said Scott Welch, Chief Investment Officer at Dynasty Financial Partners. "YCharts' analytical and graphical functionalities not only help advisors build and manage their portfolios but also clearly illustrate what they are doing for their investors. This helps those advisors to deliver differentiated investment solutions and an enhanced overall client experience."

About YCharts

Headquartered in Chicago, YCharts was founded in part to offer investment professionals an alternative to the handful of long-standing incumbent players.

With time and technology on their side, YCharts has quickly gained a reputation as being the platform that provides the user with an intuitive, fast, and easy-to-use experience that doesn’t require an enormous up-front investment of time.

YCharts offers deep and wide data combined with exceptional visualizations and customization.

For more information visit www.ycharts.com or contact dave@ycharts.com.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners is the premier integrated platform services provider for the wealth management industry’s top advisors. Dynasty develops, sources and integrates wealth management capabilities, solutions and technology into its open-architecture platform to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow us on Twitter @DynastyFP.
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October 03, 2014

Dynasty Financial Partners Deepens Bench Strength with the Addition of Two Executives: Kara Valentine Joins Firm as Director of Marketing; Janessa Biller Joins Firm as Vice President, Relationship Management

Ms. Valentine and Ms. Biller Bring [...]

Ms. Valentine and Ms. Biller Bring Decades of Experience to Fast-Growing Dynasty

NEW YORK—-Dynasty Financial Partners today announced the addition of two new executives: Kara Valentine as Director of Marketing and Janessa Biller as Vice President, Relationship Management.

Kara Valentine joins the firm with over 20 years experience in marketing specifically driving new business development through effectively developing and implementing marketing strategies and tactics. She will report to Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty.

She joins the firm from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management where she was a Senior Vice President, Divisional Marketing Executive. As part of this move, David Westcott will now be a dedicated resource partner for Dynasty’s network of advisors.

Shirl Penney, President and CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “Kara brings two decades of proven wealth management marketing experience to Dynasty and has worked on some of the largest brand campaigns in the industry over that time. She will be an important addition as Dynasty continues to grow rapidly and expand its platform. Together with David Westcott and Sally Cates, our team now has nearly 75 years of marketing and public relations experience that our advisor clients will benefit from as being part of the Dynasty Network community”

Reporting to Ed Swenson, COO of Dynasty Financial Partners, Janessa Biller will provide operational support to the firm’s independent advisors. Ms. Biller joins the firm from Goldman Sachs where she was Vice President, Prime Brokerage Client Services, Securities Division since 2011.

According to Mr. Swenson, “As we continue to grow our business rapidly we will continue to increase our investments in key areas to support our growing advisor network. Janessa will be a major asset as we provide increasingly sophisticated technology and operations to the Dynasty network of advisors. Her deep experience in operational support will add significant capabilities to our service team.”

Ms. Valentine began her career at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam as a media planner. From 1994-2004, she worked at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Executive Director, Mass Affluent Client Segment Marketing. From 2004-2012, she worked in increasingly senior marketing positions at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management including oversight of the marketing strategy and tactical support for Financial Advisor Recruitment Marketing. She joined U.S. Trust in 2012 as Senior Vice President, Divisional Marketing Executive.

Ms. Valentine has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing from Villanova University.

Janessa Biller started her career at UBS Financial Services as a Representative, U.S. Wealth Management, Client Reporting, Operations Division. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 as an Analyst, Prime Brokerage, Margin Lending, Operations Division and, in 2011, she became a Vice President, Prime Brokerage, Client Services Division.

Ms. Biller has a B.A. Economics and Romance Languages from New York University. She has a MBA from NYU: Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Her professional certifications include: Series 7 and Series 63.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners is the leading independent integrated platform service provider to the industry’s elite advisor teams. Dynasty develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities, solutions and technology into its customized open-architecture platform to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise”, and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow us on Twitter @DynastyFP.

August 18, 2014

The Relationship between UHNW Investors and RIAs – Video ACE

Peter Williams, CEO and founder of ACE, and Tom Petrone, director of capital markets at Dynasty Financial Partners, discuss why a high net worth investor would look to Registered Investor Advisors for help, how the process of accessing an RIA is different in the public versus private markets, and what challenges investors should be ready to face when it comes to direct pri [...]

June 27, 2014

Reuters 2014 Global Wealth Summit – Todd Thomson discusses Independent Advisors

After the Reuters 2014 Global Wealth Summit, Todd Thomson discusses Dynasty Financial Partners and its role in the independent Advisor space. [...]

April 16, 2014

Dynasty Financial Partners Welcomes Paul Metzger as Chief Technology Officer

Senior Technology Executive to Launch Dynasty Desktop New York, NY, April 16, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners today welcomes Paul Metzger as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) reporting to Dynasty Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer Ed Swenson. Based in New York, Mr. Metzger’s responsibilities will include expanding and enhancing the [...]

Senior Technology Executive to Launch Dynasty Desktop

New York, NY, April 16, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners today welcomes Paul Metzger as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) reporting to Dynasty Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer Ed Swenson.

Based in New York, Mr. Metzger’s responsibilities will include expanding and enhancing the Dynasty technology offering that will provide Dynasty and its network of advisors with further integrated, efficient, and effective technology.

Mr. Metzger has over 25 years of experience working in technology space related to financial services. Most recently he worked at Neuberger Berman from 2008 – 2013 in various senior technology roles. He has been a consultant to the financial services industry since May 2013.

Dynasty Desktop

Mr. Metzger will lead the initiative to launch Dynasty Desktop: an innovative technology offering for independent RIAs that will provide functionality and integration across the full spectrum of RIA practice areas including client and relationship management, planning, workflow, reporting, portfolio management, business analytics, research, and practice management. The cloud-based interface will allow RIAs to manage their clients and business anywhere, anytime, on any device.

“I am delighted to welcome Paul to Dynasty Financial Partners,” said Ed Swenson, COO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “With his depth and relevant experience in financial services, he will lead the initiative to significantly enhance Dynasty’s technology offerings to independent RIAs.”

Mr. Metzger said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Dynasty team. They have consistently proven that they provide the industry-leading integrated platform for advisors seeking independence or to RIAs looking for a growth partner. I look forward to working with Dynasty and its advisor network and to continue to build on an already powerful offering by using innovative and best of breed technology.”

Dynasty CEO Shirl Penney added, “Dynasty continues to be laser focused on enhancing our platform of services to our RIA business owner clients. The evolution of our technology platform and the investment we are making to bring Paul onboard will lead to development of more tools to empower advisor partners to be more efficient, make better business decisions, and ultimately provide better service to their end clients.”

Paul Metzger Bio

Mr. Metzger has a 25 year career in financial services. He worked in senior technology positions at Neuberger Berman from 2008 to 2013 including in the role of Chief Administrative Officer of Global Technology and Operations from 2011 – 2013. From 2003-2008, he worked as Chief Operating Officer of Investment Management and Investment Banking Technology at Lehman Brothers. From 1990 – 1999, he worked at Neuberger Berman in increasingly senior positions, most recently as Chief Administrative Officer of the IT Department.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty’s integrated platform services delivery offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow Dynasty on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

January 22, 2014

Dynasty Financial Partners Expands its Industry-Leading Business Development Team by Adding Ron Sallet as Senior Vice President of Network Development

New York, NY, January 22, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners welcomes Ronald Sallet who joins the firm as Senior Vice President of Network Development rep [...]

Multi-Generational Strid Family Has Deep Ties To Community

NEW YORK, NY, February 20, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Concentus Wealth Advisors, the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated wealth management services and technology. The team is joining the Dynasty Network from Wells Fargo Advisors and was formerly known as Strid Wealth Management Group.

The Concentus Wealth Advisors team consists of the following financial professionals all joining from Well Fargo Advisors:

Erik O. Strid, CFP®, ChFC, – Principal
Gerald “Zeke” Strid – Principal
Paul F. Strid – Principal
Nathan J. Hayward, CFP®, MBA – Director
Thomas J. Greco, MBA – Director

“Concentus Wealth Advisors was built around our desire to deliver independent, integrated and comprehensive wealth management advice and planning solutions to the families we serve. Our clients are notable for their expertise at creating and accumulating wealth. They’re dedicated to building businesses, raising families, shaping communities and creating lasting, meaningful legacies,” said Erik Strid, Principal of Concentus Wealth Advisors. “We built this family business with the mission to help these families manage the complexity and responsibility of their wealth. We are looking forward to significantly growing our business as an independent RIA.”

The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates industry-leading proprietary research from Wilshire Associates and Callan Associates and Envestnet’s state-of-the-art portfolio tools and reporting technology. Charles Schwab will provide clearing and custody services.

“The Concentus Wealth Advisors team consists of extraordinary investment advisors who have built a remarkably successful family-based business with a deep connection to their community. With their newly launched firm, we expect they will have even greater success,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Dynasty is excited to partner with Erik and Paul Strid and their team, and we are proud to add them to our Network of truly independent advisors.”

Biographies

Erik O. Strid, CFP®, ChFC | Principal

With over 20 years of industry experience, Erik guides the overall investment planning and portfolio strategy of our group. After graduating from Amherst College in 1991, Erik spent a year working with Rittenhouse Capital Management, before joining Gerry in 1992. Erik currently holds his general securities registrations and insurance licenses, as well as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. He serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Salvation Army, Acting Without Boundaries (serving young people with disabilities) and Rosemont School of the Holy Child. In addition, he is on the financial advisory board of the Sisters of St. Francis in Media, PA. Erik resides in Bryn Mawr, PA with his wife and three children.

Gerald D. Strid | Principal

Gerry Strid graduated from Villanova University in 1966 and leads our team with over 40 years of experience in the Financial Services industry. Gerry spent the majority of his career as a “Circle of Excellence” Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, before leaving to form the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2003. He has devoted much of his time and energy to support Project H.O.M.E, a non-profit outreach program in Philadelphia. Gerald resides in Villanova, PA with his wife and has five children.

Paul F. Strid | Principal

Paul manages the day-to-day operations of the team. After graduating with a Finance degree from Georgetown in 1997, Paul spent three years working for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York on their institutional sales desk and then as Director of Global Equities Information Technology. Paul joined the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2003. Paul resides in Berwyn, PA with his wife and four children.

Nathan J. Hayward, CFP®, MBA | Director

Prior to joining the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2008, Nathan worked with the Kessler Baker Wealth Management Group. Nathan graduated from Arcadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics & Business Administration and then received his International MBA from Arcadia University in 2009. In addition, Nathan has received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He currently serves on the executive committee for the Arcadia University MBA Alumni Association, is an active finance committee member of the Scleroderma Foundation (Delaware Chapter) and participates with the non-profit organization Yoga Unites as the active Treasurer. A native of Bermuda, Nathan currently resides in Berwyn, PA.

Thomas J. Greco, MBA | Director

Thomas joined Strid Wealth Management in the spring of 2010 with twelve years of experience in the financial services industry. His previous experience was with The Vanguard Group and Turner

Investment Partners. Thomas graduated Bloomsburg University in 2002 with a B.S. in Finance. He also earned his MBA from St. Joseph’s University with a concentration in Finance.

Thomas resides in Chester Springs, PA with his wife and two children.

About Concentus Wealth Advisors

As a family-based team of independent Registered Investment Advisors, Concentus Wealth Advisors is committed to helping high net worth families achieve their most important financial goals. Our advice goes well beyond the accumulation of assets to address virtually every aspect of their wealth. The detailed and disciplined process we follow with each client results in a personalized wealth management roadmap integrating investment strategy, family governance, estate planning, liability and life insurance solutions, philanthropic endeavors, real estate and more—for both today and tomorrow. Our completely objective and transparent service model allows us to act in a truly advisory and fiduciary capacity for our clients; each solution we present is drawn from the best of Wall Street and is presented entirely in the best interests of the families we serve. In today’s complex financial world, Concentus Wealth Advisors brings welcomed clarity, vision and results to our clients’ financial lives.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.
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December 19, 2013

Dynasty Financial Partners Expands: Moves to Larger NYC Headquarters, Adds Staff

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced the move to their new headquarters in New York City. As part of their expansion plans, the firm will now be located at the prestigious mid-town location of 1350 Avenue of Americas on the 32nd Floor overlooking Central Park South. “We designed our... [...]

December 03, 2013

Dynasty Financial Partners Welcomes Ed Friedman as Director of Strategic Relationships

New York, NY, December 3, 2013 – Dynasty Financial Partners today welcomes Ed Friedman as Director of Strategic Relationships reporting jointly to Shirl Penney, President and CEO, and Ed Swenson, Chief Operating Officer of Dynasty Financial Partners. Based in New York, Mr. Friedman’s responsibilities will incl [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners today welcomes Ed Friedman as Director of Strategic Relationships reporting jointly to Shirl Penney, President and CEO, and Ed Swenson, Chief Operating Officer of Dynasty Financial Partners.

Based in New York, Mr. Friedman’s responsibilities will include business development, management of key client relationships, and delivering practice management programs working with Dynasty’s Network Advisors. Mr. Friedman has been a consultant to the financial services industry after leaving HighTower Advisors in 2011. He worked at HighTower since 2008 as part of the founding management team and was, most recently, Director of Advisor Development for HighTower. Mr. Friedman also has a long career as a leader in wealth management having held branch management positions and senior wealth management roles at Morgan Stanley over the course of his career.

“I am delighted to welcome Ed to Dynasty Financial Partners. We continue to see an acceleration in our business with the number and the size of teams looking to join Dynasty’s Network and thus continue to look to add top intellectual capital to the team to support this growth,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Ed brings a unique perspective to Dynasty having experience in wirehouse world, independent space, and as a consultant to advisors around areas of practice management. He will be a great educator for advisors considering independence, and a great advisor advocate and coach for those in our growing network.”

Mr. Friedman said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Dynasty team. They have proven over and over that they provide the industry-leading platform for advisors seeking independence or to RIAs looking for a growth partner. I look forward to bringing my experience to Dynasty’s Network Advisors in helping them to achieve all their business goals.”

Ed Friedman Bio

Mr. Friedman began his career at Morgan Stanley in 1985 as a Financial Advisor and worked at the firm in increasingly senior positions reaching Executive Director, Complex Manager at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth management from 2004-2008. After that, he moved to HighTower Advisors as Director of Business Development, assisting in attracting the first 18 teams to HighTower Advisors. Mr. Friedman left HighTower in 2011 to become an industry consultant counseling advisors in areas of practice management, expense controls, vendor selection, organic and inorganic growth strategies, and succession planning.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty’s integrated platform services delivery offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow Dynasty on LinkedIn and on Twitter @DynastyFP.

October 14, 2013

Dynasty’s Michael Brown on Barron’s TV

Mike Brown discusses the impact of a Government Shutdown on the markets and the impact it will have both long and short term. [...]

September 28, 2013

Dynasty Financial Partners Expands Investment Platform with Significant Capital Markets Hire: Tom Petrone Joins the Firm as Director of Capital Markets

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced the addition of Tom Petrone as the Director of Capital Markets. Mr. Petrone will be based in New York City and [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced the addition of Tom Petrone as the Director of Capital Markets.

Mr. Petrone will be based in New York City and has been appointed to the Dynasty Financial Partners Investment Committee. He will report to Todd Thomson, Chairman of Dynasty, in Thomson’s role as Chief Investment Officer.

As Director of Capital Markets, Mr. Petrone will be leading a number of major initiatives for Dynasty to expand its capital markets platform. He will enhance Dynasty’s current platform by further developing the firm’s capabilities to access the institutional capital markets desks across Wall Street.

In addition to trading securities, structuring of derivatives, designing hedging and monetization strategies on restricted securities and originating structured notes, Mr. Petrone will build a community of syndicate providers and an investment banker referral network.

Since launching Dynasty’s institutionally-advised asset management programs in 2012, Dynasty has seen rapid growth in its Outsourced CIO, unified managed accounts (UMA), separately managed accounts (SMA), advisor as portfolio manager and strategy models.

Dynasty’s Turn Key Asset Management Program (TAMP) just passed $3 billion in assets. Assets in Dynasty’s strategy portfolios, UMAs and SMAs have just passed $1 billion and assets in Dynasty’s newly launched Alternative Direct Solutions are approaching $100 million.

Mr. Petrone said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the professional team at Dynasty. I’ve been incredibly impressed by the rapid growth of their business and the success of the advisors that have joined their network. I look forward to delivering world-class capital markets capabilities to advisors and their clients in the Dynasty Network.

One of the leading capital markets experts on Wall Street, Mr. Petrone joins Dynasty Financial Partners after 30 years of experience. Most recently, he served as Head of Capital Markets for the Citigroup Private Bank, North America responsible for the securities and transactional business across all asset classes. This included all client market activity on the bank and brokerage platform. Starting as an options trader at Smith Barney in 1979, Mr. Petrone held numerous senior capital markets positions over a 30 year career, including Co-Head of US Equity Derivatives at Citigroup.

Mr. Thomson said, “We are delighted to welcome Tom to the Dynasty team. He brings a significant depth of experience in capital markets to our investment platform and our Network Advisors. As we continue to expand our sophisticated investment solutions for the elite advisory firms in the Dynasty Network, Tom will be invaluable in structuring complex transactions, educating Network Advisors and delivering the best of Wall Street to our independent advisors.”

Shirl Penney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dynasty, said: “Dynasty has experienced tremendous growth in assets in our investment platform over the past year. Our advisors are handling more complex and larger capital market transactions. With the addition of Tom, we are elevating our capital markets capabilities to an entirely new higher level.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.

July 08, 2013

Swenson: Breakaways not going away- Investment News

The Dynasty COO says the independent model is here to stay, thanks in no small part to the technology gains made by firms outside the wirehouse world. [...]

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December 17, 2012

Dynasty Financial Partners’ Network of 15 Advisor Firms Tops $13 Billion in Assets under Advisement on Two-Year Anniversary

Release: December 17, 2012 Contact: Sally Cates, Dynasty Public Relations, 212.373.1000, sallycates@dynastyfinancialpartners.com December 17, 2012. Dynasty Financial Partners celebrates its two-year anniversary this m [...]

Contact: Sally Cates, Dynasty Public Relations, 212.373.1000, sallycates@dynastyfinancialpartners.com

December 17, 2012. Dynasty Financial Partners celebrates its two-year anniversary this month with an expanding network of advisory firms and more than $13 billion in assets under advisement. As a result of this significant growth and momentum in assets and advisors, Dynasty is now considered one of the fastest growing financial services companies in the industry.

Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “It has been a remarkable two years. We are pleased that those teams that have been part of our network for more than 12 months have, on average, 120% of the assets they had when they broke away from their previous firms. Two of our firms have more than doubled their assets during their partnerships with Dynasty. Our ability to allow our advisors to become institutional ‘clients of the Street’ in order to execute strategies on behalf of their clients has proven to be an important differentiator for our teams.”

Dynasty Financial Partners now has 15 firms in its network with plans to limit its size to no more than 150 elite firms. Those 15 firms have over 40 advisor partners who manage 21 offices across the U.S.

Since launching Dynasty’s institutionally-advised asset management programs earlier this year, Dynasty has seen rapid growth in its separately managed accounts (SMA), advisor as portfolio manager, strategist models, and performance reporting platforms. Total assets are now approaching $2 billion in assets under advisement in these programs. In addition, there are plans to launch alternative investment access programs early in 2013.

“It has been remarkable to witness the rapid acceptance of Dynasty’s unique SMA program,” said Bill Crager, President of Envestnet. “Dynasty’s investment division is one of the fastest growing businesses we have seen, and we are excited by the future prospects of our partnership with them.”

In the industry, RIAs are growing as a proportion of all advisors as they continue to shift toward the independent business model. At the end of 2010, RIAs represented 7% of all advisors and are projected to grow by 13% by the end of 2012 according to Cerulli Associates. By 2015, Cerulli estimates that there will be more assets in the independent channel versus the traditional wirehouse and private bank channels.

“We are gratified that our strategy to ‘power independence’ for elite advisory firms is resonating so strongly with teams looking to break away from large brokerages as well as already independent firms,” said Todd Thomson, Chairman of Dynasty. “It seems that many of the best firms in the industry value our ability to customize their platform, provide access to the industry’s leading products, deliver institutional quality research and manager access, provide lending, trust and insurance solutions, and create a community of like-minded independent firms to share ideas and expertise.”

