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The Powering Independence Podcast is a conversation about the RIA Space hosted by Austin Philbin. His friends and guests include individuals spanning the entire spectrum of wealth management.  A high-energy, insightful creation; this show aims to demystify many of the myths of financial services and provide insights, fresh ideas and a true look into what it takes to be a successful wealth management entrepreneur. Austin will ask the questions that need to be answered by any firm looking to drive scale, efficiency and enterprise value.

New episodes will be posted every two weeks. Sign up to receive notifications when a new episode goes live.

Listen to the latest podcast here:

Episode 32: The Future of Wealth Management
Guest Speaker: Anand Sekhar, Vice President, Practice Management & Consulting at Fidelity.

There are many forces driving innovation in wealth management and lots of questions around the future of wealth management. Anand shares his point of view based on his extensive work with some of the top RIA(s) across the country. Listeners should expect to gain some great perspective and best practices coming out of this podcast.
Special M&A Podcast Series: Inside the Deal

Dynasty speaks with hundreds of advisors and RIAs every year and one of the most common and important topics of discussion that comes up is M&A – How do RIAs know if they are M&A ready? How are deals sourced? How are deals negotiated? Why are some successful and others not? How do I integrate an RIA, new team or a new advisor into my firm?

As a result, we are launching ‘Inside the Deal’ – the first and only podcast series solely focused on lifting the veil over the M&A process from the buy-side’s perspective and provide RIAs and advisors with valuable insights from a group of seasoned M&A professionals. Come join Harris Baltch, Dynasty’s Head of M&A and Capital Strategies, as he hosts this special podcast series and speaks with some of the most qualified deal makers in the space.

Part 1: Deal Readiness
How do RIAs know if they are M&A ready? How are deals sourced? Harris Baltch is joined by Mark Tibergien, Founder of Mark Tibergien Insights, former CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions and current Board Member of Pathstone Family Office, and Brad Armstrong, Partner at Lovell Minnick Partners, to delve into the key criteria for ‘M&A deal readiness’, how to access the best COIs for originating high quality M&A opportunities, and more. Part 2: Execution
Zero in on RIA deal execution behind closed doors and learn best practices for RIAs contemplating a sale. Harris Baltch, Dynasty's Head of M&A and Capital Strategies, is joined by Liz Nesvold, Managing Director and Head of Raymond James' Asset and Wealth Management Investment Banking Unit, to discuss how to execute RIA M&A successfully. Join two of the most accomplished RIA dealmakers in the space as they delve into a review of the evolving M&A landscape, how execution has changed throughout the pandemic, structural considerations, valuation best practices and more. Part 3: Closing
Zero in on negotiating & closing RIA deals, and learn best practices for RIAs contemplating a sale. In Part 3: Closing, Harris Baltch, Dynasty Head of M&A and Capital Strategies, is joined by Marty Bicknell, CEO of Mariner Wealth Advisors, to discuss how to negotiate and close RIA M&A successfully. Join the two as they delve into how to close deals in a virtual world, how a buyer can differentiate themselves from the pack, repeatable M&A tactics to move a deal from signing to closing and much more. Part 4: Integration
Zero in on how to integrate an RIA, a new team, or a new advisor into your firm. In Part 4: Integration, Harris Baltch is joined by Jack Petersen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Summit Trail Advisors. With 9 M&A deals completed since launching their firm, Summit Trail has deep experience in structuring transactions and integrating advisors and teams into their business. Join the two as they delve into integration best practices, common pitfalls that buyers should be aware of to be successful on their next deal and more.

Additional Episodes

Episode 31: How Great Leaders Combine Data and Instinct to Produce Results
Guest Speakers: Steve Tenney, Founding Partner & Chief Executive Officer at Great Diamond Partners and Nikolee Turner, Managing Director, Business Consultant, Advisor Services at Charles Schwab.