According to Dynasty Financial Partners’ Chief Operating Officer, Ed Swenson, “What is so exciting for us is that we are helping to power the American dream of business ownership by enabling advisors to be truly independent and helping them to establish their own firm, brand, business strategy and client coverage model. With Dynasty, we make it easier by helping advisors get all the benefits of independence while working behind the scenes to make it easier for them to have their own businesses.”

One of the attractions of independence for advisors is building the equity value of their business. “Advisors can build up the value of their firm over time and to monetize their large client base and AUMs,” said Mr. Penney.

New Tagline

To celebrate the two-year milestone, Dynasty Financial Partners is launching a new tagline: ‘Powering Independence.’ This tagline articulates Dynasty’s mission to help leading advisors build, service and grow their own business by evaluating, sourcing and integrating the industry’s finest resources and capabilities.

In addition, Dynasty is unveiling its new website today which will include video, enhanced graphics and a special section for advisors considering independence at www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com

September 12, 2012

Dynasty Financial Partners Names Jonathan R. Morris as Chief Legal & Governance Officer

Industry Veteran Brings Depth of Wealth Management Experience and Thought Leadership to Dynasty Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that Jonathan R. Morris has been named Chief Legal & Governance Officer and will be managing all of the legal and compliance issues at Dynasty. Mr. Morris will report directl [...]


Industry Veteran Brings Depth of Wealth Management Experience and Thought Leadership to Dynasty

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that Jonathan R. Morris has been named Chief Legal & Governance Officer and will be managing all of the legal and compliance issues at Dynasty. Mr. Morris will report directly to Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners.

“Jonathan’s stellar experience and track record makes him uniquely qualified to support Dynasty and its continued expansion in the financial services arena. He will be a key contributor with respect to strategic growth and risk management matters relating to all aspects of the firm’s business. He will lead all legal and compliance initiatives for Dynasty while adding to the firm’s intellectual capital that is made available to our network advisory firms. We see Jonathan’s role as critical to the firm’s continued development and expansion,” said Mr. Penney.

Mr. Morris will be responsible for all legal and governance matters including acting as a liaison to Dynasty’s outside counsel, negotiating contracts and representing Dynasty on all legal matters arising from its business. He will also be responsible for developing and maintaining Dynasty’s compliance programs in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.

Dynasty Financial Partners’ Network of advisors has been expanding rapidly over the last year and now has over $13 billion in assets under advisement. In the past 16 months, Dynasty has announced 15 partner firms with 37 advisors in all that have joined its growing network of top independent advisors that utilize Dynasty’s industry leading integrated platform. In 2012, the firm has broadened its geographic footprint by adding independent advisor teams in locations such as Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.

Mr. Morris has over 30 years of legal experience. He joins Dynasty Financial Partners from Day Pitney where he was Co-head of the firm’s Broker Dealer, Investment Adviser Practice Group. Prior to Day Pitney, Mr. Morris was a Managing Director, General Counsel and Head of Governance for Barclays Wealth where he supported the expansion of Barclays into the private wealth management business in the Americas. Prior to Barclays, Mr. Morris was a Managing Director and the Senior Attorney for Lehman Brothers Investment Management Division. He began his career at Seward & Kissel in New York. He received a JD from Fordham University Law School and a BA from Washington & Lee University.
About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of the finest wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors best protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.
Contacts

Dynasty Financial Partners
Sally Cates, 212-373-1000
sallycates@dynastyfinancialpartners.com

July 24, 2012

Dynasty Financial Partners Welcomes John Sullivan as Senior Vice President, RIA & Transition Services

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that it has hired John Sullivan as Senior Vice President, RIA & Transition Services. Mr. Sullivan will be based in Chicago and New York. As Senior Vice President, RIA Services, Mr. Sullivan’s responsibilities will include supporting [...]

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that it has hired John Sullivan as Senior Vice President, RIA & Transition Services.

Mr. Sullivan will be based in Chicago and New York. As Senior Vice President, RIA Services, Mr. Sullivan’s responsibilities will include supporting the Dynasty divisions focused on the transition of new advisor teams and the ongoing practice development of existing Network firms.

The addition of Mr. Sullivan follows Dynasty’s hiring of Austin J. Philbin as Senior Consultant, RIA Services in May 2012 as the firm builds out its RIA services team.

“Having worked with John for over a decade in the past at Citi/Smith Barney, I am delighted to welcome John to Dynasty Financial Partners. He brings a depth of ultra high net worth client and product wealth management experience to our Network Advisors,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “As we rapidly expand our business across the country, John will be invaluable to advisors looking to grow their firms and ensuring they are maximizing Dynasty as their growth partner.”

“Having worked with several wealth management platforms over the years, I became increasingly aware of the need to offer comprehensive wealth management solutions on an open, objective platform,” said Mr. Sullivan. “It is clear that the Dynasty platform represents the future of wealth management. I am excited to join Dynasty as it continues to grow its business while driving positive change in the industry.”

Mr. Sullivan spent over twenty years at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney/Citigroup serving in numerous high net worth wealth management roles. Most recently, he was Director of Wealth Planning Centers, a national role geared toward helping Financial Advisors provide their clients with comprehensive wealth management solutions.

Previously, Mr. Sullivan served as Divisional Director of Private Wealth Management in the Midwest catering to those clients and prospects with $50MM or more in investable assets. He also spent several years as a Credit and Lending Specialist helping Financial Advisors deliver tailored credit solutions to their high net worth clients and prospects.

Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses with FINRA.
About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.
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July 13, 2011

Why Brokers Are Leaving Wire Houses

Gary Kaminsky, former Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, comments on the trend of financial advisors seeking to become independent. [...]

April 25, 2011

Better Off with a Small Investment House?

Former Citigroup CFO Todd Thomson reveals his thoughts on the equity, capital & bond markets ahead of the end of QE2. Plus, why he started Dynasty Financial and what separates his “small but mighty” strategy from the giants of asset management. [...]

April 25, 2011

Retail Brokerage Business Model Failing?

A look at why the big business brokerage model is dying, with Todd Thomson, Dynasty Financial Partners chairman. [...]

April 25, 2011

Bank on Financials?

Discussing why financials continue to lag the market, with Todd Thomson, Dynasty Financial Partners chairman. [...]

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December 06, 2010

Is Full-Service Brokerage Model Changing?

Watch the CNBC video clip. [...]













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January 22, 2020

Music and Math Mesh at High Note Wealth
FA Magazine

Katherine Forrester Schneewind has two passions: country music and financial planning. For Schneewind, a Bachelor of Arts degree in music therapy from the University of Minnesota eventually led to a career in finances [...]

Katherine Forrester Schneewind has two passions: country music and financial planning.

For Schneewind, a Bachelor of Arts degree in music therapy from the University of Minnesota eventually led to a career in finances. She uses her approach to music to help inform her financial planning at her new firm, High Note Wealth, in Deep Haven, Minn., where she is CEO and founder.

“Mathematics and music are rooted in the same area of the brain,” Schneewind said in an interview with Financial Advisor magazine. “I’ve always been interested in the stock market and finances, and I helped my mother with her finances.”

Schneewind started out as a music therapist working with traumatic brain injury patients, but she soon transitioned to financial planning with Northwestern Mutual. That was more than two decades ago. At Northwestern Mutual she was a wealth management advisor and was the recipient of the 2016 Top 50 Women in Business Award given by the Minneapolis Business Journal, as well as the 2017 and 2011 Top Women in Finance Award presented by Finance & Commerce magazine.

Then last November she launched her own firm with her brother, Michael Forrester, who is chief investment officer and president at the independent registered investment advisor.

“Having a background in music and music therapy makes me more empathetic and a better listener,” which helps to connect with clients and prospects, she said. “I still play the piano and sing but only as a hobby now. Money is a sensitive topic to many people and [having been a music therapist] helps me approach and connect with clients.”

High Note Wealth’s typical clients are women in transition, such as from a job change, divorce, disability or death of a spouse. They also are often business owners or corporate executives with complex finances who need to balance growth with risk. The firm starts with a financial plan and then reverse engineers into the investment part of the picture, she said. Most of Schneewind’s clients followed her to the new firm, which now has $500 million in assets under management.

“A lot of my clients have been with me since 1996 and that longevity is testimony to how successful we are at building relationships,” Schneewind said. She would like to see the firm add a few clients each year from referrals. Clients fall into a wide range of wealth levels from $500,000 in investable assets to $15 million.

“We would like to be a billion-dollar firm but we want to grow purposefully," she said. "Adding value for our clients is the most important thing. I wanted to have my own firm so I could expand the offerings for clients.”

Each new client to High Note Wealth receives an audit of their finances. “That makes us different,” Schneewind explained. “We look at the client’s situation and see if there is a way to improve it. Sometimes we find people who are already doing fantastic, and we tell them that. Then we position ourselves to be the one who can help when seasons change.”

Schneewind said "seasons" for a person could be life events, including pending retirement.
 

January 13, 2020

20 on '20: Great Diamond aims to sparkle on wealth management scene
MaineBiz

Two floors above David’s Restaurant on Portland’s Monument Square, the Great Diamond Partners office is decorated with cool blue hues and a comfy couch in the reception area. [...]

Two floors above David’s Restaurant on Portland’s Monument Square, the Great Diamond Partners office is decorated with cool blue hues and a comfy couch in the reception area.

Though not what you’d expect from a wealth management firm, it’s one of many ways the startup boutique aims to set itself apart from rivals. Four ex-UBS bankers led by Steve Tenney as CEO launched Great Diamond Partners last May, joined by three support staff.

“It’s a very competitive market,” says Tenney. “We make ourselves stand out by the expertise on the team” along with a friendly, comfortable approach down to the office décor. “It’s a friendly feel, and that has helped.”

This will be Great Diamond Partners’ first full year in business — and growing the staff is on the agenda for 2020. Tenney is on the lookout for additional advisers, provided they’re a good fit and bring the right talents.

 
“If someone can fit those two criteria, we want to talk to them,” Tenney says. “We have every intention of growing, and growth will help us further our purpose.”

Great Diamond Partners manages more than $500 million for clients, who are mainly concentrated in greater Portland but as far afield as Seattle and Cape Coral, Fla. The figure is 104% of its target less than a year after Tenney launched the business with UBS colleagues Joseph Powers, Helen Andreoli and Jack Piper. Tenney says they were able to bring over the “vast majority” of their clients from UBS.

They launched the business with help from Dynasty Financial Partners, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based provider of wealth management and technology platforms for a growing network of independent financial advisory firms.

“One of the reasons for the move is that the technology is significantly better, so we can do a better job” serving clients with tools including online scheduling, Zoom cloud computing services and planning software, Tenney says. “These are not advanced technologies, but we couldn’t use them before.”

Using that technology to serve clients’ biggest challenges is among Tenney’s priorities for 2020, along with new client development and determining how Great Diamond Partners can have the greatest impact on the community through active participation in nonprofit organizations.

 
“We’re taking leadership positions, and that’s something we’d like to do more of,” says Tenney.

January 10, 2020

“The 5 most common things that people wish someone told them before they retired”, with David Root

Consider the risk of outliving your money. Today, people can live in retirement for 30 years or more. Post retirement income becomes critical as well as the ability of your portfolio to alleviate the long-term risks of inflation or healthcare needs. Just because you retire d [...]

Consider the risk of outliving your money. Today, people can live in retirement for 30 years or more. Post retirement income becomes critical as well as the ability of your portfolio to alleviate the long-term risks of inflation or healthcare needs. Just because you retire doesn’t mean your money should. Hey, John D. Rockefeller retired at age 61 and had his most joyful and lucrative years after that until his death 36 years later!

I had the pleasure of interviewing David Root CFP®, founder and CEO, DBR & CO. David’s efforts are concentrated on setting the tone for the business he founded more than 25 years ago. Under David’s leadership, the firm successfully made the transition to becoming an independent RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). This has led to the firm’s growth and expansion on a national level in the core disciplines of Wealth Management and Corporate Retirement Plans. He has authored several articles and commentaries including “A Further Look” which takes a timely and often non-consensus view of the state of financial planning and asset management.

Thank you so much for doing this with us, David! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Ibegan my career in 1983 right out of college, working for a small general life insurance agency in Pittsburgh. I was given the daunting task of reaching out to 3000 orphaned policy holders to discuss their policies. This was before the days of the internet, cell phones and certainly Google Maps. All I had was a used car and an old folded map. (I wasn’t familiar with Pittsburgh at the time) I started by making phone calls, but quickly realized it would require a face to face with these policyholders if I were going to discover what their true needs were.

This began my 36-year conviction that personally delivered advice was critical in client relationships. That’s when I learned that the concept of financial planning was important for securing the future for clients.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Over the years, there are a number of client stories that stand out to me. One in particular involved a first meeting with a new client and his wife. He was a real solid guy, working as a detective in a local police department. He hadn’t really done a lot of saving or investing outside of a couple small mutual funds and he was looking to retire in 4 or 5 years.

When the couple came into our office, I sensed a little tension between the two of them and it wasn’t long before the wife blurted out “We don’t have a pot to piss in!” Perhaps out of pity for this poor guy, I suggested we dig in a little to see where they actually stand with all of their various assets. I quickly discovered there was some real hidden value in what we were discussing. It turned out that he had an attractive pension as well as some natural gas royalties on some property they owned, which were about to commence in a year or two.

After running an analysis of their assets and potential income sources including social security, we determined that in fact projected cashflow streams made them millionaires. The change in the air was rather breathtaking and my new client had visibly redeemed himself in his wife’s eyes. I was still smiling long after they left my office.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

My first year in the business, I was earning a whopping base salary of $1,000 per month and was responsible for paying my own expenses. After only six months, I was $5000 in debt. I approached my boss at the time with the conclusion that I couldn’t live on what I was earning with the expenses I was incurring.

He asked me how I thought I could make more money? After all, I met with all of my clients and learned that most have a need for larger and more comprehensive policies. I could earn more by helping them with that.

So, at that moment I had an “aha” moment. The idealist in me hadn’t realized until this conversation that I should be paid accordingly for helping people. It seems ironic now that I was trying to be a great financial planner for my clients, and I couldn’t even manage my own finances!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am a third-generation financial advisor, and I would have to credit both my father and my grandmother for steering me toward a career in financial services. My grandfather started a firm, P.B. Root & Company in the 1920s in Erie, Pennsylvania. My father and my uncle ran the business for years. My father and my grandmother both suggested financial services as a viable option for my career, since it had served our family well and there were many benefits and rewards to helping others. My father told me “If you help people solve their problems you’ll never want for a job.”



What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

I would urge them to come to terms with the ‘why’ they do what they do. For me, it was always about helping people accomplish things they couldn’t do on their own. Discover your passion and keep seeking better ways to deliver for clients. It’s not about the money. If that becomes your only motivation, you will just end up coming to work to do a job. If you keep trying new ideas, you will always be excited about what we do for clients — which is helping them have their best life.

Most importantly, I would urge my colleagues to have conviction and understanding that never have we been able to provide so much value for so little cost to clients as we are able to now. Financial Planning has never been more affordable or as transparent as it is today. There really has never been a better time to be in our industry.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Surround yourself with good people, and help them become better than you. That means creating a teaching environment and making your firm a laboratory for new ideas. As a mentor, empower and inspire your people — then get out of the way.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact nearly every aspect of one’s life. Obviously, everyone’s experience is different. But In your experience, what are the 5 most common things that people wish someone told them before they retired?

1. Have an understanding of how Medicare and social security work and how to optimize them as tools for your retirement.

2. Know what your liability risks are and why a financial plan is important for protecting one’s assets long-term. Consider their impact on your estate or ability to live on your assets.

3. Consider the risk of outliving your money. Today, people can live in retirement for 30 years or more. Post retirement income becomes critical as well as the ability of your portfolio to alleviate the long-term risks of inflation or healthcare needs. Just because you retire doesn’t mean your money should. Hey, John D. Rockefeller retired at age 61 and had his most joyful and lucrative years after that until his death 36 years later!

4. What is your plan post-retirement? What are you retiring to?

5. Prepare for and have a mindset to experience joy in retirement instead of dread.

Let’s zoom in on this a bit. If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important financial issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?

Know how to optimize government benefits
Have a good advisor (sounding board) to review all financial aspects of your life — planning and investments. You may be retired, but you don’t have to be alone.
Have a plan for long-term care while you can still qualify for and afford it.
My parents were a good example of not having a proper plan in place for long term care. They viewed it as being too expensive and unnecessary because they were in great health at age 69. My brothers and I took it upon ourselves to take on the premiums for a long-term care policy, and it proved to be a good decision. My parents were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and at age 73, were able to use the claims to pay for their care until they passed away at 80. Their assets would have vanished within a short period of time without the policy being in place. It would have forced myself and my brothers to pay for their care and there would not have been any estate remaining.

If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important health issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?

1)Take care of yourself and make health a top priority. Don’t enter retirement with any forced errors regarding health.

2) Have a healthy and positive outlook.

3) Plan for the unexpected with a bullet-proof investment plan should you live longer than expected. In addition, having insurance to protect against the risk of long-term illness.

My father always told me that because he and my mother took care of themselves (eating well, going for walks) that they had control of their health. Alzheimer’s was unexpected and would have taken away everything they had. While they had 1 and 2 covered above, it was the third issue of protecting against a long-term illness that proved to be most important in allowing them to have proper care to live out their lives comfortably. Having long-term care insurance allowed me and my brothers to focus on spending time on their needs and not scrambling to take care of the cost of their care.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

January 06, 2020

Biggest advisor moves of 2019: $62B in mega recruits
On Wall Street

The stats alone are impressive. More than 20 mega teams — those managing $1 billion or more in assets — switched firms last year. Those advisors collectively oversaw more than $62 billion in client assets, representing big gains for their new employers and tough losses for their former firms [...]

The stats alone are impressive. More than 20 mega teams — those managing $1 billion or more in assets — switched firms last year.

Those advisors collectively oversaw more than $62 billion in client assets, representing big gains for their new employers and tough losses for their former firms.

The biggest group of winners were regional BDs, which picked up more than a dozen big advisors. These new hires oversaw more than $12 billion in assets, according to their new employers. RBC, for example, hired one of the largest teams: a former UBS duo that managed $7.5 billion in client assets.

More often than not, the wirehouses were on the losing side of these moves. Forty advisors overseeing more than $32 billion left the big four for greener pastures.

Scroll through to see where the industry biggest teams migrated in 2019.

Raymond James scores big UBS team
Raymond James scooped up a former UBS team that managed $990 million in client assets, according to the firm.

The firm’s newest recruits operate as SPG Fiduciary Partners and signed on with the company’s employee channel in Bethesda, Maryland. The group is comprised of Arun Sardana, Adam Proger, Paul Grambsch and Reilly Loflin. In addition to private clients, the team also serves institutional clients.

The quartet had $1.6 billion in assets under advisement at UBS, according to their new employer.

 Merrill Lynch loses $1B team to J.P. Morgan Securities
A team that managed $1 billion in client assets quit Merrill Lynch to join J.P. Morgan Securities.

Financial advisors Christopher Andrews, Jacob Robert Webb, David Luther signed on with J.P. Morgan Securities in Palm Beach, Florida, where they report to regional director Rick Penafiel.

In a statement, Andrews said his team switched to J.P. Morgan Securities for the firm’s resources and “long history of providing holistic wealth management services to high-net-worth families, business owners and foundations.”


 $1B team jumps to Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley recruited a billion-dollar team from J.P. Morgan Securities, showing that while the wirehouse may have cut back on overall hiring it continues to selectively pick up top talent.

Advisors Mario Lamar and Carlos Bonzon joined Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management and operate from two locations: Miami and New York. A company spokeswoman confirmed they joined the wirehouse this week.

Lamar and Bonzon were both ranked on Forbes’ 2019 Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, and listed as having team assets of $1 billion. They serve ultrahigh-net-worth clients. Forbes described the duo’s average client size as $25 to $50 million.


 $1B team returns to Morgan Stanley after 10 year UBS interlude
Jevin Ferguson and Daniel Marks now work at Morgan Stanley’s office in Newport Beach, California. They oversaw approximately $1 billion, according to Forbes’ best-in-state advisor ranking.

Ferguson and Marks have 18 and 19 years of industry experience, respectively, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. They had been registered with UBS since 2009, having previously worked at Smith Barney.

Marks started his career at Morgan Stanley in 1999, according to BrokerCheck.


 Raymond James snaps up $1B team from Merrill
Raymond James picked up a Merrill Lynch team that managed roughly $1 billion in client assets and generated $3.6 million in annual revenue.