Data is an important theme in all types of businesses, especially wealth management. In this episode, we explore the intersection between data and instinct. How wealth management entrepreneurs use benchmarks and quantitative information to track activity and drive results. Steve and Nikolee illustrate these themes through personal and professional stories.
Episode 30: Getting the Inside Scoop on the Independent Space: A Conversation with Ben Harrison
In this episode, Austin speaks to Ben Harrison, Co-Head of Wealth Solutions at BNY Mellon | Pershing. Their discussion covers Ben’s professional journey and some of the lessons he has learned along the way, as well as, his insights into the future of the independent space. Austin and Ben also cover the importance of financial literacy and the wealth management industry’s responsibility to help people understand their wealth and finances.
Episode 29: How to Find and Keep the Best Talent within Your Organization
With more than 30 years of experience in Financial Services, Mason Salit, Chief Talent Officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, has a very unique vantage point on identifying and growing human capital. Mason brings passion and joy to his day-to-day duties and discusses the importance of a strong culture of mentorship in this podcast. Having known each other for more than 16 years, Austin and Mason share lots of stories and laughs—definitely worth a listen.
Episode 28: Improving Your Communication as a Leader
This podcast focuses on a very important theme for leaders—communication. I am joined by Adam Piandes, who is a coach, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. We discuss how to have authentic conversations with fellow team members in the work environment. We unpack how to be compassionate, even when the stakes of running a business are high. Finally, we touch on the impact of social media on our lives and our connections to others. This one is worth a listen.
Episode 27: Trends in the Off-Shore Advisory Space
As one of the major wealth management institutions exits the international market, we sit down with Miguel Sosa, Founder and Partner at Premia Global Advisors. After more than 30 years at Merrill Lynch, Miguel founded Premia. Miguel shares his view on the space, his process, and the opportunities for advisors to move away from a transactional business model. This conversation spans both the on-shore and off-shore focused advisor and is certainly a timely topic in today’s wealth management environment.
Episode 26: Hungry, Humble, Smart
In this year’s final podcast, I speak with Lisa Crafford, a principal within the Platform Strategy and Consulting Group at BNY Mellon | Pershing. A former Australian National Trampoline Champion and world-wide traveler, we discuss a wide variety of themes relevant to the independent advisory movement. You’ll want to listen in order to understand the relevance of “hungry, humble, and smart."
Episode 25: What it means to be a “Schwabie”—Examining the Powerful Culture of Charles Schwab through the Stories of its People
In this episode of the Powering Independence Podcast, we explore the people and culture of Charles Schwab. Our guests talk about what is different about their place of work and why they are so enthusiastic about promoting their firm. With varying levels of experience and career paths, each story helps to illuminate the power of being a Schwabie. Guests: Brad Losson, VP & National Managing Director, Relationship Management at Charles Schwab Advisor Services Jerry Cobb, Managing Director, Business Consulting at Charles Schwab Leslie Tabor: Managing Director, Business Consulting at Charles Schwab
Episode 24: Making the Uncomfortable, Comfortable: How to Discuss the Meaning of Wealth as a Financial Advisor
The roles of financial advisors have morphed over the years. With the democratization of products and most services, building deeper relationships with clients is critically important. However, the path towards conversations about family values, the significance of wealth, and legacy can be challenging for some. In this episode of the podcast, Tobias Donath from Fidelity’s Center for Family Engagement and I discuss the importance of this discussions and how to start them. If you are an advisor thinking about how to engage with your clients in new and meaningful ways, this podcast is for you. Guest: Tobias Donath, Vice President, Fidelity's Center for Family Engagement Dynasty Financial Partners is an independent entity and not affiliated with Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Institutional SM(FI) provides investment products through Fidelity Distributors Company LLC; clearing, custody, or other brokerage services through National Financial Services LLC or Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Members NYSE, SIPC; and institutional advisory services through Fidelity Institutional Wealth Adviser LLC. 946333.1.0
Episode 23: Homemade Volcanoes, Zoom Calls, and Snap Filters: Managing Work-Life Integration in Today’s Environment