Raymond James has been aggressively recruiting for several years — including pushes into the West Coast and Northeast, where it traditionally had fewer advisors. The addition of Seyle Hickey Wealth Management, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, further enlarges its footprint in the Northeast.

Advisors William “Rusty” Seyle and Tim Hickey spent 27 and 24 years, respectively, at Merrill, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.


 Rockefeller recruits $1B UBS team for new office
Bruce Tenenbaum and Andy Lam opened a new wealth management office for Rockefeller in San Francisco where they will cater to ultrahigh-net-worth clients, according to the firm.

Rockefeller has focused on poaching top talent from Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

Tenenbaum had been with UBS since 2009, having previously worked at Goldman Sachs. Lam joined him at the wirehouse in 2014, after serving as a financial analyst intern with Morgan Stanley.

 $1B team defection from Wells Fargo is big win for indie firm
A team responsible for $1 billion in client assets quit Wells Fargo to join a smaller rival, AdvicePeriod.

Jackie Lewis and Ryan Goldenhar joined the independent firm, which has more than two dozen advisors operating out of 13 offices.

Lewis and Goldenhar had worked at Wells Fargo’s private bank as a financial advisor and investment strategist since 2004 and 2006, respectively, according to their LinkedIn profiles and BrokerCheck records. They cited AdvicePeriod’s resources as a reason for the move, according to a statement.


 Stifel nabs billion-dollar Merrill Lynch team
Stifel opened a Fort Worth, Texas branch staffed by two former Merrill Lynch advisors who oversaw approximately $1 billion in combined client assets.

Toby Ardoyno started his career at Merrill Lynch in 1999.

His colleague Toni Rose joined the wirehouse from Cetera in 2014. A third advisor, Blake Furgerson, made the move with the team, a Stifel spokesman confirmed. Furgerson has five years of industry experience, according to BrokerCheck.

 Ex-HighTower RIA recruits $1.2B advisor from Fidelity
An advisor who oversaw $1.2 billion joined Verdence Capital, a $2 billion RIA with ambitious growth plans.

Meg Sheil-Puopolo, who previously worked at Fidelity Investments, joined Verdence in Baltimore where she will serve high-net-worth clients and families.

Sheil-Puopolo says she was drawn to Verdence because of its resources, corporate environment, fiduciary status and the opportunity to be part of something “growing from the ground up.” She knew of the firm because of her friendship with the firm’s COO.

“I met with the team and I was really impressed with them and their unique way of planning. It’s really collaborative,” she says.

 $1.5B team quits Wells Fargo for First Republic
First Republic landed a former Wells Fargo team that was responsible for approximately $1.5 billion in private client and institutional assets.

The new hires — advisors George Fuchs, David Schulman, Gregory Carafello and Chad Cohen — joined First Republic in New York last week.

Fuchs and Schulman are industry veterans, with 21 and 22 years of experience, respectively. They had been registered with Wells Fargo since 2008, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. They both have past work experience at Smith Barney and Dean Witter.

 Wells Fargo loses more brokers to First Republic
First Republic picked up a four-person team from Wells Fargo.

Peter Morimoto, Jon Jewitt, and Roy Elliott Jr. joined First Republic’s San Diego office as managing directors. Marena Tufenkjian joined as a vice president and wealth manager. The firm did not disclose the team’s AUM.

Wells Fargo has suffered from advisor attrition since a phony accounts scandal came to light in 2016. The bank reported that broker headcount fell below 14,000 at the end of the fourth quarter.


 Summit Trail lands $1.5B team to open new office
Summit Trail Advisors, an RIA founded by former Barclays advisors catering to ultrawealthy clients, expanded its reach with a new office and the addition of a team that managed $1.5 billion.

The group, led by former Wilmington Trust advisors Jonathan Williams and Kevin Curtis, will staff a new office set to open in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to Summit Trail.

They were drawn to Summit for its platform, technology and culture, Williams and Curtis say. The duo decided against opening their own RIA, opting instead to join an existing outfit expressly set up to service wealthy clientele, they say.

“It was clear to us when we met with Summit Trail that this was a no brainer,” says Williams, who has worked with Curtis for 11 years.


 Fired star UBS advisor starts second act with Dynasty
A top advisor started a second act as an independent advisor backed by Dynasty Financial Partners after being dismissed from UBS in April.

The wirehouse discharged Craig Findley, now CEO of Venture Visionary Partners, for allegedly violating firm policies involving training and outside activities, according to the firm's note in his FINRA BrokerCheck record. The matter was non-sales and non-client related.

“I acknowledge that I violated firm policy when I failed to advise management that my assistant had taken a training module for me. However, I did not intentionally violate firm policy nor was I ever warned, put on heightened supervision or subject to any type of progressive discipline for this action,” Findley said in a response included in his BrokerCheck record.

An advisor 26 years, Findley has no other disclosures on BrokerCheck.

Findley has been listed on a number of top advisor lists, including those of Barron’s and Forbes. His multistate UBS team of 36 professionals had AUM of $6.08 billion as of Oct. 1, 2018, according to Barron's.


 First Republic snags mega Merrill team
Two Merrill Lynch advisors quit to join First Republic, joining a stream of high-net-worth hires at the bank.

Maureen Raihle and John Ver Bockel are based in Palm Beach, Florida, where they serve individuals, families, nonprofits and private family foundations, according to their new employer.

Ver Bockel previously oversaw approximately $1.7 billion, according to a Forbes ranking.

Raihle and Ver Bockel each have more than 30 years of industry experience.


 $1.7B advisor joins UBS
UBS had good luck in the Big Apple, picking up New York-based Kevin Roth from HSBC Securities. The 32-year advisor generated $2.2 million in annual revenue and oversaw $1.7 billion in client assets.

The wirehouse has reduced recruiting efforts since 2016, but continues to selectively hire talent from its rivals.


 Rockefeller lands $1.7B Merrill team
Rockefeller’s recruiting efforts gained steam when the firm brought on a batch of brokers from Merrill Lynch including Higgins Hall Group.

The team includes advisor David Higgins, who has previously been on the Top 40 Advisors Under 40 ranking by On Wall Street. He was also a Barron’s top advisor with listed team assets of approximately $1.7 billion. The seven-member Higgins Hall Group, which also includes advisor Michael Hall, was previously part of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investment Group, a unit catering to wealthy clients.

They joined Rockefeller in Atlanta, where the firm is working to expand its presence.


 Stifel grabs advisors with more than $2.3B
Stifel landed a team that oversaw more than $2 billion, furthering the firm’s expansion efforts.

The former U.S. Bank team is comprised of Scott Dolan, Jim Taylor, Tony Sausville and Mark Graham. They are based in St. Louis, where Stifel is headquartered. The team was previously responsible for client assets of $2 billion.


 William Blair hires $3B team to open new office
Building on previous high-net-worth hires, William Blair recruited a $3 billion team to open a new office.

The seven-member team joined from investment management firm Brown Advisory and is based in Baltimore, according to their new employer. The group consists of advisors Perry Bacon, Darcy Carroll, Robert Hopkins, Robert Oster, Hunter Purcell, Philip Rauch, Mitchell Whiteman and Jennifer Viglucci.

The advisors made the move in part because of company culture and resources. “In William Blair we find an independent, 84-year-old partnership that shares our focus of putting clients first and giving back to the community,” Hopkins said in a statement.



 Big loss for Morgan Stanley as $6B team goes indie
A Morgan Stanley team that managed more than $6 billion quit to go independent with help from Dynasty Financial Partners.

The 11-member team, led by advisor Jason Fertitta, made the move partly because of what they felt were superior technology offerings for RIAs.

“The technology has gotten good enough in that it’s not just a lateral move for our team; it’s an upward move,” Fertitta says, noting that many vendor options available at the big firms are also available to RIAs.


 $6.6B team quits Goldman for UBS in mega move
A team that managed $6.6 billion in client assets quit Goldman Sachs to join UBS.

Advisors Cullen Thomason and Hunter Henry, who were on garden leave, joined UBS in Dallas in July. They previously generated approximately $21 million annual revenue.

Thomason and Henry have been at Goldman for their entire careers. They joined the business in 1997 and 2001, respectively, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.


 UBS suffers mega loss as $7.5B team bolts for RBC
Former UBS advisors Roger Stephens and Daniel Rothenberg, quit to open a new branch for RBC. The team oversaw $7.5 billion in client assets, making their departure one of the biggest leaving the wirehouses — and one of the biggest grabs for a regional brokerage firm in recent years.

The win for RBC caps off an aggressive recruiting year during which it poached a number of wirehouse teams, primarily from Merrill Lynch. But the firm’s hiring of Stephens and Rothenberg eclipses all of its previous hires this year by several magnitudes.

Stephens and Rothenberg will operate from a new RBC office in downtown L.A. at City National Plaza (RBC acquired City National in 2016). Stephens and Rothenberg cited that acquisition and RBC’s small size — it has about 1,900 advisors — as reasons they made the switch.

“We are excited to come to a firm that has a smaller, more focused group of people where we feel we can really make a difference,” Rothenberg said in a statement. “RBC has a boutique feel across the board, which gives us the flexibility to run our business the way we want.”

 $17B team exits First Republic
No bank, regardless of size, has ever watched anything close to $17 billion in clients assets walk out the door. Given that this misfortune befell a relatively small one, the blow — at first blush — appears especially severe for First Republic Bank.

Nearly 50 members of its wealth management division left, following the five top advisors on their team, which oversaw $17 billion in client assets. If it were classified as a breakaway, which typically refers to brokers who bust out of their wirehouse firms, it would be the largest in history.

The advisors split into two RIAs: two advisors formed a Evoke Wealth in Los Angeles, while their other three partners opened IEQ Capital in Palo Alto, California.
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December 05, 2019

Breakaway Barometer: The biggest RIA deals in November
Citywire

We look back at some of the most significant RIA mergers, acquisitions and breakaways of the last month. [...]

$500m team breaks away to launch RIA with Dynasty
A pair of financial advisors who oversee $500 million in client assets has left Northwestern Mutual to set up an independent RIA with the support of Dynasty Financial Partners. 

Sister and brother Katherine Forrester Schneewind and Michael Forrester have launched Minnetonka, Minnesota-based High Note Wealth, which has a total of six employees.

Forrester Schneewind is the firm's chief executive and Forrester its president and chief investment officer.

High Note Wealth’s clients include high net worth individuals, families and business owners. It works with women-owned businesses and women going through significant life changes. 

November 21, 2019

Minnesota Sister-Brother Team Choose Independence
BusinessWire

Leading wealth advisors Katherine Forrester Schneewind and Michael Forrester today announced that they have partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to form an independent wealth management firm called High Note Wealth based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Both Ms. Schneewind and Mr. Forrester previously worked at Northwestern Mutual in the Minneapolis area. [...]

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading wealth advisors Katherine Forrester Schneewind and Michael Forrester today announced that they have partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to form an independent wealth management firm called High Note Wealth based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Both Ms. Schneewind and Mr. Forrester previously worked at Northwestern Mutual in the Minneapolis area.

High Note Wealth has a total of six professionals including two advisors:

Founder and CEO of High Note Wealth, Katherine Forrester Schneewind served as a Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual. She was a recipient of the 2016 Top 50 Women in Business Award (Minneapolis Business Journal) and the 2017 and 2011 Top Women in Finance Award (Finance & Commerce magazine). Ms. Schneewind earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music therapy from the University of Minnesota and holds the Chartered Financial Consultant designation.
Michael Forrester, Founder, President and Chief Investment Officer of High Note Wealth, has deep experience working with high net worth clients for nine years in Wealth Management at Northwestern Mutual. He is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation. Mr. Forrester earned a Bachelor's Degree in history from the University of Minnesota and a Culinary Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu.
“With High Note Wealth, my brother Michael and I are achieving our dreams of owning and running our own company. High Note will be a fully independent RIA business. It’s not well known that Minnesota has a significant number of female owned businesses, and I’m personally excited to be adding to the ranks of women led firms in the North Star State. In addition, 17 Fortune 500 companies are based here so we see a lot of potential to expand our business by continuing to grow our high net worth comprehensive wealth management business given our expanded platform and capabilities to service our growing client base as an RIA powered by Dynasty,” said Ms. Schneewind. “We did serious due diligence for over a year and selected Dynasty to be our strategic partner. Their platform, technology, industry connectivity, and most importantly their people really understood our wealth management platform needs. We are excited to partner with them on our next chapter of our careers with High Note Wealth.”

“Both Katherine and I are very appreciative of our time at Northwestern Mutual and will miss our old friends and colleagues. The idea of owning our own family business together and being able to grow our wealth management business with more high net worth clients is really exciting to us and our team. We also feel that over time there will be an opportunity for us to selectively grow inorganically by adding advisors who fit the culture of firm we are building. We could not be more thrilled to be living our American Dream with High Note Wealth,” said Michael Forrester.

“We are proud to welcome Katherine and Michael to our industry leading network of independent advisors,” said Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Their client advocacy, team-based approach to wealth management, and integrity are very inspiring. More and more family advisory teams are coming to us to explore the potential of building a firm together, and we are excited to partner with High Note Wealth to help them fulfill their dream of owning their own family business.”

“Katherine and Michael, as siblings and highly credentialed financial advisors, bring a unique perspective to the individuals and families they serve,” said John Sullivan, Dynasty’s Director of Network Development, Central Division. “Their planning-based practice will thrive as they transition to the fully independent model supported by Dynasty, and we expect to see significant growth of their business. We are thrilled to welcome the High Note Wealth team to the Dynasty Network!”

High Note Wealth has partnered with Dynasty Financial Partners to leverage Dynasty’s wealth management services, people, business analytics, leading technology, client and prospect assistance. The firm will be using Dynasty’s award-winning integrated Core Services platform for independent advisors and the firm’s turnkey asset management platform (TAMP). They will have access to leading technology, including Dynasty’s proprietary advisor desktop, in-house specialists, home office support, and will benefit from the firm’s significant scale in the industry.

Among its other resource partners, High Note Wealth has selected Schwab to provide custody services.

High Note Wealth’s clients include high net worth individuals, families and business owners. The firm works with women-owned businesses and family businesses, corporate executives, and women in transition -- clients going through life and career transitions – career change, company change, death, disability or divorce. For more information, please visit www.highnotewealth.com.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners is known for assisting advisors of integrity to better service their clients, run their businesses more profitably, grow faster, and enhance the enterprise value of their firms. Dynasty does this by providing wealth management and technology platforms for select independent financial advisory firms. Dynasty creates access to valuable resources and industry-leading capabilities through an open architecture platform, enabling advisors to address their clients’ needs and to protect and grow their wealth. Dynasty supports independent advisors and their teams in being independent, but not alone, by creating exclusive community events and experiences. Dynasty also offers access to flexible capital solutions to help advisors expand, scale, and grow their business and provides M&A support to firms looking to grow inorganically or to plan for succession. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to developing solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. Dynasty has a leading network of RIAs who leverage its integrated platform and Dynasty’s growing Enterprise Services Group supports larger institutional clients who often have multiple advisors in multiple cities by delivering Dynasty’s platform at the home office and firm level. Dynasty has helped to level the playing field for advisors and firms looking to deliver Private Wealth Management capabilities to their UHNW clients vs many of the larger Wall Street firms in providing a robust suite of capabilities, products, and services when combined with Dynasty’s support offers independent advisors the ability to compete at the highest levels of wealth management client opportunities.

November 21, 2019

Sister-Brother Wealth Managers to Open Minneapolis Advisory Firm
Bloomberg

Siblings Katherine Forrester Schneewind and Michael Forrester are leaving Northwestern Mutual’s wealth-management unit with four members of their team and starting an independent advisory firm near Minneapolis. [...]

(Bloomberg) --

Sister-Brother Wealth Managers to Open Minneapolis Advisory Firm

The pair oversaw $500 million at unit of Northwestern Mutual Clients include female business owners, Fortune 500 executives

By Suzanne Woolley

Siblings Katherine Forrester Schneewind and Michael Forrester are leaving Northwestern Mutual’s wealth-management unit with four members of their team and starting an independent advisory firm near Minneapolis.

Schneewind, 46, will be chief executive officer of Minnetonka-based High Note Wealth, while her 43-year-old brother will be president and chief investment officer. The pair, who managed $500 million at Northwestern Mutual, will partner with Dynasty Financial Partners in the new venture.

 “We get to be entrepreneurs, like many of our clients, and wear the hat they wear,” said Schneewind, who spent 23 years at Northwestern Mutual. “We can relate to a lot of issues they have, and that family businesses have.” High Notes’ clients are about evenly split between men and women and many relationships go back two decades, she said. Female clients are primarily corporate executives, business owners and women going through transitions such as divorce or the death of a spouse. Networking with the Women Presidents’ Organization has led to more female business owners as customers, she said.

Wealth managers are increasingly focusing on women, who tend to live longer than men and hold increasing

assets. The number of women making $1 million or more rose to 17,609 in 2016 from 6,597 in 2009, according to Internal Revenue Service data compiled by Bloomberg.

“A lot of our clients started at Fortune 500 companies,” said Forrester, who holds a culinary arts degree from Le

Cordon Bleu in addition to being a Chartered Financial Analyst. “They become breeding grounds for people that want to start their own business.” Target Corp., Best Buy Co., General Mills Inc., U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. are among the large corporations headquartered in the Minneapolis area.

At least nine billionaires have homes in Minnesota, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, including members of the Cargill family, whose wealth stems from Minneapolis-based commodities giant Cargill Inc. International travel and hospitality business Carlson Cos. is based in Minnetonka, where billionaire sisters and coowners

Barbara Carlson Gage and Marilyn Carlson Nelson have residences.

 

November 19, 2019

Bring Your Client Loans With You, RIAs Coax Wirehouse Breakaways
FA IQ

Expect the RIA channel to start aggressively promoting and expanding a “supermarket” of lending options for their clients, according to the bosses from Dynasty Financial Partners and Sanctuary Wealth. [...]

Expect the RIA channel to start aggressively promoting and expanding a “supermarket” of lending options for their clients, according to the bosses from Dynasty Financial Partners and Sanctuary Wealth.

 

The two RIA businesses want to attract breakaways from the wirehouses — Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and UBS — by convincing them that any loans their clients have can easily be replaced in the transition from wirehouse rep to RIA.

Wirehouse advisors increasingly have client loans tied to their wirehouse’s bank as reps are encouraged to get their clients to borrow money. The increased lending to clients offers dual advantages to the wirehouses: it both boosts their revenues and maximizes the stickiness of FAs’ clients to their institutions rather than to their advisors.

But prospective breakaways can overcome that stickiness much more effectively than many wirehouse FAs assume by mapping replacement lending solutions for clients prior to splitting from their old firms, Dynasty and Sanctuary claim.

“The reality is now, it’s very rare that we would find the lending scenario that we haven’t been able to match. We’ve had scenarios where we’ve had large wirehouse teams coming from private wealth management divisions in the wirehouse where they may have hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for clients and we’ve mapped them all, and seamlessly moved them over,” says Shirl Penney, CEO of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based RIA network Dynasty.

Scroll down to see interactive chart of wirehouse lending penetration

“I think it’s going to continue to make it easier and easier to go independent, when advisors have the ability to conduct the business that their clients need and that there are more choices, it’s easier to do. It’s less cumbersome and it’s less bureaucratic on the independent side. It will continue to encourage more advisors. I mean, success breeds success. The more large advisory teams map credit books over, the more that happens, the more others are going to be encouraged to do it,” Penney adds.

“You’re starting to see providers come to the table and offer a supermarket of solutions,” says Jim Dickson, CEO of Sanctuary. Dickson quit Merrill Lynch two years ago and since starting Sanctuary has acquired enough breakaway advisory teams from wirehhouses — including from his former employer — that Sanctuary’s assets under management have reached more than $9 billion. Sanctuary has added at least eight breakaway teams since June, primarily from Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Loan transfers: Perception versus reality

The perception of wirehouse breakaways has not kept pace with the reality of what can happen to their clients’ borrowing if their FAs go independent, Dickson says.

“Their perception is that it’s a lot harder to do than what it really is,” Dickson says. “Once we walk through it and show them the historical success we’ve had — getting better rates and facility structures from various custodians than the wirehouses offered — then we move on."

But it’s certainly an extra conversation "or two,” he admits.

Wirehouses have encouraged FAs to believe the clients will never move if they have loans, he says.

In addition to RIA channel leaders, custodians too want to emphasize that they are widening the availability of lending options for independent FA clients. The giant discount brokerage and custodian Charles Schwabannounced earlier this month it will make more lending products available to financial advisor clients, financial advisors and firms.

The company’s commitment to an effective bank build-out came as a pledge by a trio of Charles Schwab execs to an audience of more than 4,000 advisors attending the company’s annual conference in San Diego earlier this month.

The executives also acknowledged, while making that promise, that they are tardy in adopting more robust lending strategies and are now developing the products and services to better compete with the traditional major and independent broker-dealer companies — includingBank of America’s Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and UBS — all which have expanded aggressively their borrowing options and have historically lent to FAs.

“Traditional thinking is ’This is their spot,’” Bernie Clark, head of advisor services, told the audience, as previously reported in FA-IQ. Schwab initially didn’t jump into the lending space, conceded CEO and presidentWalt Bettinger. But now that’s changed, he said.

Opening the floodgates

Individual FAs who have bolted from wirehouses corroborate Penney and Dickson’s claims about the ease of moving client borrowings to the independent world.

“At first we thought it was going to be a challenge. Once we saw the options of what was out there, we realized quickly any challenges were easily overcome. We were not only able to match every loan rate but most clients got substantial cuts,” says Jonathan Trusty, whose firm Southern Oak Wealth Group is a partner with Sanctuary. Earlier this year, Trusty’s Nashville, Tenn.-based roughly $200 million AUM team moved from Merrill Lynch to independence.

Matt Celenza of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Boulevard Family Wealthtook his $1 billion team from Merrill Lynch to go independent and partner with Dynasty two years ago. His team shifted about $350 million of its clients’ borrowing to new lenders as part of the move.

“We figured out everything before we came,” Celenza recalls, noting that the loan prices they offered clients beat what Merrill Lynch’s parent BofA had been offering and, as a result, 100% of his clients moved. Celenza, whose prior experience includes long stints at then Citi-owned Smith Barney, has a background in customized and private equity lending, so, unlike many other FAs, he worried less about his clients’ loans when he made the move.

If the RIA channel competes effectively in offering clients all types of loans, such success will probably not curb the wirehouses' persistent push to get more lending revenues squeezed out of their wealth management units.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman underlined his wirehouse’s zeal for lending in comments after the company’s third quarter earnings in October. “Continued growth of our loan portfolios are many exciting opportunities that remain in this business,” he told analysts.

Similarly, Bank of America’s CFO Paul Donofrio touted his firm's lending prowess after its earnings for the same quarter were released: “Average loans were 5% higher year to year, reflecting strong growth in mortgage and customer lending.”

October 24, 2019

Introducing James Keefe – Towerpoint Wealth’s new Director of Client Experience

SACRAMENTO, CA ——Towerpoint Wealth is pleased to announce that the firm has added James Keefe as Director of Client Experience, a new position. Mr. Keefe joins the firm from Genovese Burford & Brothers where he was a Wealth Advisor. He will report to Joseph Eschleman, President of Towerpoint Wealth. [...]

SACRAMENTO, CA ——Towerpoint Wealth is pleased to announce that the firm has added James Keefe as Director of Client Experience, a new position.   Mr. Keefe joins the firm from Genovese Burford & Brothers where he was a Wealth Advisor.   He will report to Joseph Eschleman, President of Towerpoint Wealth.

Based in Sacramento, CA, Towerpoint Wealth was launched in July 2017 by financial advisor Joseph Eschleman. Towerpoint Wealth is a member of the Dynasty Network of Advisory firms. 

Prior to Polaris Greystone, Mr. Keefe worked for Balanced Rock Investment Advisors.  He earned his B.A. in American Studies from Providence College.

In this new role, Mr. Keefe will manage and coordinating all firm social media, digital marketing, advertising, corporate sponsorships and charitable events.

Towerpoint Wealth is an independent financial advisory firm with a client focus on retirees, business owners, corporate executives, technology industry professionals, and individuals who have recently experienced a significant life event, such as the death of a spouse, a divorce, or a job or career change.
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December 27, 2018

How to Plan Finances to Raise a Special Needs Child
NYtimes.com

Michael and Carole Maguire’s second daughter, Ally, was born with a rare chromosomal disorder, trisomy 12. “Doctors didn’t know much about it because it was so rare, but they said she would be profoundly mentally challenged,” Mr. Maguire said. “We didn’t think she would walk or talk.” [...]

December 13, 2018

Optimizing Year-End Charitable Strategies in New Tax Law
BrandywineOak.com

Approaching tax and charitable planning should be viewed through a different lens for Delaware and Pennsylvania residents as we approach yearend. Taxpayers should consult with a tax advisor before implementing any tax or charitable strategies, as the rules that govern these strategies can be complex. [...]

Optimizing Year-End Charitable Strategies in New Tax Law

By Michael J. Henley, CFP®, CPWA®, CRPC®
Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) | Private Wealth Advisor
Brandywine Oak Private Wealth
Certified Financial Planner™ | Certified Private Wealth Advisor®
CFP® certfication awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
| www.BrandywineOak.com

500 Old Forge Lane, Suite 501 | Kennett Square, PA 19348

Approaching tax and charitable planning should be viewed through a different lens for Delaware and Pennsylvania residents as we approach yearend.  Taxpayers should consult with a tax advisor before implementing any tax or charitable strategies, as the rules that govern these strategies can be complex. 

In late-2017 Congress passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA), the most significant overhaul of the Federal income tax system since the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  One of the more significant aspects of the new tax law is the limited ability of taxpayers to itemize their tax deductions because of the increased standard deduction which is $12,000 for a single filer and $24,000 for a joint filer. 

Along with the higher standard deduction came a significant reduction in what items could in fact be itemized.  Delaware residents often have higher income taxes and less property tax deductions, while neighboring Pennsylvania residents generally have higher property taxes and less income deductions.  Nonetheless, Congress implemented a $10,000 cap or ceiling on the state and local tax deduction (referred to as the ‘SALT’ deduction) for both individual and joint filers. 

How does this impact charitable giving?  By using an example of a married couple who gives $5,000 per year to charity in the new tax law we can evaluate the impact as well as strategies to overcome the limitations of the new tax law.  This couple who earns $200,000 per year and lives in Delaware or Pennsylvania and will likely be capped at $10,000 on the state and local tax deduction.  They also have $7,000 in mortgage interest deduction (notably not home equity line interest which is no longer deductible).  Adding together the $10k SALT deduction, the $7k of mortgage interest, and the $5k of charitable donation brings this couple to a total of $22,000 in itemized deductions.  In this scenario the couple would take the standard deduction rather than itemize; effectively giving them $0 tax savings for the $5,000 they donated to charity!


How are we advising our clients donate to their favorite charities to ensure they still receive Federal income tax savings?  With a strategy called charitable “lumping” or charitable “bunching” using a vehicle called a donor-advised fund or charitable fund.  With a donor-advised or charitable fund, taxpayers are able to “lump” or “bunch” together a number of years worth of charitable gifts in one year in a lump-sum into their charitable fund. 

Continuing with the prior married couple example, what this couple could do is fund a charitable fund with 10 years worth of donations or $50,000.  By making a large lump-sum donation of $50,000, they would absolutely itemize their deductions in 2018 and receive a fairly substantial Federal income tax savings in the year they fund the charitable fund.  They could then subsequently distribute the $50,000 charitable fund to their favorite charities the way they had been previously at $5,000 per year.  This strategy creates a true win-win for both the taxpayer and the charities alike.    

The charitable fund can be funded with $50,000 of cash, but cash is often shockingly the most tax-inefficient asset to donate to charity.  Many of our clients are active employees or retirees of local corporate conglomerate DuPont Corporation, and often have shares of DuPont stock with a very low purchase price and significant negative capital gain consequences if they sell the shares.  In this scenario, making a $50,000 donation to the charitable fund of appreciated DuPont stock can provide the family a triple benefit.  First, the $50,000 tax deduction in 2018; second, the capital gain on the DuPont stock is evaporated tax-free; and third reducing company concentration risk.  Notably, since this couple would itemize their deductions in 2018—to the extent they give clothing or furniture donations to local charities, 2018 would be the opportune year to donate these items and actually receive a tax benefit for doing so. 

At the end of the day there are many great ways to donate to charities in 2018 while time lasts. 

December 04, 2018

Two autism diagnoses made this planner reprioritize
FinancialPlanning.com

When my two boys were toddlers, they were diagnosed with autism. Raising them — along with my daughter — has not only made me grow as parent, but has also made me a better financial advisor. Over the last 19 years I’ve learned some important lessons from parenting that have also benefited my business. [...]

When my two boys were toddlers, they were diagnosed with autism. Raising them — along with my daughter — has not only made me grow as parent, but has also made me a better financial advisor. Over the last 19 years I’ve learned some important lessons from parenting that have also benefited my business.

Find Your Why 
In our jobs as planners, we ask clients about their “Why.” My own why became crystal clear when my triplets were born. Planning was no longer just about accumulating wealth; it was about accumulating wealth for a very specific reason. I needed to make sure my children would be cared for, even when I was no longer there. When I help my clients focus on their top priorities, instead of market ups and downs, they know exactly what their planning stands for and sleep better at night.

Focus On What You Can Control
I could not control that I was suddenly responsible for not one — but three — babies. I could not control that my boys were diagnosed with autism. I could not control that there was no cure. But I could control how I reacted to these circumstances. Today, I talk to my clients about how no one can forecast or control what the market will do, but we can control how we react to it. Instead of focusing on unpredictable market changes, we home in on their specific goals.

Let Go and Live in the Moment
For some, putting their trust in others is not something that comes naturally. I had to learn to put my faith in others so that my boys could go away to school, and that my daughter could go away to college. I had to entrust their well-being to others and learn to let go.

Charles Massimo is the president and founder of CJM Wealth Management and the father of triplets.
It can be difficult for investors to put their trust in an advisor and let go, but I urge investors to partner with an advisor they trust and let the advisor’s expertise and knowledge carry them during the rough times. Let go of your concerns, and live your best life without too many worries. Trust me — 19 years went by in a flash — so make sure you take the time to enjoy the people around you and live in the moment.

As a business owner and a parent, I’m still learning. There’s no handbook for either of these parts of my life. But understanding my why, focusing on what I can control and putting my faith in others to lend a helping hand when I need it has made all the difference.

November 27, 2018

Ins and outs of seniors donating to their favorite charities under the New Tax Law
Delaware Business Now

The new 2018 tax law has left many Delaware and Pennsylvania residents uneasy about their previous charitable donation strategy as many taxpayers will no longer itemize their deductions. Taxpayers who are over age 65 receive an extra standard deduction of $1,300 per spouse, resulting in a married couple who is in their 70 [...]

Ins and outs of seniors donating to their favorite charities under the New Tax Law

ByDelaware Business Now -

November 26, 2018
 

By Alison C. D. Brooks, CFP, CRPC

Brooks is Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer | Private Wealth Advisor at Brandywine Oak Private Wealth, Kennett Square

The new 2018 tax law has left many Delaware and Pennsylvania residents uneasy about their previous charitable donation strategy as many taxpayers will no longer itemize their deductions. Taxpayers who are over age 65 receive an extra standard deduction of $1,300 per spouse, resulting in a married couple who is in their 70’s with a whopping $26,600 standard deduction. This makes itemizing deductions even more unlikely and many clients are asking us why bother giving to charity anymore at all?

                                      UNICEF USA Official Site - Make a Tax-Deductible Donation

                                        Be a Beacon of Hope in a Child's Life. Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today. donate.unicefusa.org/Donation

Many of our Delaware and Pennsylvania clients regularly donate to local charities such as the United Way of Delaware or Southern Chester County, the American Red Cross in Wilmington, or the Brandywine or Kennett Area YMCA and would like to continue donating to these organizations while still receiving a tax benefit.

A tax strategy that was made permanent under President Obama in 2016 was the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) strategy. This strategy applies to those taxpayers who are over age 70½ and have required minimum distribution obligations (RMDs) from their retirement plans. The QCD strategy only applies to required minimum distributions from IRAs and does not apply to RMD obligations from employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k) or 403(b) plans. The QCD technique involves a taxpayer donating up to a maximum of $100,000 from their IRA to their favorite charity or charities and avoiding all Federal income taxation on what is distributed to charity.Regardless of whether this taxpayer itemizes their deductions, the QCD provides a hard dollar Federal tax savings and a compelling above-the-line tax deduction.

Many of our clients are retirees of local corporate conglomerate DuPont Corporation, who after age 70½ have sizable required distributions from their pre-tax IRAs. The required distributions are often in excess of what the client needs for lifestyle and the taxable RMDs often result in a higher marginal tax bracket and an increased cost of Medicare Part B and D due to their increased income.

Medicare Part B and D premiums are based on a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (i.e., their adjusted gross income plus any tax-free bond interest from municipal bonds) from two years prior. If a taxpayer was previously making $10,000 in charitable donations from cash and itemizing under the old tax law, it might be tax-advantageous for him or her to make the same $10,000 charitable donation from his or her IRA directly to charity.This would in effect reduce the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income and thereby reduce the amount of income subject to the calculation for Medicare Part B and D premiums.

In addition to Medicare Part B and D, a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income also determines how much of their Social Security benefit is taxable, as well as how much out-of-pocket medical expenses he or she can deduct as the itemized medical deduction is over and an above an adjusted gross income hurdle.

Retirees of DuPont and other large corporations often have a limited ability to reduce their adjusted gross income because their pension is fixed, Social Security increases marginally each year, and they have very little in the way of above-the-line tax deductions. Herein lies the value of the QCD strategy which is one of the most attractive strategies that exists in the tax code at reducing a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

Of course, before implementing tax and charitable strategies one should consult with a tax advisor first as the rules can be

November 19, 2018

Biz Smarts: Year-end giving and its economic and organizational benefits
Sacramento Business Journal

By Joseph F. Eschleman Nov 15, 2018, 9:53am The end of the year is creeping closer, taking us to the single biggest fundraising opportunity for all nonprofits. Understanding the spike in both donations and volunteer time that typically occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, Sacramento charities are focusing on year-end fundraising campaign [...]

The end of the year is creeping closer, taking us to the single biggest fundraising opportunity for all nonprofits. Understanding the spike in both donations and volunteer time that typically occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, Sacramento charities are focusing on year-end fundraising campaigns.

And for donors, in addition to general goodwill, giving in the 4th quarter of the year is also typically motivated by those looking to maximize end-of-year income tax deduction opportunities. In lieu of making outright cash gifts, many tax and financial advisors suggest clients engage in end-of-year gifting of appreciated stocks, bonds or mutual funds, as donors typically are able to avoid paying the capital gains tax associated with an outright sale of a security that has grown in value.

If you are looking to make a donation, nonprofits are expanding the timeline for their final fundraising campaigns, bolstered by the addition of the now annual #GivingTuesday on November 27. In fact, according to the Network For Good, in 2014, 31 percent of annual giving occurred just in December, and 12 percent occurred in the last three days of the year.

Things are no different for some of the more popular nonprofits in the greater Sacramento area, with specific end-of-year initiatives beginning to roll out now.

On the Sacramento Children’s Home (SCH) homepage, a targeted holiday giving campaign is already up and running, as potential donors are immediately greeted with the message “Help Make Holiday Dreams a Reality.” SCH has also created a YouTube video focused on this year-end giving theme, and in addition to directly soliciting cash donations, has also implemented two additional ideas for this end-of-year push. The Grab a Wish Star focuses on the direct emotional connection felt by a donor in donating a specific gift requested by an actual SCH child, helping to directly fulfill the holiday wishes of real children served by SCH. At holiday time, this directly benefits approximately 1,500 children, as donated gifts are typically the only gifts children at SCH receive.


Additionally, the Sacramento Children’s Home has an Adopt a Family program, aimed at families, coworkers, or groups looking to take care of more than just one SCH child this holiday season. Meant to focus on the growing need to provide further support to families served by their community programs, SCH’s Adopt a Family program supports those living in some of the highest risk areas of Sacramento and often lack the resources to provide for themselves or their children during the holiday season.

The Sacramento SPCA creatively leverages the end-of-year giving season by sponsoring a Jingle Bell “Pup Crawl” in early December that brings together donors, volunteers and, of course, dogs! Funds are raised through ticket sales for the event, as participants and their furry friends enjoy food and drink specials at a number of local Sacramento eateries and craft breweries. Understanding the popularity of craft beer in and around the city, as well as the continued momentum of Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement, the Pup Crawl idea does an excellent job of tying together popular local themes to make end-of-year giving both easy and fun.

The holiday season is always an enjoyable but frenetic time of year. And for local charities, it is the time of maximum fundraising opportunity. All charities benefit from our general proclivity to give in both November and December, but additional economic and organizational benefits are gained by those who are creative and intelligent in how they cultivate this philanthropic spirit.

Joseph F. Eschleman is president of Sacramento-based Towerpoint Wealth.
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December 21, 2017

Bridging the Generation Gap: Engaging With Millennials
WSJ

David Storch is a financial adviser at Rose Capital Advisors in Miami Beach, Fla. Voices is an occasional feature of edited excerpts in which wealth managers address issues of interest to the advisory community. As told to Jacob Meade. [...]

As a 23-year-old millennial with a certified financial planner designation, I can say that many in my generation don’t feel they can connect with advisers who aren’t able to speak to what matters most to us: a detailed but easy-to-understand roadmap for financial success.

The millennial generation has been shaped by events like the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S., the deepest recession since the Depression and the Bernie Madoff scandal. Many of us are wary of the establishment and lack trust in markets. So a focus of my work as a young adviser is helping reduce the disconnect between younger individuals and the wealth-advisory profession.

As I’ve gotten started in this profession, the managing partner of my firm has been a major role model. He showed faith in my abilities by letting me have direct contact with clients early on. We’ve developed a work relationship where we operate in tandem serving clients and their families. The perspective I bring allows us to better engage and communicate with young clients or clients’ children in layman’s terms.

For example, millennials aren’t looking for an adviser to talk about beta and Sharpe ratios. So when I speak to clients’ children, my goal is to educate them in a casual, comfortable setting about key investing strategies and how to budget for expenses from rent to Netflix. That connection helps deliver more overall value to clients’ families, but it also allows us to stay a step ahead on retention, since it makes clients’ children more prone to being comfortable working with us in the future.

Advisers who want to engage the younger generation better should know that millennials’ priorities often differ from those of their parents. The current version of the American dream isn’t just living in a nice area with a white picket fence. Many people now plan to rent longer, to have both partners work while they’re married, and to retire at a later age. So advisers need to address and accommodate the fact that younger people have much more varied notions of what the long-term course will be.

I also recommend advisers make sure they’re able to connect with younger people through digital client experiences. One program we find useful at my firm is TimeTrade. Although it’s not a financial tool, TimeTrade creates efficiency in our office by letting clients view our schedule and book meetings with us instantly, rather than the traditional mode of calling, chasing and waiting.

 

We have also developed a mobile application that allows clients to view their portfolio, chat with their adviser and read news tailored to their interests. We’ve found that the most valuable real estate in the world is in the palm of a person’s hand.

Speaking in millennials’ language, addressing financial matters within the context of their worldviews and leveraging technology that enables clients to instantly access you, your company and their financial world are the keys to successfully working with the younger generations.

November 07, 2017

FB ROUNDUP: PRE-NUPS, BILLIONAIRES, AND "SUDDEN WEALTH SYNDROME”
CampdenFB

Pre-nup popularity increasing to protect wealth [...]

Pre-nup popularity increasing to protect wealth

Pre-nuptial agreements are on the rise among ultra-wealthy individuals and families, especially among people aged under 30 getting married for the first time, a new study finds.

Two-thirds of the 25 English and Welsh law firms surveyed by Forsters’ family team said they had advised their ultra-wealthy and high net worth clients on a greater number of nuptial agreements since 2010.

Almost all (98%) of lawyers surveyed said they have been instructed on new nuptial agreement cases in the past 12 months. Of those, 44% have been instructed on six or more new nuptial agreement cases in the past 12 months and 13% had advised on 16 or more.

Forsters said the main driver for people entering nuptial agreements was wealth protection, including the protection of assets acquired pre-marriage and assets inherited from family. In the event of divorce, with over two-thirds (68%) cited this as the main rationale for those agreements they had advised on. Almost one-third (32%) cited other drivers including minimising the risk of adverse outcomes on divorce/providing more certainty (15%), pressure/encouragement from third parties i.e. parents/children/trustees (9%) and 8% citing other reasons, such as protection of business interests.