One of the most obvious impacts of COVID-19 has been the need to integrate professional and family life in a much closer way. With many schools beginning the academic year remotely, working parents are called upon to balance many new roles and responsibilities. A silver lining in the pandemic is that families have had the opportunity to spend more time with each other than ever before. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by three parents, all who share their authentic journeys around navigating the new normal. We have some laughs and some tears and some really great stories. Guests: Alex Hansen, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, Dynasty Financial Partners; Jill Russo, Vice President, Compliance, Dynasty Financial Partners; Alyssa Kamangar, Associate, Finance, Dynasty Financial Partners.
Episode 22: A Differentiated Business Model for Differentiated Clients: How Intellectus Built a Firm for Entrepreneurs
Dave La Placa has an incredible background and many great experiences that fuel this conversation. A founder of several companies, co-executive producer of a movie, board member for several technology companies, and CEO of Intellectus Partners, an RIA Focused on entrepreneurs. Dave brings a tremendous amount of insight into the mindset required to build and grow businesses — especially businesses in the tech sector. As a true operator in Silicon Valley, he shares valuable insight into how he is able to service these clients as a registered investment advisor. Finally, as we built the Dynasty presence on the West Coast, we shared an office with Dave, which created a great foundation for our dialogue.
Episode 21: Operational Excellence: A Discussion on How to Effectively Translate Military Knowledge to Financial Services Organizations
On this episode of the podcast, Austin speaks to Jim Combs, Chief Executive Officer of National Advisors Trust. Jim discusses his time at West Point, where he was a 4-time varsity lacrosse player. The conversation hones in on leadership, service, and creating a sustainable culture through setting the right standards.
Episode 20: Into the Great Wide Open: Perspectives of the Advisor Transition Process from the Front Lines
Into the Great Wide Open was the eight studio album recorded by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1991. The title track follows Eddie as he embarks upon a music career in Hollywood. Although perhaps a reach, there are several similarities between the protagonist of the song and the protagonists of the independent advisor movement. First and foremost, the future is wide open, the sky is the limit, and there is often a sense of rebellion. On today’s episode, I am joined by Chuck Cooper, co-founder and Managing Partner of StrongBox Wealth in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and two of my colleagues, Jason Pinkham, co-founder and Managing Director at Dynasty Financial Partners and Caitlin Douglas, a Vice President and top transition specialist at Dynasty. We will be discussing the transition process from a traditional financial institution into the independent space. The perspective will be from the team responsible for all of the planning and execution of the move.
Episode 19: Hitting The Right High Note: A Conversation with one of the Founders of High Note Wealth
Michael Forrester received a degree in History from the University of Minnesota and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu College. He combined that experience with a career in real estate to begin a wealth management career. Recently, Michael took the next step in his life by starting High Note Wealth Wealth in Deephaven, Minnesota. Michael has both his CFA and CFP Designations and is the CIO of High Note Wealth. Today’s discussion focuses on his career trajectory and lessons learned from starting an RIA.
Episode 18: Entering the Matrix: A View from Inside the Future of Wealth Management
Fin-tech is a buzz word within the financial services and wealth management space. Thinking about the future intersections between technology and the delivery of financial advice is a really fun exercise. Silicon Valley has been a hub for innovation and design for many years. A tremendous amount of wealth has been created through “start-up” ventures. These ventures have created a whole new set of rules for the life-cycle of businesses. Ben Weisshaut and Mang-Git Ng are both founders of companies looking to modify the wealth management landscape. In today’s episode we’ll investigate the future of technology in the advisory space and the role owners play in the culture creation at their companies.
Episode 17: How Does The Math Work?
Compensation matters…full stop…period. Understanding the economics of running an independent registered investment advisor is incredibly important. The benefit in this transition from an employee to an owner is the control. As an owner, the principals now control the decisions—how much to spend on real estate, marketing, and employee salaries. With all of the misinformation in the marketplace, it is challenging to know what is fact and what is fiction. In today’s episode, we speak with the quantitative powerhouse Ben Bines. Ben will walk us through the most important financial considerations when choosing the independent path and common mistakes advisors make during this process. We’ll also spend some time dispelling myths around the cost of independence.