Jo Edwards (pictured above), head of family at Forsters, said while the perception may have been pre-nups were the preserve of older or wealthier generations, results showed the most common age bracket for those entering a nuptial agreement was 31-45.

“This reflects the average age of marriage (now 37 for men and 34.6 for women), as well as an increased awareness among that age group of the importance of nuptial agreements in the context of wider wealth planning and a desire to protect, as far as possible, current and future wealth on divorce,” Edwards said.

“The increase in nuptial agreements within this age group may also reflect ageing society and the fact that their parents may be leaving them inheritances/making lifetime gifts which there is a desire to protect on divorce.”

Billionaires return to growth globally, with Asia outpacing the US for the first time

Asian billionaires now outnumber their counterparts in the United States for the first time but the US still retains the greatest concentration of wealth while European growth is static.

The total wealth of Asian billionaires will overtake that of their peers in the US in just four years, if the trend continues, the new joint UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2017 added.

The combined wealth of Asian billionaires grew by almost a third from $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion but still lagged behind the US, which maintained the largest concentration of billionaire wealth. In 2016, US billionaires saw their wealth increase from $2.4 trillion to $2.8 trillion, driven by technological innovation, financial services and materials, the study of 1,542 billionaires found.

There were 342 billionaires in Europe by the end of last year but growth remained stagnant in comparison. Overall wealth grew modestly by 5% to just over $1.3 trillion, with 24 new billionaires and 21 dropping off, a third of them due to death. This corresponded with previous findings that Europe had the highest number of multi-generational billionaires.

The total wealth of billionaires rose by 17% in 2016 to $6 trillion, double the rate of the MSCI World Index.

“Whereas last year we were concerned about issues such as regulatory upheaval and currency fluctuations, this year's return to growth and change in demographics shifts the focus to idealism, philanthropy and impact investing,” Dr Marcel Widrig, partner and private wealth leader at PwC, said.

“It’s not enough anymore to just preserve and grow wealth. Today's billionaires also feel a responsibility to drive social and economic impact—whether that means creating a private museum to promote the arts or buying a professional sports team to promote a passion.

“This will be even more important when an estimated $2.4 trillion of billionaire wealth is expected to be transferred in the next two decades. Technology, the creation of social networks and high-profile examples of philanthropic peers have all had an impact on this exclusive group.”

How to avoid “Sudden Wealth Syndrome”

A Florida multi family office has offered its advice to prevent wealthy families from contracting “Sudden Wealth Syndrome” and suffering “massive wealth destruction”.

Omnia Family Wealth said its advisers often saw the aftermath of heirs who were unprepared to manage wealth while guiding large multigenerational families. Family fortunes gradually deteriorated after wealth was unexpectedly transferred from one generation to the next.

Omnia announced its three approaches to help families prevent Sudden Wealth Syndrome:

1 Encourage families to engage in structured family meetings where the second and third generation heirs have a forum, with sufficient advanced time, to ask questions and learn about the patriarch’s guiding values and establish long-term goals

2 Provide educational opportunities for second and third generation heirs. A finance or investment educational course can help prepare heirs by giving them a basic understanding

3 Establish a purpose for the family’s wealth. Engaging heirs to continue a family legacy is a great way to give the wealth deep and long-lasting meaning

“Sudden Wealth Syndrome is preventable with family meetings, next generation education [and] family governance strategy,” Steven Wagner, Omnia co-founder and chief executive said.

“It all boils down to opening the doors of communication and talking to your heirs about the legacy you want to leave.”

November 02, 2017

Why Couples Should See a Financial Adviser Before They Get Married
The Wall Street Journal

People’s spending habits and other money issues are often overlooked in premarital planning [...]

For couples planning to get married, a meeting with a financial professional is an increasingly important step along the way, advisers say.

It’s a “function of the fact that people are accumulating assets before marriage, getting married later in life, and seeing more and more people getting divorced,” says Lawrence D. Mandelker, a trusts and estates attorney with Seyfarth Shaw LLP in New York who has been referring more clients to financial advisers for these services.

Financial professionals who offer premarital financial planning say they work with couples beyond the nitty-gritty details, such as who is going to pay the bills and whether the couple will pool their money or keep their accounts separate. They’re taking on a counseling role to help couples deal with the emotions that can complicate financial decisions—for instance, the stress that can strain a relationship when one partner tries to exercise too much monetary control.

“We’re more psychologists in this position than we are financial planners,” says Matthew Celenza, managing partner at Boulevard Family Wealth, an investment advisory firm in Beverly Hills, Calif., who has helped couples with premarital financial planning.

“It’s the root of so many problems in couples’ relationships,” says Jeremy S. Office, founder of Maclendon Wealth Management in Delray Beach, Fla., who regularly counsels clients on premarital financial issues.

Some professionals bill an hourly rate for these services, while others don’t charge separately for the premarital financial planning they do for existing clients or children of clients. Some don’t charge prospective clients, while others base their fees on the complexity of the situation. Couples generally meet with their advisers anywhere from one to five times, though it depends largely on what the issues are.

No secrets
For the process to work, couples should be willing to openly discuss their spending habits, assets, liabilities and financial goals, says Laurie Boore-Clor, a 37-year-old doctor in Ann Arbor, Mich., who went through premarital financial counseling with her fiancé, now husband, about two years ago.

“If you have secrets in a marriage, that doesn’t help your marriage,” she says. “If you’re willing to hide your money, what else are you hiding?”

Only when people are open about how they feel can inevitable differences be addressed. About a year ago, Renée Kwok, a certified financial planner and president of TFC Financial Management Inc. in Boston, worked with a young couple who planned to buy a house but had very different views on how much to spend.

The future bride was much more frugal than her fiancé, and it was an emotional sticking point, says Ms. Kwok. She talked the couple through different scenarios and ran financial projections. She asked the young man to consider how spending less would be more prudent and how it would help to ease his fiancée’s anxiety.

The couple ultimately decided to take a more-conservative approach based on the future bride’s concerns, Ms. Kwok says. These meetings are “a forum for creating compromise because you see [people’s] emotional reactions,” she says.

Encouraging communication
Tiffany Welka, vice president of VFG Associates, a registered investment adviser in Livonia, Mich., is part of the premarital counseling board at her church. Couples who want to get married at the church are required to meet with various social-services professionals, and they go to her for financial counseling. She doesn’t charge for these services.

Ms. Welka says she helps engaged couples create a budget, determine common financial goals and set a financial plan. She also encourages them to communicate about financial issues. On average, roughly three of the five young couples she counsels each week on premarital financial planning issues haven’t talked about their finances previously, Ms. Welka says.

They have no idea how much the other person spends or how much credit-card debt he or she is carrying—and they are surprised when the information comes out during discussions.

Derek Gauci, age 28, says the premarital financial-planning process got him and his now-wife, Lauren, also 28, started on the right financial footing. Before going through the process, the couple, who live in Plymouth, Mich., hadn’t given saving for retirement or life insurance a second thought, he says. Also, Mr. Gauci had been putting all his money into his wedding-photography business and didn’t know how much of a profit he was making, how to calculate monthly costs or how to budget appropriately. He feels premarital financial planning is so important that he has encouraged several employees to do it. “I think you’d be a fool not to,” he says. “You just don’t want to have any big financial surprises.”

Like a business deal
In some cases, premarital financial planning with older couples ends up being much like a “business negotiation”—trying to determine who is paying for what and how much, says Mela Garber, a tax principal at New York-based accounting firm Anchin, Block & Anchin and chairwoman of the firm’s trust and estates services group.

Ms. Garber has worked with several older couples where one person makes significantly more money than the other. During the dating phase, the wealthier person often covers the tab for dinners and vacations, but he or she may expect the partner to chip in more substantially after the marriage. If those expectations aren’t discussed up front, problems can arise. “Misunderstandings happen when people assume things that aren’t reality,” Ms. Garber says.

To be sure, not everyone needs a professional’s help with premarital financial planning. Several years ago, Saramaya Penacho, a publicist in San Diego, and her then-fiancé, management consultant Zach Penacho, instituted an annual financial-planning retreat where they go away for a weekend and discuss their past year’s finances and set a road map for the year ahead. At last year’s getaway, they discussed things like how much they could afford for a down payment on a home and brainstormed ways to trim expenses.

It has been an effective way for the couple to gain a shared understanding of their individual and mutual financial goals and save for their future, Ms. Penacho says.

October 26, 2017

Direct Lending Managers Face Rough Road Ahead
FundFire

Direct lending is still the hot ticket for private fund managers, dominating credit product launches and fundraising targets. But managers diving into the segment are likely to feel more pressure as competition heats up – making lending deals harder to find, loan terms looser, and expectations from experienced investors a greater hurdle, market observers say. [...]

Direct lending is still the hot ticket for private fund managers, dominating credit product launches and fundraising targets. But managers diving into the segment are likely to feel more pressure as competition heats up – making lending deals harder to find, loan terms looser, and expectations from experienced investors a greater hurdle, market observers say. 

Direct lending strategies dominated the private debt segment in the third quarter, according to Preqin data, with the most funds closed at 10 and most capital raised at $6.7 billion. Direct lending also remains the busiest private credit segment by far with 155 funds currently seeking $67 billion, including five of the 10 products with the largest fundraising targets, according to Preqin.

Interest remains strong among managers to launch new direct lending funds, says Jessica O’Mary, partner and attorney at Ropes & Gray. “The funds with successful track records are getting bigger, and there’s definitely more capital being raised,” she says. 

The wave of product development continues, with a string of first-time direct lending funds this year – including $500 million or larger entries from Capital Dynamics, Stone Mountain Capital, Adams Street Partners, and TIAA’s Churchill Asset Management. Siguler Guf, a $12.6 billion private equity manager, just this month closed its first small business direct lending strategy, with $300 million in a fund and related separate accounts. 

More are on the way: The $257.5 billion Brookfield Asset Management is aiming to build out its first direct lending business, CEO Bruce Flatt said at a recent investor presentation. And the $116 billion First Eagle Investment Management last week announced it is acquiring NewStar Financial, a middle market commercial lending company with $7.3 billion in credit fund assets, to become its new private credit asset management arm.

Those new entrants are hurtling into a market with a core of established players that are growing, O’Mary says. “We’re seeing multi-billion-dollar [successor] funds from managers that have good track records,” she says. “Almost everyone is raising a larger subsequent fund.”

All that activity adds up to a more difficult path for managers than a few years ago, especially to find deals, O’Mary says. “It’s a challenging environment – a number of managers are worried they won’t be able to deploy capital quickly,” she says.

Managers raising bigger successor products in particular will face a challenge if they are still aiming for middle-market loans, because they’ll have to find more deals to fully invest their funds, says Tom Draper, partner and attorney at Ropes & Gray. 

“With the same middle-market orientation, it will take a lot longer and more personnel to deploy those commitments, when each investment is relatively small,” he says. 

Direct lending managers are already seeing rivals step up activity in the search for deals, O’Mary says. “Even if you have target borrowers, they’re [getting more loan offers] than before,” she says. 

Developing networks of potential borrowers is not an overnight exercise, with managers needing years to form relationships with private equity firms that need financing for deals or with other corporate borrowers, says Tom Palecek, a founding partner at Summit Trail Advisors, a $5.1 billion independent advisor.
 
“We like the managers that have good networks and are able to stick to their knitting,” says Palecek, whose firm vets private credit managers with its own manager due diligence team as well as the Dynasty Financial Partners platform. “For a lot of [borrowers], you’ve got to get them a much better deal to change the manager they’ve been working with for the last five to 10 years. It’s something to be wary of about first-time funds.”

But Summit Trail also sees larger successor funds as a potential red flag, Palecek says. His firm put client capital in three direct lending funds that closed at $400 million, $700 million, and $800 million several years ago, but only has re-signed with one that kept its successor vehicle in the same size range – passing on two others that went for multi-billion dollar funds. 

“Both had great returns, but their opportunity set is the same and the teams had not gotten bigger,” he says. “That exposes a business model problem. That kind of manager may have to get through deals faster – maybe skimping on internal due diligence – or go after bigger [borrowers] or maybe have terms and covenants get looser.”

Indeed, loan covenants for borrowers have become a point of distinction in the market, with some established direct lending firms sticking to stricter terms, but other newer entrants – or managers seeking to grow faster – offering lighter provisions, says Randy Schwimmer, senior managing director at Churchill.

“Covenant-lite” loans emerged early last decade when banks began to package senior loans with high yield bonds and used the lighter leverage tests applying to bonds as part of the lending terms, typically for bigger-dollar borrowers, Schwimmer says. Those practices began to spread to smaller borrowers just before the 2008 crash, but then went away as banks shrank back from commercial loans in the post-crisis era – at around the same time direct lending managers stepped up in the market and sparked the senior loan fund wave still rolling today, he says.

But some banks have tried to make a comeback in commercial lending, and one of their tactics has been to reintroduce lighter covenant terms – a phenomenon that has led to greater competition in loan offers, with even some fund managers taking up these practices, Schwimmer says. Such looser terms are also going to smaller borrowers, he adds. 

“There are some [fund managers] hanging in there with [stricter] terms,” he says. “We’re worried about the effect of this down the road.”

The impact of such practices are likely to surface in a downturn, Palecek says. “Those will have a light shined upon them,” he says. “As an investor, you have to be willing to walk away from managers that change their models.”

September 13, 2017

Back to school means it's time to save

While it is arguably the best time to be on the east end of Long Island with the sun still shining brightly and the local farms bursting with their harvest, our attention begins to refocus away from the joys of a glorious summer. The traffic has given way to yellow school buses as our children return to their classrooms. This is the perfect reminder to parents about the need to plan for the costs of higher education. [...]

While it is arguably the best time to be on the east end of Long Island with the sun still shining brightly and the local farms bursting with their harvest, our attention begins to refocus away from the joys of a glorious summer. The traffic has given way to yellow school buses as our children return to their classrooms. This is the perfect reminder to parents about the need to plan for the costs of higher education. 

According to a recent study conducted by the US Department of Education, the average cost (tuition/ room & board) of one year at a public university is north of $30,000 and a private institution is approximately $45,000. Consider also that these costs have grown over the last decade at an average annual rate of 5%, far outpacing both inflation and wage growth. This means that for my twin boys entering Second Grade this year, when they reach college age it is likely that the cost of one year at public school will be over $57,000. One year of tuition at a private university may reach close to $75,000. These are daunting figures. 


The costs associated with obtaining a college degree might seem discouraging, but they are important to know and understand. Regardless of one’s financial condition, the best results are often achieved when a plan is initiated at the earliest possible stage. With that said, it is never too late to start planning. 


For parents of young children, 529 plans have become popular tools to save for education. These state sponsored plans offer tax advantages and are even transferrable among family members. Education Saving Accounts also offer certain tax benefits, but differ from 529 plans in their contribution limits. Student loans too, are an important tool, but come with a cost. The burden of carrying debt for a young adult entering the work force handicaps their path toward financial independence, a goal every parent has for their children. Merit and performance based scholarships and financial aid packages may also play a role in covering some of the costs of college, but cannot be guaranteed and should not be fully relied upon. Other strategies to set aside money for education exist and vary in their complexity and have benefits and limitations all their own. 

Because every family and every child is unique, with their own set of values, expectations and objectives; it is crucial to take an honest and thoughtful approach to saving for higher education. Starting early may ease the burden as parents can take advantage of opportunities and programs specifically designed for this purpose. Parents and others who are thinking about funding education expenses should try to be as informed as possible and carefully consider both their options and their own financial situation and future objectives when deciding on appropriate levels to set aside for education costs. 


Watching my kids paddle out to the lineup at Ditch Plains with the warmth of summer still lingering in the air, it is fun to dream about one of them getting a full ride to college on a surfing scholarship, if there even is such a thing. I think instead I will add a little money to their 529 plans and make sure they do their homework.

 
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December 20, 2016

Renaissance Advisor Sees Commonality in His Diversity
Financial Advisor IQ

For a financial advisor at a small firm, David Steele gets a lot of press. [...]

For a financial advisor at a small firm, David Steele gets a lot of press. 

In the year or so since he launched San Francisco-based RIA One Wealth Advisors with his brother Jonathan Steele, he’s been written up in the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications — in addition to being featured in a video interview in FA-IQ.

But then Steele isn’t just a financial advisor. Besides running and co-owning One Wealth, which manages $300 million, the ex-JPMorgan Securities broker owns half a dozen eating establishments in the Bay Area, works as a restaurant consultant, promotes concerts and festivals, and owns a chain of yoga studios.

As though that weren’t enough, he’s also a visual artist with several gallery shows under his belt and a creative writer whose first play premieres next summer at San Francisco’s prestigious PlayGround studio.

From Steele’s perspective, however, all these pursuits are rooted in two things: hard work and precise planning.

“It’s all the same,” says Steele. “People tend to dwell on the differentiators.”

Instead of seeing the processes involved in establishing a successful eatery as radically different from those related to helping a client devise a thoughtful, resilient and detailed financial plan, Steele contends they’re identical — at least in outline.

Similarly, just as producing a music festival involves coordination with artists and their management as well as facility staff, unions and a slew of vendors, being at the center of a client’s financial life means close and careful coordination with accountants, attorneys and other trusted professionals.

“Everything I do is the same,” Steele emphasizes. “I mean that as a positive: I find these processes very interesting and enjoyable.”

Even Steele’s artistic endeavors call for something in common with his other businesses.

“It’s just work,” he says. “Writing the play was work — sitting and typing — not, for me at least, a spiritual undertaking.”

In addition to seeing a clear throughline in a diverse portfolio of interests and business activities, Steele keeps things straight in his mind by putting One Wealth Advisors firmly at the center of his work life.

“I spend the most time on my financial business,” Steele says. In this sense, he adds, his work as a financial advisor is the hub of his professional interests, and the rest — from restaurants and music festivals to yoga studios and his own art — “are the spokes.”

With functional similarities clear in his mind, and a sense of centeredness around financial planning keeping things stable, Steele can reap the benefits of having other activities feed into his wealth management practice.

Among One Wealth Advisors’ clients are music-group managers, musicians, restaurant owners, writers and others connected to Steele’s non-financial business interests.

Without really trying — One Wealth Advisors isn’t in full-bore business-development mode — Steele says his client roster has gone “from zero to 20% or 25%” creative types in the last five or six years.

It helps that so many of his clients — especially the artists among them — are themselves multitaskers who don’t mind tackling new challenges.

“It all works together,” says Steele. “I’m not making a direct analogy with my own work here, but the artists I know who work in different disciplines do it with a sense of universal principles.”

Adds Steele: "Like my work with clients, their work is based on setting and achieving goals and on discipline and focus.”

December 20, 2016

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Clients
Financial Planning

Jonathan Blau of Fusion Family Wealth showcases his 2016 client holiday gift. [...]

The holiday season provides advisers with a great opportunity to show clients how much their business is appreciated. Gifts can say something special: From books and documentaries to picnic blankets and pecans, we've assembled some great ideas from advisers.

Click through to read how advisers selected, sent and packaged these holiday goodies for their clients.

December 13, 2016

From the expert: Spotting trends in Portland holiday charitable giving
Portland Biz Journal

From tapping IRA accounts to donating to under-funded schools, local wealth advisor Brett Davis takes note of some of the current trends in holiday giving. [...]

From the expert: Spotting trends in Portland holiday charitable giving

From tapping IRA accounts to donating to under-funded schools, local wealth advisor Brett Davis takes note of some of the current trends in holiday giving.

Read the full story: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/feature/donating-to-schools-kids-and-other-trends-in.html

December 13, 2016

In season of giving, consider donor-advised funds
Central Penn Business Journal

At SevenBridge Financial Group, an independent financial advisory firm based in Harrisburg, we work with a number of high-net-worth clients in the community – both corporate clients and entrepreneurs. We also work with a number of privately held businesses. And because many business owners are asked to give, we assist with an overall gifting plan. [...]

At SevenBridge Financial Group, an independent financial advisory firm based in Harrisburg, we work with a number of high-net-worth clients in the community – both corporate clients and entrepreneurs. We also work with a number of privately held businesses. And because many business owners are asked to give, we assist with an overall gifting plan.

This is the time of year for year-end planning and the discussions often focus on charitable giving. At SevenBridge, we are proponents of donor-advised funds. Donor-advised funds are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the U.S. because they are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to give to charity, and they are of no cost to set up. Yet, when we recommend donor-advised funds to our Pennsylvania clients, most have never heard of them.