Episode 16: Providing Financial Advice in the Middle of the Coronavirus Outbreak and Market Volatility
These are unprecedented times both domestically and globally. COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts upon many areas of our lives. Volatility has spiked in the global marketplace and has certainly increased the volume of communication necessary from our advisors to their clients. The intensity of fear/uncertainty feels similar to the housing crisis in the late 2000s. Thinking back to that time, it was the advisors who formulated a thoughtful plan, demonstrated confidence, and executed who won. In this conversation, Matt Celenza joins me to discuss how he is guiding his clients through these challenging times.
Episode 15: Making Change Count
How to Positively Impact Diversity and Create Change in the Financial Services Industry, Guest: Meghan Philbin, Communications Consultant and Coach, Templar Advisors
Episode 14: The Story of Shirl Penney and Dynasty Financial Partners
From Bates College to New York City to Saint Petersburg, Florida we follow the journey of Shirl as he worked to create Dynasty Financial Partners. We’ll talk about the financial services industry, the future, family, business, and the next stage of evolution for Dynasty.
Episode 13: Succession Planning
Most advisors know they need to create both a contingency AND succession plan, but that’s a task for another day! It is an emotional process and one that many advisors have difficulty facing. This special episode of the Powering Independence Podcast is hosted by our Head of M&A Joe Rizzo with special guests Mark Tibergian, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions and Brad Griswold, Managing Partner at Corbenic Partners. They cover the emotional aspects of creating a succession plan, The various options for succession, the valuation process and much more!
Episode 12: Safe Passage: How to Move Your Business Optimally and Compliantly
Along the journey to independence, compliance is one of the most misunderstood topics. Although many advisors have a basic grasp on what their risk officers do, how to run a SEC and/or FINRA Compliant Firm is somewhat of a mystery. In this discussion we will talk about the changes to broker protocol over the past ten years, hybrid RIA(s), what to do vs what not to do, and most importantly who gets to be the chief compliance office (CCO) of a new firm.
Episode 11: The Intersection between Elite Athletes and Business
Elite athletes spend years honing their physical skills in order to compete at a professional level. For many of these individuals, training, playing and recovering consume most of their physical and mental focus. For this discussion, we’ll examine the elite athlete from a few distinct points of view. Frank Zecca, a former collegiate athlete and now head of OFS Wealth, will discuss the tools he uses to assist pros with the management and growth of their wealth. Ryan Cafaro, professional mixed martial artist, will discuss his focus and mindset, as well as the lessons he has learned from helping train champions.
Episode 10: Mapping Your Journey: Can I Really Use What I Like?
Financial advisors need to ensure their clients will have access to great products and services when they transition to the independent space. Mutual funds, stocks and bonds all appear to be simple to transition, but what about things like precious metals, alternative investments, and corporate trusts? Cost of goods sold (COGS) is also important to entrepreneurs. We will investigate these topics and more as we talk about how to meet and exceed client expectations in a new environment. Joining us this episode are Louis Diamond, Executive Vice President and Senior Consultant at Diamond Consultants and Nick Gerace, Senior Vice President of Investments at Dynasty Financial Partners.
Episode 9: Catch Me If You Can: Cybersecurity for RIAs
In 2002, Steven Spielberg released the movie Catch Me If You Can – focusing on the life of Frank Abignale, a master con-artist and check forger. Frank was eventually caught by the FBI and ultimately helped them catch other con-artists and fraudsters. Today’s fraudsters use technology and cybercrime to steal from unsuspecting victims – including phishing e-mails, malware and identity theft. Forbes magazine estimates that cybercrime will result in an estimated $6 trillion in damages by 2022. Half of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses. The latest episode of the Dynasty Powering Independence podcast is entitled; Catch Me If You Can: Cybersecurity For RIAs. We have brought together a great panel offering their insights and practical strategies for identifying and protecting RIAs from the threat of Cybercrime. Adam Mosely is the National Managing Director of business consulting at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc, Eric Castillo is the Chief Technology Officer at Dynasty Financial and Heather Ostrwoski is the CFO of DB Root, an RIA based in Pittsburgh, PA.