People in our community have traditionally given to their churches or other local charities. However, we have found that when we set up a donor-advised fund for them, their giving is taken to a different level. Charitable giving becomes more of a plan and is incorporated into taxes, estate planning, investment strategies and appreciated securities. As a result, we work with clients on long-term giving strategies and, consequently, their donations tend to be larger.

We have found that, when our business-owner clients are in the preparation phase of selling their closely-held business, we raise the topic of charitable donations and we discuss the option of donating shares of their private business into a donor-advised fund. We are currently working with several clients in this situation and they end up saving on taxes and reducing capital gains while supporting their favorite charities.

We recommend that people in our area take a more strategic look at their charitable giving. At SevenBridge, we recommend that our clients have a short- and longer-term goal of giving. We encourage clients to continue to donate to their local community nonprofits. But it’s also a good idea to take time to consider the possibility of endowing a scholarship or making a significant donation to a college or national nonprofit. We work with clients to develop a donation timeline often based on pay-outs or liquidity from the sale of a business.

In addition, we urge clients to consider the best donation vehicles. In the past, family foundations were very popular – but today, it’s hard to justify the cost and complexity of family foundations when there are simpler and cheaper options.

Charles Eberly is managing partner of SevenBridge Financial Group, a wealth management firm in Harrisburg.

December 12, 2016

Here are some tips when it comes to charitable giving: Special Holiday Column
PennLive

As Pennsylvania investors take stock in their overall financial picture at the end of the year, it is a great time to assess which charities they'd like to contribute to. You will need to determine the best ways to pay for these contributions while considering their tax and income benefits. [...]

As Pennsylvania investors take stock in their overall financial picture at the end of the year, it is a great time to assess which charities they'd like to contribute to. You will need to determine the best ways to pay for these contributions while considering their tax and income benefits.

Gifting can be a great way to offset a year with expected or unexpected high earnings or to address the tax implications of added income such as year-end bonuses. Generally, if you itemize your deductions, making charitable contributions can decrease your tax bill, and with higher tax rates for high-income earners, there is an even greater tax benefit.

It is important to consider that charitable giving also involves identifying the charity or charities that are a good fit for your gifting desires. It goes beyond establishing the amount that you would like or can afford to give. It's also about establishing the worthiness of the charity for your gift.

I recommend doing some research - either on your own or through reputable third-party resources to determine factors such as how top heavy an organization is. In other words, how much of your donation will go toward salaries, overhead, etc. as opposed to actual use by the charity.

I've used sites such as Charity Navigator, Guide Star and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, which are all closely monitored and managed. They can help you learn more specifics on the charities as well as rankings that could be useful in choosing a charity that fits your requirements.

Once you've established the charities that fit your desired preferences, you have several options on how that gift can be structured. For example, you can create a donor-advised fund, in which the donor can make recommendations to an organization and their board members about how the money is to be used. You can make deductible donations of cash contributions or appreciated stock. Assets in the fund are not subject to federal estate taxes or state inheritance taxes. 

A donor-advised fund allows you to make contributions to the charity while becoming eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. In addition you can then make recommendations on your desired timetable for distributing the funds to qualified charitable organizations.

There are a number of public charities to choose from that sponsor DAFs. In Pennsylvania, these could include Vanguard in Valley Forge (national reach), The Pittsburgh Foundation (regional reach) and in my own community, The Mt. Lebanon Community Foundation. Once you make your choice, you can then recommend grants from your DAF to other eligible charities, which could include IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities.

Establishing a DAF can be a particularly useful strategy at year-end because it allows you to make a gift and take the tax deduction immediately but doesn't require you to decide on the charities to support with grant recommendations.

Before undertaking any giving strategies, you should consult your legal, tax, or financial adviser. But, properly employed, each of the strategies represents a tax-advantaged way for you to give more to your favorite charities. And giving is what this time of year is all about.
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December 14, 2015

Helping Clients Make the Most of Career Transitions
Financial Advisor IQ

So it’s likely financial advisors will find themselves with clients who are considering major career transitions. Such moves can have a significant impact on retirement planning, earnings and benefits. To help clients navigate zigs and zags in their career paths, advisors need to take a big picture view, and help their clients do so as well. [...]

A lifelong career may be a relic of the twentieth century. 

So it’s likely financial advisors will find themselves with clients who are considering major career transitions. Such moves can have a significant impact on retirement planning, earnings and benefits. To help clients navigate zigs and zags in their career paths, advisors need to take a big picture view, and help their clients do so as well.

Before a client switches jobs, it’s important to ensure they’re on solid financial footing, says Preal Haley, a Greenbelt, Md.-based advisor with  Ameriprise. 

“A job transition can be an uncertain time, particularly if the client is leaving behind the corporate world for something more entrepreneurial,” says Haley. With this in mind, she focuses on ensuring the client has enough to cover three years’ of essential expenses as well as a substantial emergency fund in case the unexpected arises.

Sometimes clients may not realize how much they should be setting aside to ensure they’re fully protected during transitions. “Health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance might have been part of their benefits package, and now they’ll have to cover those costs themselves,” says Haley. “Doing so can help you prepare for the certainty of uncertainty.”

If the idea of saving up for three years of expenses is daunting to a client, Haley suggests they begin working part-time on their new venture before making a complete switch.

In addition to preparing clients for actual career shifts, advisors can use transitions to delve deeper and strengthen relationships, says Michael Rose of Rose Capital Advisors in Miami Beach, Fla. “When you change careers, it’s no different from having a child, getting married or getting divorced,” he says. “The implications affect your entire financial plan.”

Earlier this year, Rose, whose firm manages $250 million, helped a client transition from a high-level and longstanding position at a bank to a more entrepreneurial role at a hedge fund. While the client had previously always put off estate-plan updates, Rose persuaded him to use a six-week “garden leave” between positions to conduct the long-overdue review, going over “absolutely everything from beneficiaries to changes in estate tax laws to insurance coverage, to ensure everything was up-to-date,” the FA says.

When switching jobs, clients often focus on their salary and bonus, says Stacy Lewis, an advisor with TrueWealth in Atlanta. “But it’s usually not an apples-to-apples comparison,” says Lewis, who works primarily with corporate executives. “And it’s the advisor’s role to help a client understand that.” 

Differences in pensions, retirement benefits and stock options can make certain offers more or less attractive than they may seem at first. Executives who have to relocate for a new position often neglect to take cost-of-living changes and state-by-state tax differences into their calculations. “Someone who’s used to making $250,000 base pay plus bonuses in Atlanta needs to understand that that salary is not going to give them the same lifestyle in New York,” Lewis says, whose employer manages about $1 billion. 

But at the end of the day, clients often make their decisions based on emotion. “Typically, someone isn’t going to entertain an outside offer unless they’re not happy — they feel stifled, or they want a change,” says Lewis. “And so even if the new position isn’t as lucrative, the emotional factors make it worthwhile.”

November 30, 2015

Fort Worth, TX-Based Wealth Management Firm, Point Bridge Capital, Celebrates Two Year Anniversary, Moves to Larger Offices

Point Bridge Capital, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, announced today that it is celebrating its two year anniversary with a move to new larger office space at One City Place in Downtown Fort Worth. [...]

NOVEMBER 30, 2015. Point Bridge Capital, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, announced today that it is celebrating its two year anniversary with a move to new larger office space at One City Place in Downtown Fort Worth.

Point Bridge Capital’s new offices on the 15th floor were custom built over the past few months with a modern design to complement the modern concept of One City Place.

The company was founded by Hal Lambert in 2013 as a continuation of his business established with investors over the past 15 years. Point Bridge manages assets for ultra high net worth families and foundations across the United States. Mr. Lambert previously managed assets at Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, and Taylor & Company within the Bass family organization.

According to Mr. Lambert, “At Point Bridge, we have had tremendous momentum over the last two years as an independent investment management and capital advisory firm. Our extensive portfolio management experience has had good traction among institutions, business owners and high net worth clients across Texas, the Southwest and the U.S.”

Point Bridge Capital is a member of the Dynasty Network of leading independent advisors in the U.S.


About Point Bridge Capital

Point Bridge is an investment management and capital advisory firm that advises across a broad spectrum of asset classes including private equity, alternative assets, and corporate advisory. With offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX, Point Bridge Capital provides unparalleled, institutional-quality capital advisory services to the ultra high net worth, family office, and institutional clients. Point Bridge specializes in investment management, manager search/advisory, lending, and M&A advisory. The firm offers its clients true open architecture, where everything from asset custody to execution is tailored to the client’s specific needs, requests and risk tolerance, with competitive pricing unavailable through normal channels.

November 17, 2015

Financial Planning Firm, Sentinus, Doubles It's Team and Relocates Corporate headquarters To Oak Brook After 70 Years In Business

After nearly 70 years in business, Sentinus (formerly Reynolds Financial Group), an Illinois-based wealth management firm, announces its relocation from Joliet to Oak Brook to accommodate the company’s expo [...]

OAK BROOK, IL – November 17, 2015 – After nearly 70 years in business, Sentinus (formerly Reynolds Financial Group), an Illinois-based wealth management firm, announces its relocation from Joliet to Oak Brook to accommodate the company’s exponential growth over the past year and expected client expansion into 2016. The new 5,374 -square-foot headquarters located at 700 Commerce Dr., Suite 170 will offer increased capacity for the high-touch boutique financial firm as it more than doubles its team to meet the demands of an ever-growing portfolio of high net worth clients and business owners.

“Our company was founded by my father 70 years ago, and we’ve had a long, successful history serving generations of families just like ours,” said Scott Reynolds, CEO of Sentinus. “Helping our clients meet their financial goals remains at the core of every decision we make as a firm, and this move will allow us to attract top talent and continue to provide the personal service for which we are known.”

Sentinus is a family-owned, financial planning firm that focuses on providing a fee-based approach through a philosophy of clarity and transparency with its clients. The firm and its 17 employees offer a variety of financial services to individuals and businesses and became an independent SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in 2012.
The firm will retain an office in Joliet to remain easily accessible to clients in that area.

“We truly appreciate the Joliet community for housing our company for so many years,” said Tyler Qualio, President of Sentinus. “Our new headquarters puts us closer to dozens of clients downtown and provides us a centralized location to reach even more people seeking financial strategy and guidance.”

New Hires
To build on their individualized client-focused approach, Sentinus recently welcomed several strategic new hires, including four advisors, with a breadth of financial industry experience.

“Our family-run culture is very important to us and we’ve hand-picked a group of financial advisors with exceptional client service skills and knowledge to support the firm’s growth and diversify our capabilities to best meet our clients’ growing needs,” said Qualio. “It’s a really exciting time here at Sentinus as we welcome these new leaders to our team.”
Jim Davenport: Jim Davenport served a six-year tenure at Charles Schwab, where he acted as Vice President, Financial Consultant and Registered Representative. He worked closely with organizations, executives and their families to develop comprehensive financial plans and filled in the gaps with personalized wealth management solutions. Attune to the fact that no client situation is alike, he appreciates the trust his clients have in him to tackle and conquer their unique challenges. Davenport is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in finance. He holds the industry designation of Accredited Asset Management Specialist in addition to insurance and five securities licenses. He is currently working toward a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

Ann Gunst: Ann Gunst has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, with more than a decade spent in financial consulting and accounting. Gunst’s background making financial decisions and tax consideration for her family’s successful manufacturing business gives her a unique insight for corporate clients and small business owners. A former Vice President of Finance for Strategic Management Advisors, Gunst successfully completed the rigorous process of earning a CFP designation, allowing her to bring a holistic approach to clients. Ann graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. She is also a CPA and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA TM).

Kevin Cooney: Kevin Cooney has been in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. He works primarily with individuals, families and small businesses to develop and focus on building fully comprehensive financial plans. Cooney is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Registered Representative and Licensed Life Producer. Kevin spent much of his finance career trading and managing options and futures on the trading floor for his own personal account, enabling him to become acutely aware of risk and volatility as it relates to investing. Cooney received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s University and holds an industry designation of AIF.

Greg Johnson: Greg Johnson has 25 years of experience working with individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to help identify and reach their long term goals, assess strengths and weaknesses, and determine strategic opportunities to create long term value. He is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative providing full-service planning and founder of Coldwater Financial, LLC, a mergers and acquisitions consulting firm. Johnson was also an investment banker for Bear, Stearns & Co., and worked in the merchant banking division of Koch Industries, where he analyzed and advised on M&A transactions, joint venture opportunities, and domestic and international opportunities. He began his career at Northern Trust Company in their corporate trust department analyzing corporate pension plans. Greg is a graduate of Creighton University and received an MBA with a concentration in finance and accounting from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

To learn more about Sentinus, visit www.sentinus.com.

About Sentinus
Founded in 1946 by WWII veteran Richard A. Reynolds, Reynolds Financial Group was a responsible and progressive wealth management firm with a focus on customer service. The company began offering fee-based comprehensive financial planning coupled with risk-based asset allocations in 1978, which put them ahead of the curve in helping their clients build unique and diverse investment plans to meet their financial goals. In 2012, the company moved to independence and rebranded with the Sentinus name, which provided an opportunity for client growth and a more streamlined, effective client experience with greater hands-on management and service.

November 09, 2015

Leading $700 Million Denver, CO-Based Wealth Management Team, Cardan Capital Partners, Launches as an Independent Advisory Firm

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Cardan Capital Partners, the most recent independent advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated [...]

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Cardan Capital Partners, the most recent independent advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated wealth management services and technology.

Founding Partners Ross Fox, Matthew Papazian, Marti Awad and Sarah Keys launched Cardan Capital Partners as an independent advisory firm after leaving Merrill Lynch. With client assets more than $700 million, Cardan Capital Partners immediately becomes one of the largest independent advisory firms in Colorado.

Based in Denver, Colorado, the firm works with corporate executives, professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs in Denver, Vail and Aspen as well in major markets nationwide. Cardan Capital Partners collaborates with attorneys, accountants and other advisors to understand their clients’ full financial picture and works with the children of their clients to educate them on investments, financial management and charitable giving.

The team chose the name ‘Cardan’ to reflect their approach to wealth management. The name comes from the ‘cardan’ suspension, a navigational tool used in sailing to ensure a ship’s stability and balance in both calm and rough waters.

“We have always strived for excellence by embracing the most innovative and progressive trends in the financial services industry. The continued evolution of technology and strategic partners in the independent space have made the independent model compelling for our clients and for us,” said Mr. Fox, Managing Partner at Cardan Capital. “Many of our clients appreciate being in the mountains and have vacation homes in ski resorts. We have a passion for serving clients both in the state and those who may be at a distance but who have a deep connection with Colorado.”

"The Cardan Capital Partners team is poised for expansion – both by adding advisors and expanding their geographic footprint," said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. "We look forward to partnering with them as they build their business and we are proud to add them to our Network of truly independent advisors.”

According to Tim Bello, Partner and Head of Network Development at Dynasty, “With their newly launched independent firm, we expect that the Cardan Capital team will have even greater success building out their business and will become the firm that successful advisors in Colorado and other independent minded advisors in the region will seek to join.”

Cardan Capital Partners will be utilizing Dynasty’s financial services platform of integrated wealth management services and technology. Dynasty's groundbreaking investment platform integrates industry-leading proprietary technology, research access, analytical tools, and the support of Dynasty’s home office investment team members. Cardan will also leverage Tamarac’s and Envestnet's state-of-the-art portfolio tools and reporting technology. Schwab will provide custody services with Market Counsel providing ongoing compliance support.

For more information, please visit www.CardanCapital.com.

October 19, 2015

$1 Billion ex-Barclays Team Joins Start-Up Wealth Firm
Financial Advisor IQ

After seven years at Barclays in New York, advisor Jerry Lucas left Oct. 9 to join an independent RIA, Summit Trail Advisors. Joining him were three partners in a practice that managed $1 billion as part of the British bank’s U.S. wealth-management unit. [...]

After seven years at Barclays in New York, advisor Jerry Lucas left Oct. 9 to join an independent RIA, Summit Trail Advisors. Joining him were three partners in a practice that managed $1 billion as part of the British bank’s U.S. wealth-management unit.

Q: Did the recent decision by Barclays to sell its advisory business in the U.S. to Stifel Financial play a role in your decision to break away?

A: The decision by Barclays was a catalyst for our team to undertake a serious review of the best options for our clients going forward. In a rapidly changing wealth-management industry, we felt like it was a good time to reassess our business and objectively look at all of the possibilities in the market today.

Q: Did you consider moving to a wirehouse or other large global bank?

A: Yes, that was a natural first step for us to consider. We also took a close look at staying with Stifel. But our journey in evaluating different options led us to consider the independent space. In fact, once Barclays’ decision was announced in early June, our clients started asking how the Stifel deal would affect their situations. We realized that change could be very unsettling, so we let them know right away that we were in the midst of an in-depth review of our options.

Q: Did your past relationship with Jack Petersen, another ex-Barclays advisor and cofounder of Summit Trail, make the process easier?

A: Yes, our team had a long-term relationship working with Jack’s team at Barclays. Our teams also worked closely together at Lehman Brothers for years, when Jack served as Lehman’s global head of private wealth management. So the launching of his independent firm with several of his partners was a natural point of interest for us in reviewing all of our options. Our final analysis was that the way Summit Trail was going about building its business would provide the best outcome for our clients.

Q: How so?

A: The independence of Summit Trail coupled with the partnership for front-, back- and middle-office support from Dynasty Financial Partners made for a very compelling combination. In particular, bringing access to our advisors to best-in-breed technologies that aren’t constrained by legacy infrastructure systems was a huge selling point.


Q: Did you see any other advantages?

A: Now, we’re able to offer our clients more choices in custodians. Before, their only option was Pershing. On the investment side, we really thought that Barclays had provided our clients with a good platform. But as an independent, we’re finding even more freedom of choice. That’s particularly true for ideas that are proprietary in nature and would never scale at the bigger firms.

Q: Could you provide an example?

A: When a client comes to us with a problem like owning a concentrated multi-million dollar position in a private-equity venture, we now have the ability to fully evaluate the best options for reducing such a risk. At a large global bank, that type of a portfolio analysis might be too small for their specialists to get involved in.

Q: How do you see joining Summit Trail as helping your team’s future growth prospects?

A: Working in an RIA that is providing unconflicted advice is a very powerful tool for growth. We believe that our team will have more opportunities to serve more sophisticated investors by having available a broader menu of products and services.

Q: Do you expect that to result in lower fees for your clients?

A: We expect they’ll pay roughly in line with what they had been paying in the past, but with far greater transparency in terms of costs. With that transparency, we think our clients will benefit from gaining much greater insights into all of their investment choices.

Q: How will your compensation be affected?

A: We had two choices. One was to accept a traditional type of offer with significant up-front payments. However, we’ve chosen to take the path of becoming an equity partner in Summit Trail. We believe that is the best way to align our business interests with making sure that we’re doing right by our clients.

Q: What advice would you give someone else going through this decision process?

A: If you’re mainly a transactional-based broker, then a wirehouse might be a good choice. But if your business is primarily based on advisory fees, then it’s going to make a lot of sense to thoroughly examine all your options — in both the traditional and the independent advisory channels.
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October 21, 2014

Michelle Smith, CEO Of Source Financial Advisors, Launches Proprietary Coaching Program for Advisors: ‘Anatomy of a Specialist’

New Program Is Being Rolled Out Nationally at Financial Planning Magazine Women’s Advisor Forum in Chicago on October 21, 2014 New York, NY. October 21, 2014. Leading advisor and entrepreneur Michelle [...]

New Program Is Being Rolled Out Nationally at Financial Planning Magazine Women’s Advisor Forum in Chicago on October 21, 2014
New York, NY. October 21, 2014. Leading advisor and entrepreneur Michelle Smith, CEO and co-founder of Source Financial Advisors, is launching her proprietary coaching program for advisors, ‘Anatomy of a Specialist’, at the Financial Planning Magazine Women’s Advisor Forum in Chicago on October 21, 2014.

The genesis of the coaching program is Michelle Smith’s nationally recognized status as one of North America’s top specialists in divorce financial planning. After a decade of specialized business planning, proprietary strategy, and execution of her divorce specialization, Ms. Smith has been a mentor and a coach for hundreds of advisors in helping them build and expand their business by ‘finding their inner specialist and niche’.

“If you have a medical issue, you Google a specialist, not a generalist. In order to grow your practice exponentially, you must find your niche and specialty,” said Ms. Smith. “Using the system I cultivated and created to become a top national thought leader in the divorce financial specialty space, my coaching program, ‘Anatomy of a Specialist,’ delivers the same process and strategy to help other firms and advisors stand out and become the go-to expert in their unique space.”

Source Financial was founded in New York City in 2012 and built for financial advisors who want a home for themselves and their clients. Source offers a dedicated coaching team and asset management platform, powered by Dynasty Financial Partners, to elevate them to the top of their chosen specialty.

Kristen Niebuhr, President and COO of Source, said, “At Source, we put a premium on coaching and advising financial advisors. The ‘Anatomy of a Specialist’ coaching program has made a significant difference to advisors in expanding their businesses.”
There will be limited acceptance into Smith and Source Financial’s ‘Anatomy of a Specialist’ program. Firms and advisors can apply by emailing Mark Lingenfelter at Source Financial: Mlingenfelter@sourcefa.com

About Source Financial Advisors



Source Financial Advisors is an independent RIA formed in 2012, based in New York City. Named the 5th fastest growing firm in 2014 by Financial Advisor Magazine, Source Financial and its advisors have specialties in significant financial transactions and events in clients lives. Divorce is one of the key specialties of the firm, and Source Financial has a platform and infrastructure built for advisors interested in building a brand in a specialty niche business. Michelle Smith is a member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, a holder of the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst credential, and a Divorce Mediator. She is a veteran of Wall Street financial services firms, having spent over two decades as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, Paine Webber, and Wachovia Securities. Source Financial Advisors is a member of the Dynasty Financial Partners Network of Advisors. For more information, please visit www.sourcefa.com.

October 06, 2014

Leading Kansas City Team Partners with Dynasty Financial Partners To Launch NovaR Wealth Advisors

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced NovaR Wealth Advisors is the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated investment services and technology. Financial advisors Timothy Rodgers (Principal), K [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced NovaR Wealth Advisors is the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated investment services and technology.

Financial advisors Timothy Rodgers (Principal), Keith Osborne (VP, Financial Advisor), Brian Fry (Client Services Associate), and Billi Wood (Office Manager) all join NovaR Wealth Advisors from Wells Fargo. The team collectively advises on more than $400 million in client assets.

“Establishing NovaR Wealth as an independent firm allows us to best serve the individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners and executives who are our clients,” said Tim Rodgers, CEO of NovaR Wealth. “We are deeply committed to the Kansas City market and we remain dedicated to providing our clients with objective, transparent advice and investment counsel. With NovaR Wealth as an independent firm through Dynasty, we now have access to a much wider selection of financial resources.”

“Tim and his team have tremendous experience and an established presence in Kansas City. As an independent firm, they are committed to providing the best advice and investment solutions to their clients,” said Shirl Penney, President & CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Dynasty is proud to be NovaR Wealth’s transition and growth partner and to add individuals of this quality to our Dynasty Network of truly independent advisors.”

NovaR Wealth selected Fidelity Investments® to provide custody services for their clients, PKS to provide brokerage services and MarketCounsel as counsel for the initial launch and to manage their regulatory compliance program.

About Timothy Rodgers:

In addition to his role of CEO of NovaR Wealth, Mr. Rodgers leverages his experience with portfolio management, investment research, financial and retirement planning into developing and implementing strategies that serve the complex needs of individual clients, families and business owners.

He has built his expertise and reputation through 30 years in the financial services industry, most recently as Managing Director of Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors. He was also a Senior Vice President at A.G. Edwards, where he spent twenty years. He began his career at Stern Brothers, reaching the position of Vice President of Investments.

Mr. Rodgers attended the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Business before achieving his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification. In addition to other leadership roles, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Shawnee Mission Medical Center and has been a member of the Foundation Board of SMMC since 1992.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners is the leading independent integrated platform service provider to the industry’s elite advisor teams. Dynasty develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities, solutions and technology into its customized open-architecture platform to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise”, and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow us on Twitter @DynastyFP.

April 08, 2014

Archford Capital Strategies, Transforms ESOP Repurchase Obligations; Launches First FDIC-Insured Market Participation CD for ESOPs

Innovative ESOP Offering Required Official FDIC Ruling, Legal Opinion And Patent Filing Champaign, IL, April 7th 2013– Archford Capital Strategies, an independent wealth management firm based in St. Loui [...]

Innovative ESOP Offering Required Official FDIC Ruling,

Legal Opinion And Patent Filing

Champaign, IL, April 7th 2013– Archford Capital Strategies, an independent wealth management firm based in St. Louis, MO and Swansea, IL, announced the launch of their innovative FDIC-insured bank issued Principal Protected Investment, the Archford series Market Participation Certificates of Deposits (CDs) for Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP).

The announcement took place at the Illinois chapter of the ESOP Association 2014 Conference on March 6th where Archford Capital Founder and CEO Jim Maher presented the application of FDIC Market Participation CDs for ESOP companies.

Market Participation CDs aren’t new, but broader FDIC insurance coverage for ESOPs, longer maturities, and software makes the Archford offering truly the first of its kind in structured products.

According to Mr. Maher, “Fiduciaries, trustees, and corporate officers want principal protection without sacrificing returns. This strategy over a period of time should better mirror investment performance to their future repurchase liabilities of their growing company. It also helps provide ESOP Trust participants with the potential for better returns in their Other Investment Account.”

Archford identified a gap in traditional risk adverse investments that could be used to match future repurchase obligations (and even healthcare, education or pension expenses). Working with large banking institutions to customize an existing investment product, the result is their Market Participation CD. It’s designed to reduce risk by protecting the investment principal with FDIC coverage and participates in potential equity market index gains when held to maturity.

Tom Petrone, Director of Capital Markets for Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “Jim Maher has worked on this project for over a year. By leveraging Dynasty’s knowledge of structured investments and pulling together legal, regulatory and technology solutions, Jim has identified a practical solution to complex issues faced by Employee Stock Ownership Plans.”

Archford’s innovative approach to Market Participation CDs is meant to help ESOPs plan ahead to better meet future repurchase obligations. As companies increase in value and employees edge closer to retirement age, this needs to be planned for carefully. By laddering the Market Participation CDs, sponsors create an attractive opportunity to keep pace. They provide for the repayment of the principal in full at maturity (just like any traditional CD). By including a market component based on major indices (S&P 500, Dow and others), they hold the potential for capital appreciation similar to equities as well.

When the investment goes through the ESOP trust and not a company’s balance sheet, FDIC insurance protection applies to every plan participant—what’s known as pass-through FDIC insurance coverage per financial institution. Because of the inherent complexity in managing all this FDIC coverage, Archford has licensed a proprietary cloud-based software program that does all the FDIC tracking, providing real-time situational awareness for sponsors of their exposure to any financial institution. More information on this software can be found at www.fdiccalc.com.

Aimed at Plan Sponsors in primarily closely-held and middle-market C- and S-Corp companies, Archford Market Participation CDs are mainly designed to diversify portfolios, reduce risk and match investments to future liabilties.

Obligations Solutions

For Jim Maher and his team at Archford, the drive for innovation stems from his interest in psychology and behavior. “Why people or organizations are doing, or not doing, something they should is one of the questions that drives my career,” says Mr. Maher. “I believe that companies need to plan for ESOP repurchase obligations.”

According to the Employee Ownership Foundation, “13% of companies surveyed said they would cease to exist because of the burden of future repurchase liabilities.” The NCEO Repurchase Obligation Handbook also states that mature ESOPs (greater than 10 years) are currently repurchasing between 2-5% of their stock on an annual basis.

An ESOP is statutorily required to repurchase a departing participant’s shares (called a put) upon events like retirement or termination. To that end, the ESOP and its repurchase obligation are supposed to be managed in such a way as to ensure that the statutory requirements are met.

“In an industry as mature as ours, how could there not be a set of best practices for addressing these responsibilities and obligations?” asked Mr. Maher.

Archford received a favorable ruling from the FDIC and a legal opinion letter on the application of the Market Participation CDs. This confirmed that ESOPs, Defined Benefit Plans and Defined Contribution Plans are able to take advantage of each plan participant’s FDIC Insurance coverage per financial institution. This investment also provides the upside potential of participation in market index returns over the life of the investment when held to maturity.

About Archford Capital Strategies

Archford Capital Strategies, a private wealth management firm founded by James D. Maher, is represented by a skilled team of wealth management advisors with more than 20 professional designations, accreditations and certifications. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Archford Capital Strategies offers a wide range of financial services to clients and closely held businesses. They offer planning solutions for concentrated stock strategies, foundation management, retirement plan management, credit needs, and wealth transfer strategies. They specialize in Business Transition and work with closely held businesses on business valuation, buyer intelligence, ESOP structures, transition and liquidity strategies.

For more information, please visit www.archfordcapital.com.

March 06, 2014

Leading Portland, OR-­‐Based Wealth Management Advisors Join Forces to Launch Cable Hill Partners as an Independent Advisory Firm

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Cable Hill Partners, the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-­‐leadin [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Cable Hill Partners, the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-­‐leading platform of integrated wealth management services and technology. Financial advisors David Christian, Jeffrey Krum and Brian Hefele, Registered Senior Client Associates Kendra Biller and Amanda Peters and Client Service Associate Melissa Rennie all join Cable Hill Partners from the Portland, Oregon office of Merrill Lynch.

David Christian was recently ranked in the Barron’s 2014 Top Advisor Rankings as one of the top advisors in the state of Oregon. The three advisors collectively advise on more than $700 million in client assets.

“Cable Hill Partners was created to provide advice at a higher level. ‘Cable Hill’ is a Portland historical reference to a landmark cable car that serviced Portland; our goal is to transport our clients to a higher place with consistency and predictability,” said Mr. Christian. “As an independent financial and investment planning firm, we want to provide our clients—high-­‐net-­‐worth individuals, families, small and private businesses, entrepreneurs, executives, foundations and endowments—with complete objectivity and transparency.”

“The Cable Hill team has really hit the ground running as an independent advisory team, ” said Tim Bello, Partner, Director of Network Development at Dynasty. “They will be a key player in the future in the Pacific Northwest with their entrepreneurial drive.”

The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment and technology platform, which leverages Dynasty’s investment committee and internal investment operations team. Fidelity Investments will provide primary clearing and custody services.

“The Cable Hill Partners team consists of two advisory teams combining to create a new independent RIA. This new firm immediately becomes one of the largest RIAs in the Northwest. David, Jeff and Brian are extraordinary investment advisors with a deep commitment to the Portland community,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Dynasty is excited to be their transition and growth partner, and we are proud to add them to our Dynasty Network of truly independent advisors.”

David Christian, Founding Partner, Managing Director, CFP®, CAP® As a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® certificate holder, David has built his expertise and reputation by servicing the complex needs of high-­‐net-­‐worth individuals and their families. David was named as one of “America’s Top 1,200 Advisors”* by Barron’s Magazine for 2014, which represents the top 1% of the Wealth Management industry. He ranked #12 within the State of Oregon in the same Barron’s list.

David began his career in the financial services industry with Merrill Lynch in 1998, after earning his BS in Finance from Oregon State University. He is a leader of the financial planning effort at Cable Hill Partners and sits on the Investment Committee.

Jeffrey Krum, Founding Partner, CIMA®

Jeff is a Certified Investment Management Analyst® with over 30 years of investment industry experience. Jeff leads the Investment Committee at Cable Hill Partners. Prior to forming Cable Hill Partners, he spent the entirety of his professional investment career at Merrill Lynch. Jeff’s responsibilities included serving as a guest educator at Merrill’s Financial Advisor Training School in Princeton and also chairing that firm’s Advisory Council to Management.

Jeff holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Lewis and Clark College.

Brian M. Hefele, Founding Partner, CFP®, CIMA®

A holder of both the Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Investment Management Analyst™ designations, Brian brings over 19 years of experience to the firm from advising and managing client relationships and investment portfolios at Merrill Lynch.

Brian has a BA in Economics from Boston College, and has a leadership role in both the Investment Committee and the financial planning deliverables for Cable Hill Partners. He is an active member of Friendly House and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Kendra Biller, Relationship Manager

Kendra has been in the investment advisory and management industry for over 15 years, and spent the last 13 of those at Merrill Lynch. She works with clients assisting them with goal discovery, financial planning and cash management solutions. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho, holding a BS in Secondary Education.

Amanda Peters, Relationship Manager

Amanda works closely with our clients and advisors on a day-­‐to-­‐day basis to provide excellent and extensive service. She brings over ten years of prior experience working with Wealth Management clients to Cable Hill Partners, and has a leadership role in the firm’s client service execution.

Originally from Miami and a graduate of the University of Florida with a BA, Amanda moved to Portland in 2004.

Melissa Rennie, Client Service Associate

Melissa is a native Oregonian with a BA in Psychology from Saint Marten’s University. She is responsible for serving client relationships, supporting the Cable Hill Partners advisors and overseeing/managing various administrative functions for the firm.

About Cable Hill Partners

Cable Hill Partners – Private Wealth Management was created to provide advice at a higher level. In electing to become a registered investment advisor, Cable Hill is required to follow the fiduciary standard. In this capacity, we will place the needs of our clients above all other interests—including our own. Our move to independence means we are no longer limited by the constraints or conflicts of interest that arise in a large corporate environment. Instead, we can provide truly objective advice, an elevated level of personalized attention and access to a comprehensive array of offerings from leading financial services providers of our choosing. We are here to help clients choose the right course to help them achieve their goals, to infuse every decision they make with the utmost in confidence, and to help them see their financial lives with absolute clarity.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners is the leading independent platform service provider to the industry’s elite advisor teams. Dynasty develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities, solutions and technology into its customized open-­‐architecture platform to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow us on Twitter @DynastyFP.

February 20, 2014

Leading Philadelphia-­‐Based Wealth Management Team Launches Concentus Wealth Advisors as an Independent Advisory Firm

Multi-Generational Strid Family Has Deep Ties To Community NEW YORK, NY, February 20, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Concentus Wealth Advisors, the most recent independent investment ad [...]

Multi-Generational Strid Family Has Deep Ties To Community

NEW YORK, NY, February 20, 2014 – Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Concentus Wealth Advisors, the most recent independent investment advisory firm to leverage Dynasty Financial Partners’ industry-leading platform of integrated wealth management services and technology. The team is joining the Dynasty Network from Wells Fargo Advisors and was formerly known as Strid Wealth Management Group.

The Concentus Wealth Advisors team consists of the following financial professionals all joining from Well Fargo Advisors:

Erik O. Strid, CFP®, ChFC, – Principal
Gerald “Zeke” Strid – Principal
Paul F. Strid – Principal
Nathan J. Hayward, CFP®, MBA – Director
Thomas J. Greco, MBA – Director

“Concentus Wealth Advisors was built around our desire to deliver independent, integrated and comprehensive wealth management advice and planning solutions to the families we serve. Our clients are notable for their expertise at creating and accumulating wealth. They’re dedicated to building businesses, raising families, shaping communities and creating lasting, meaningful legacies,” said Erik Strid, Principal of Concentus Wealth Advisors. “We built this family business with the mission to help these families manage the complexity and responsibility of their wealth. We are looking forward to significantly growing our business as an independent RIA.”

The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates industry-leading proprietary research from Wilshire Associates and Callan Associates and Envestnet’s state-of-the-art portfolio tools and reporting technology. Charles Schwab will provide clearing and custody services.

“The Concentus Wealth Advisors team consists of extraordinary investment advisors who have built a remarkably successful family-based business with a deep connection to their community. With their newly launched firm, we expect they will have even greater success,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Dynasty is excited to partner with Erik and Paul Strid and their team, and we are proud to add them to our Network of truly independent advisors.”

Biographies

Erik O. Strid, CFP®, ChFC | Principal

With over 20 years of industry experience, Erik guides the overall investment planning and portfolio strategy of our group. After graduating from Amherst College in 1991, Erik spent a year working with Rittenhouse Capital Management, before joining Gerry in 1992. Erik currently holds his general securities registrations and insurance licenses, as well as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. He serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Salvation Army, Acting Without Boundaries (serving young people with disabilities) and Rosemont School of the Holy Child. In addition, he is on the financial advisory board of the Sisters of St. Francis in Media, PA. Erik resides in Bryn Mawr, PA with his wife and three children.

Gerald D. Strid | Principal

Gerry Strid graduated from Villanova University in 1966 and leads our team with over 40 years of experience in the Financial Services industry. Gerry spent the majority of his career as a “Circle of Excellence” Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, before leaving to form the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2003. He has devoted much of his time and energy to support Project H.O.M.E, a non-profit outreach program in Philadelphia. Gerald resides in Villanova, PA with his wife and has five children.

Paul F. Strid | Principal

Paul manages the day-to-day operations of the team. After graduating with a Finance degree from Georgetown in 1997, Paul spent three years working for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York on their institutional sales desk and then as Director of Global Equities Information Technology. Paul joined the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2003. Paul resides in Berwyn, PA with his wife and four children.

Nathan J. Hayward, CFP®, MBA | Director

Prior to joining the Strid Wealth Management Group in 2008, Nathan worked with the Kessler Baker Wealth Management Group. Nathan graduated from Arcadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics & Business Administration and then received his International MBA from Arcadia University in 2009. In addition, Nathan has received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He currently serves on the executive committee for the Arcadia University MBA Alumni Association, is an active finance committee member of the Scleroderma Foundation (Delaware Chapter) and participates with the non-profit organization Yoga Unites as the active Treasurer. A native of Bermuda, Nathan currently resides in Berwyn, PA.

Thomas J. Greco, MBA | Director

Thomas joined Strid Wealth Management in the spring of 2010 with twelve years of experience in the financial services industry. His previous experience was with The Vanguard Group and Turner

Investment Partners. Thomas graduated Bloomsburg University in 2002 with a B.S. in Finance. He also earned his MBA from St. Joseph’s University with a concentration in Finance.

Thomas resides in Chester Springs, PA with his wife and two children.

About Concentus Wealth Advisors

As a family-based team of independent Registered Investment Advisors, Concentus Wealth Advisors is committed to helping high net worth families achieve their most important financial goals. Our advice goes well beyond the accumulation of assets to address virtually every aspect of their wealth. The detailed and disciplined process we follow with each client results in a personalized wealth management roadmap integrating investment strategy, family governance, estate planning, liability and life insurance solutions, philanthropic endeavors, real estate and more—for both today and tomorrow. Our completely objective and transparent service model allows us to act in a truly advisory and fiduciary capacity for our clients; each solution we present is drawn from the best of Wall Street and is presented entirely in the best interests of the families we serve. In today’s complex financial world, Concentus Wealth Advisors brings welcomed clarity, vision and results to our clients’ financial lives.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.
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November 12, 2013

New York-­‐Based $900 Million Wealth Management Team Launches Fusion Family Wealth as an Independent Investment Firm

New Firm is ‘Trusted Advisor to Trusted Advisors’ with Collaborative Relationships with Leading Accounting and Law Firms NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Dynasty Financial Partners today announced its partnership with Fusion Family [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners today welcomes Ed Friedman as Director of Strategic Relationships reporting jointly to Shirl Penney, President and CEO, and Ed Swenson, Chief Operating Officer of Dynasty Financial Partners.

Based in New York, Mr. Friedman’s responsibilities will include business development, management of key client relationships, and delivering practice management programs working with Dynasty’s Network Advisors. Mr. Friedman has been a consultant to the financial services industry after leaving HighTower Advisors in 2011. He worked at HighTower since 2008 as part of the founding management team and was, most recently, Director of Advisor Development for HighTower. Mr. Friedman also has a long career as a leader in wealth management having held branch management positions and senior wealth management roles at Morgan Stanley over the course of his career.

“I am delighted to welcome Ed to Dynasty Financial Partners. We continue to see an acceleration in our business with the number and the size of teams looking to join Dynasty’s Network and thus continue to look to add top intellectual capital to the team to support this growth,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “Ed brings a unique perspective to Dynasty having experience in wirehouse world, independent space, and as a consultant to advisors around areas of practice management. He will be a great educator for advisors considering independence, and a great advisor advocate and coach for those in our growing network.”

Mr. Friedman said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Dynasty team. They have proven over and over that they provide the industry-leading platform for advisors seeking independence or to RIAs looking for a growth partner. I look forward to bringing my experience to Dynasty’s Network Advisors in helping them to achieve all their business goals.”

Ed Friedman Bio

Mr. Friedman began his career at Morgan Stanley in 1985 as a Financial Advisor and worked at the firm in increasingly senior positions reaching Executive Director, Complex Manager at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth management from 2004-2008. After that, he moved to HighTower Advisors as Director of Business Development, assisting in attracting the first 18 teams to HighTower Advisors. Mr. Friedman left HighTower in 2011 to become an industry consultant counseling advisors in areas of practice management, expense controls, vendor selection, organic and inorganic growth strategies, and succession planning.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty’s integrated platform services delivery offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com and follow Dynasty on LinkedIn and on Twitter @DynastyFP.

November 04, 2013

Leading $1 Billion Texas-­‐Based Wealth Management Team Launches Point Bridge Capital as an Independent Investment Management and Capital Advisory Firm

Firm with Extensive Expertise in Portfolio Management serves Institutions, Business Owners and High Net Worth Clients across Texas and the Southw [...]

October 28, 2013

OR-based TRUE Private Wealth Advisors Expands in the Pacific Northwest with Addition of Leading Advisory Team, The Opsahl Group

The Opsahl Group Joins TRUE in Portland, Continuing the Firm’s Rapid Growth in the Region SALEM, OR, October 28, 2013 – TRUE Private Wealth Advisors announced today that The Opsahl Group will join the firm. Ba [...]

The Opsahl Group Joins TRUE in Portland, Continuing the Firm’s Rapid Growth in the Region

SALEM, OR, October 28, 2013 – TRUE Private Wealth Advisors announced today that The Opsahl Group will join the firm. Based in Portland, OR, the team includes Senior Advisor Joseph Opsahl and Advisor Chris Hatfield joining from Merrill Lynch’s Private Client Group.

“We are delighted to welcome the quality, experience and expertise of Mr. Opsahl and his team into the TRUE partnership. This expansion demonstrates our focus on growth in the Pacific Northwest and ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality resources to high net worth families,” said Steve Altman, Founding Partner and Senior Wealth Advisor at TRUE. “Joe and Chris’s proactive, consultative approach is an ideal fit with the client-centric focus that TRUE embodies.”

Senior Advisor Joseph Opsahl is a CPA with nearly 30 years experience in the financial industry. Most recently, he spent four years with Merrill Lynch in their Portland office. Prior to that, he led a successful practice at Smith Barney for 21 years. Mr. Opsahl provides a wide range of wealth management, investment consulting and financial planning services to high-net-worth families, corporations, retirement plans and foundations. He leverages his proprietary process for advising clients in developing optimal plans for building, maintaining and transferring wealth. Before entering wealth management, Joe was a practicing CPA at an international accounting firm where he advised clients on a variety of tax and accounting matters. He earned his BS in Business Administration and Accounting from Portland State University.

According to Mr. Opsahl, “I did extensive due diligence in the independent space and reviewed the business models available. When I met the team at TRUE Private Wealth Advisors, it was an immediate fit. TRUE has developed the right model for both serving clients and supporting advisors. The partnership model is unique and fosters growth. Through their strategic partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners, they have the infrastructure in place to both remain dynamic and to serve complex client needs long-term.”

Advisor Chris Hatfield joins TRUE from Merrill Lynch’s Portland office. A native of McMinnville now settled in Portland, Chris received his bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Oregon State University. He is actively involved in both the Portland and McMinnville communities and serves on the Central Catholic Alumni Association Board, serves as Secretary of the South Portland Business Association and is a member of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “We are excited about this significant addition to the TRUE team. Dynasty remains committed to being their transition and growth partner, as they continue to add clients and advisors on the path to becoming one of the premier wealth management brands in the region.”

About The Opsahl Group

The Opsahl Group provides each of their clients with a personalized approach to simplifying, managing, growing, preserving and transferring their wealth. They have developed a proprietary consultative process for advising clients in formulating and executing plans for building and maintaining wealth. As a multi-faceted and experienced team, they manage and consult on assets held by individuals, families, retirement plans, corporations and foundations with a focus on goal-oriented results.

About TRUE Private Wealth Advisors

TRUE Private Wealth Advisors was launched in September 2012 as an independent, SEC-registered investment advisory firm. With offices in Salem and Portland, Oregon, TRUE Private Wealth Advisors provides an array of sophisticated services to meet the unique needs of clients including individuals, families and businesses. TRUE Private Wealth provides wealth planning, retirement and estate planning. For more information, please visit www.truepwa.com.

April 02, 2013

Leading Regional St. Louis, MO-Based Wealth Management Firm, Archford Capital Strategies, Launches as an Independent Financial Advisory Practice

Firm Focuses on Closely Held Companies, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Family Wealth; Deep Expertise in ESOPs and Retirement Plans New York, NY (April 2, 2013) Dynasty Fi [...]

Firm Focuses on Closely Held Companies, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Family Wealth; Deep Expertise in ESOPs and Retirement Plans

New York, NY (April 2, 2013) Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that Archford Capital Strategies becomes the most recent independent investment advisory firm to select Dynasty Financial Partners’ open-architecture platform of wealth management services and technology.

Based in the St. Louis Metro East area, Archford Capital Strategies is a private wealth management firm, founded by James D. Maher, a National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices Regional Award Winner. Mr. Maher had previously worked as a leading advisor at Merrill Lynch since 2001. Formerly known as The Maher Group, Mr. Maher and his team created Archford Capital Strategies in 2013. Archford also has a second office location in Creve Coeur, MO.

“At Archford Capital Strategies, we specialize in business transitions. The ability to leverage Dynasty’s access to best in industry resources for our clients is a large part of what led us to partner with them. Many of our clients are business owners and we understand their needs at every point along the spectrum, from transition services to liquidity strategies, as they develop solutions for business continuation. We want to continue to even better serve individuals and families as an independent practice with more flexibility and freedom to focus on our clients’ specific needs and obligations,” said Mr. Maher. “With this move, we’ll also be able to continue investing in the depth and experience of our team to help our clients navigate through life’s financial hurdles.”

Tim Bello, Partner and Director of Strategic Implementation at Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “After a long and thoughtful process, Jim and his team determined that being an independent firm puts them in a better position to ensure that their client needs are being served first and foremost. And Archford Capital also has access to the widest platform of products and services, and the best investments and expertise available.”

“Jim and his team are extraordinary investment advisors who have built a remarkably successful business. With their newly launched firm, Archford Capital Strategies, we expect that they will have even greater success working with and serving client families and business owners,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “At Dynasty, we are delighted to be a growth partner with Archford Capital Strategies and proud to add them to our Network of industry-leading independent advisors.”

Archford Capital Strategies will continue its award-winning work with families on their charitable giving, an important part of the firm’s practice. The firm also specializes in Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) business and retirement plans.

The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates the industry-leading proprietary research of Callan Associates and Envestnet’s state-of-the-art tools, reporting services and technology.

Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC will provide clearing and custody services for Archford Capital Strategies. Archford will tap Wilshire Associates and Callan for institutional investment research and access to alternative investments.

Mark Tibergien, Chief Executive Officer of Pershing Advisor Solutions, said: “We’re delighted that Archford Capital Strategies has chosen Pershing Advisor Solutions for its custody and clearing services. One of the challenges in the advisory space is differentiating a business from the competition. Archford’s clearly defined focus should give it a definite competitive advantage. We wish them all the best.”

Archford Capital Strategies is the 17th independent advisory firm to join Dynasty’s wealth management platform and brings deep expertise in estate planning and working with closely held businesses to the Dynasty Network of advisors.

Jim Maher, CEPA, CRPC, CRPS, JD and CPA will be joined at Archford Capital Strategies by long-term team members:

* John R. Russo, CFA, CAIA, CRPC, Chief Operating Officer and Wealth Management Advisor

* Jerry L. West, CFA, CAIA, CRPC, Chief Investment Officer and Wealth Management Advisor

* Robert G. Schlueter, Jr. CRPC and CPA, Director of Operations and Wealth Management Advisor

* Tracy L. Winters, Assistant Branch Manager and Senior Registered Client Associate

* Julie A. Hanger, Senior Administrative Assistant

* Joshua E. Anderson, Associate Analyst

* Bernard E. Thebeau Jr. CRPS, Retirement Specialist

About Archford Capital Strategies

Archford Capital Strategies, a private wealth management firm founded by James D. Maher, is represented by a skilled team of six wealth management advisors with more than 16 professional designations, accreditations and certifications. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Archford Capital Strategies offers a wide range of financial services to clients and specializes in closely held businesses, concentrated stock strategies, foundation management, retirement plan management and wealth transfer strategies. They specialize in Business Transition and work with closely held businesses on business valuation, buyer intelligence, ESOP structures and transition and liquidity strategies. For more information, please visit www.archfordcapital.com.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.

February 28, 2013

Octagon Financial Services, a Specialty Advisory Firm with a Focus on Professional Athletes, Aligns with Dynasty Financial Partners

One of the most recognized names in the financial arena among professional athletes, entertainers and celebrities, Octagon Financial Services (OFS), has become the most recent independent investment adv [...]

Firm Focuses on Closely Held Companies, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Family Wealth; Deep Expertise in ESOPs and Retirement Plans

New York, NY (April 2, 2013) Dynasty Financial Partners today announced that Archford Capital Strategies becomes the most recent independent investment advisory firm to select Dynasty Financial Partners’ open-architecture platform of wealth management services and technology.

Based in the St. Louis Metro East area, Archford Capital Strategies is a private wealth management firm, founded by James D. Maher, a National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices Regional Award Winner. Mr. Maher had previously worked as a leading advisor at Merrill Lynch since 2001. Formerly known as The Maher Group, Mr. Maher and his team created Archford Capital Strategies in 2013. Archford also has a second office location in Creve Coeur, MO.

“At Archford Capital Strategies, we specialize in business transitions. The ability to leverage Dynasty’s access to best in industry resources for our clients is a large part of what led us to partner with them. Many of our clients are business owners and we understand their needs at every point along the spectrum, from transition services to liquidity strategies, as they develop solutions for business continuation. We want to continue to even better serve individuals and families as an independent practice with more flexibility and freedom to focus on our clients’ specific needs and obligations,” said Mr. Maher. “With this move, we’ll also be able to continue investing in the depth and experience of our team to help our clients navigate through life’s financial hurdles.”

Tim Bello, Partner and Director of Strategic Implementation at Dynasty Financial Partners, said, “After a long and thoughtful process, Jim and his team determined that being an independent firm puts them in a better position to ensure that their client needs are being served first and foremost. And Archford Capital also has access to the widest platform of products and services, and the best investments and expertise available.”

“Jim and his team are extraordinary investment advisors who have built a remarkably successful business. With their newly launched firm, Archford Capital Strategies, we expect that they will have even greater success working with and serving client families and business owners,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. “At Dynasty, we are delighted to be a growth partner with Archford Capital Strategies and proud to add them to our Network of industry-leading independent advisors.”

Archford Capital Strategies will continue its award-winning work with families on their charitable giving, an important part of the firm’s practice. The firm also specializes in Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) business and retirement plans.

The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates the industry-leading proprietary research of Callan Associates and Envestnet’s state-of-the-art tools, reporting services and technology.

Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC will provide clearing and custody services for Archford Capital Strategies. Archford will tap Wilshire Associates and Callan for institutional investment research and access to alternative investments.

Mark Tibergien, Chief Executive Officer of Pershing Advisor Solutions, said: “We’re delighted that Archford Capital Strategies has chosen Pershing Advisor Solutions for its custody and clearing services. One of the challenges in the advisory space is differentiating a business from the competition. Archford’s clearly defined focus should give it a definite competitive advantage. We wish them all the best.”

Archford Capital Strategies is the 17th independent advisory firm to join Dynasty’s wealth management platform and brings deep expertise in estate planning and working with closely held businesses to the Dynasty Network of advisors.

Jim Maher, CEPA, CRPC, CRPS, JD and CPA will be joined at Archford Capital Strategies by long-term team members:

* John R. Russo, CFA, CAIA, CRPC, Chief Operating Officer and Wealth Management Advisor

* Jerry L. West, CFA, CAIA, CRPC, Chief Investment Officer and Wealth Management Advisor

* Robert G. Schlueter, Jr. CRPC and CPA, Director of Operations and Wealth Management Advisor

* Tracy L. Winters, Assistant Branch Manager and Senior Registered Client Associate

* Julie A. Hanger, Senior Administrative Assistant

* Joshua E. Anderson, Associate Analyst

* Bernard E. Thebeau Jr. CRPS, Retirement Specialist

About Archford Capital Strategies

Archford Capital Strategies, a private wealth management firm founded by James D. Maher, is represented by a skilled team of six wealth management advisors with more than 16 professional designations, accreditations and certifications. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Archford Capital Strategies offers a wide range of financial services to clients and specializes in closely held businesses, concentrated stock strategies, foundation management, retirement plan management and wealth transfer strategies. They specialize in Business Transition and work with closely held businesses on business valuation, buyer intelligence, ESOP structures and transition and liquidity strategies. For more information, please visit www.archfordcapital.com.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. For more information, please visit www.dynastyfinancialpartners.com.
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September 18, 2012

Bringing Back the Brand: Radnor Capital Management Reclaims its History and Launches as Independent Advisory Firm in Radnor, PA

Deep Expertise in Large Cap Value and Mid to Small Cap Socially Responsible Investing (New York., NY) September 18, 2012. Radnor Capital Management LLC has launched as the most recent independent investment adviso [...]

Deep Expertise in Large Cap Value and Mid to Small Cap Socially Responsible Investing

(New York., NY) September 18, 2012. Radnor Capital Management LLC has launched as the most recent independent investment advisory firm to select Dynasty Financial Partners’ open-architecture platform of wealth management services and technology.

Doug Pyle launched Radnor Capital Management, LLC on May 1, 2012 after resigning from Columbia Management Group. Joining Mr. Pyle today is Pierce Archer who is leaving the Pennsylvania Trust Co. Mr. Pyle and Mr. Archer worked together at the original Radnor Capital Management for over a decade.

Radnor Capital Management provides investment advice to families, trusts, and high net worth clients, as well as charitable organizations, foundations and other institutional portfolios. In addition to wealth management services, both Mr. Pyle and Mr. Archer manage Separately Managed Accounts. Mr. Pyle is a portfolio manager specializing in socially responsible Mid-to-Small Cap stocks; Mr. Archer has a focus on Large Cap Value and balanced accounts.

The original Radnor Capital Management, established in 1989, was sold to U.S. Trust in 1999; U. S. Trust was subsequently acquired by the Charles Schwab Corp., who then sold it to Bank of America, who in turn sold its institutional advisory, Columbia Management, to Ameriprise Financial. The “new” Radnor Capital Management is now 100% employee-owned and financed.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Radnor brand and working together again as an independent team providing traditional investment counseling. Our goal is to create an investment boutique that enables us to deliver uncompromised excellence to our clients who have a long-term investment horizon,” said Doug Pyle, the founder of Radnor Capital Management. “As a result of our partnership with Dynasty and access to its robust wealth management platform, we are now well positioned to build out Radnor Capital Management by adding advisors and expanding our footprint in Pennsylvania.”

“Doug and Pierce have a strong long-term investment track record of managing portfolios for high net worth families and institutions,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty. “It’s a great time to bring back Radnor Capital Management to the Radnor market and join Dynasty’s community of successful advisors and entrepreneurs.”

According to Morningstar, Inc. the Columbia Select Small Cap Fund ranked in the top quintile of all like funds for the decade that Mr. Pyle actively managed it.

Joining Mr. Pyle and Mr. Archer are a number of other original team members of Radnor Capital Management including Andrea Funk, Chief Operating Officer, Elisabeth Schwan, C.F.A., securities analyst, and Pat Barlow, account administrator.

Radnor Capital Management is located at 123 West Wayne Avenue, Wayne, Pennsylvania in the heart of Philadelphia’s Main Line suburb, Radnor Township.

Radnor Capital Management is using Dynasty’s state-of-the-art capabilities, including technology, managed investments, institutional research, trust and insurance services and credit facilities. The company will use Schwab as their custodian and will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates the industry-leading proprietary research of Callan with Envestnet’s state-of-the-art reporting tools and technology.
About Radnor Capital Management

Radnor Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor established on May 1, 2012 and headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Radnor Capital Management provides investment advice to families, trusts, and high net worth clients, as well as charitable organizations, foundations, and other institutional portfolios. For more information, please call Andrea Funk at 610-674-0401 or visit www.RadnorCM.com.
About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients.

September 04, 2012

Two Leading Financial Advisor Teams in Oregon – Partners Brett Davis & Steve Altman and Partners Todd Gescher & Jason Herber – Combine to Form Independent Advisory Firm: True Private Wealth Advisors

Dynasty Financial Partners announce [...]

Dynasty Financial Partners announced today that True Private Wealth Advisors becomes the most recent independent investment advisory firm to join their growing network of sophisticated advisor teams.

Based in Salem, Oregon, True Private Wealth Advisors is comprised of two experienced teams from Merrill Lynch Private Client Group – including Branch Manager Steve Altman – who will combine to form the new firm. The Davis/Altman Group and the Gescher/Herber Group will remain as two separate groups under the True Private Wealth Advisors banner.

By coming together as True Private Wealth Advisors, the group now combines to bring the best in retirement planning, college funding, business succession planning, philanthropic interests and capital preservation for its high net worth clients. The firm has a strong corporate client base consisting of entrepreneurs and many small and mid-sized companies. True Private Wealth Advisors is the 15th independent advisory firm to join Dynasty’s wealth management platform and brings expertise in both commercial banking and private families to the Dynasty Network of advisors.

As the Davis/Altman Group, Brett Davis and Steve Altman will provide wealth management services to high net worth individuals, businesses, corporations and foundations. They are distinguished by a proactive wealth management approach that has earned them recognition as one of the top teams in the region.

As The Gescher/Herber Group, Todd A. Gescher and Jason D. Herber work as a team serving a variety of different clients including corporate retirement plans, cash management accounts, non-profit organizations, family offices and individual investment accounts. Their successful practice has focused on long-term relationships based on a deep understanding of client goals and financial objectives.

Rebecca Engeln, Sr. Registered Client Associate, and Deborah Parosa, Sr. Registered Client Associate are also joining True Private Wealth Advisors from Merrill Lynch.

“Our new firm represents our unwavering commitment to our clients, and we are extremely proud to be owners of our own business. The power of our partnership as an independent firm will ensure that our clients will get uncompromised advice, outstanding service and access to leading investments,” said Steve Altman, Founding Partner of True Private Wealth Advisors. “We also believe there is tremendous potential for expanding our business, particularly in the Northwest.”

Todd Gescher, Founding Partner, True Private Wealth Advisors added, “Our team has always been steadfastly committed to serving our clients. Our research convinced us that we could offer better service with an independent business model, especially when we reviewed the resources that are now available through independent partnerships. As owners, we have made significant changes that we believe will be of tremendous benefit to our clients.”

“True Private Wealth Advisors is now well positioned to broaden their business by hiring additional advisors and expanding their footprint in the Pacific Northwest. At Dynasty, we are looking forward to partnering with this experienced team,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty.

“What is unique about the launch of True Private Wealth Advisors is that we have two successful teams coming together to form one firm with greater scale and broader expertise than each team would have on their own. What they have in common is an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to build a client-focused advisory business in the Pacific Northwest. Under Steve, Brett, Todd and Jason’s leadership, True Private Wealth Advisors will be an attractive destination for additional advisors to join,” said Tim Bello, Partner and Director of Strategic Implementation at Dynasty. “We think this multi-advisor partnership model is the next wave in the breakaway advisor movement. We are getting calls from groups of advisors and branch managers who want to start their own firms while keeping their individual team structures inside the new central brand.”

True Private Wealth Advisors will leverage Dynasty’s state-of-the-art capabilities, including technology, managed investments, institutional research, trust and insurance services and credit facilities. The company will access Dynasty’s groundbreaking investment platform, which integrates the industry-leading proprietary research of Callan Associates. Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services will provide custody services and Envestnet will provide portfolio trading tools and reporting for True Private Wealth Advisors.

True Private Wealth Advisors will be based in a new location – in the historic Capitol Building in the heart of downtown Salem, Oregon at 388 State St, Suite 1000, Salem, OR, 97301.
About True Private Wealth Advisors

True Private Wealth Advisors was launched in September 2012 as an independent, SEC-registered investment advisory firm. Based in Salem, Oregon, True Private Wealth Advisors provides an array of sophisticated services to meet the unique needs of clients including individuals, families and businesses. True Private Wealth provides wealth planning, retirement and estate planning. For more information, please visit www.truepwa.com.
About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates the finest wealth management capabilities for the industry’s leading independent investment advisor teams. Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform of wealth management solutions and technology to help independent advisors protect and grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients.












Austin Philbin, Chief Administrative Officer

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