Episode 8: Legal, Compliance and Freedom - Making Compliance Fun Again! (Part Two)
Who would have ever thought that the topic of legal and compliance would require two episodes, but it does! Part #2 continues the discussion covering how a firm handles FINRA and the SEC when sorting through the confusion that exists when trying to satisfy both standards and how to maintain a high standard of regulatory diligence within independent wealth management firms. For this episode, we welcome back our stellar panel: Sharron Ash, Chief Litigation Counsel at Hamburger Law Firm, Leigh Emery, Chief Compliance Officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, Michael Henley, Founder and CEO of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth and Alison Brooks, Co-Founder and COO of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth.
EPISODE 7: Legal, Compliance and Freedom – Making Compliance Fun Again! (Part One)
One would never think about putting the words Legal, Compliance and Freedom in the same sentence. Many advisors, in the past, have considered the compliance departments in their old firm the anti-business unit, but that’s because many of those policies and procedures catered to the lowest common denominator of advisors. This unfairly restricted the best advisors and made it difficult to serve their clients. They knew there was a better way, so many sought the freedom that owning their own firm offered, but having that freedom also means having the responsibility to establish and run their new firm in a compliant manner. This episode explores this topic with our panel of experts, Sharron Ash, Chief Litigation Counsel at Hamburger Law Firm, Leigh Emery, Chief Compliance Officer Dynasty Financial Partners, Michael Henley, Founder and CEO of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth and Alison Brooks, Co-Founder and COO of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth.
EPISODE 6: The Next Generation of Advisors - Who will lead your firm’s future?
Who will lead your firm’s future? If the answer is uncertain, then the enterprise value of your company will definitely be affected and it could even lead to clients leaving your firm. Your hosts, Gordon Ross and Ed Friedman, are joined by a panel of industry leaders to discuss how to best address these issues and attract more qualified young professionals into the industry. On the panel are David Root, CEO of DB Root & Company, and Anand Sekhar, VP of Practice Management & Consulting at Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions.
Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® provides clearing, custody or other brokerage services through National Financial Services LLC or Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. Members NYSE, SIPC.
Fidelity is not affiliated with Dynasty Financial Partners.
EPISODE 5: Technology - Is My Stack Better Than Yours?
There has never been more innovation when it comes to technology within the wealth management industry. With that, there has never been more confusion too! What is the best tech solution for my firm? How do I diagnose what my company needs? Once we adopt new technology software, how do I onboard it and drive adoption? Ed and Gordon are joined by a group of industry leaders who have had to answer these questions: Brian Schulte, Information Systems Senior Manager at Geller Advisors, and Paul Metzger, Technology Consultant at Dynasty Financial Partners.
EPISODE 4: Marketing - You Mean I Shouldn’t Buy a Billboard?
With new technologies and strategies constantly being developed, the approach to Marketing has seen dramatic change in recent years. RIA teams and industry leaders need guidance on how to leverage this critical channel for business growth and client engagement. How do you know if you are spending too much or too little on Marketing? How do you know you are receiving a return on your investment? To answer these questions, please join our hosts Ed Friedman - National Director of Practice Management and Gordon Ross - Director Enterprise Group, Dynasty Financial Partners and their guests, Paul Strid, Co-Founder of Concentus Wealth Advisors, Gordy Abel, Chief Marketing Officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, and Justin Barish, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Dynasty Financial Partners as they explore Marketing Masterminds.
EPISODE 3: M&A - The Power of Inorganic Growth
So many firms want to grow inorganically and recruit established advisors to their firms and transfer their clients across, but what does this process actually entail? Is your firm M&A ready? How do you attract these advisors? What should the negotiation look like? Is the market too frothy right now? Ed and Gordon are joined by a panel of experts who live and breathe advisor recruitment every day: Mindy Diamond, Founder and CEO of Diamond Consultants, Justin Weinkle, Chief Financial Officer at Dynasty Financial Partners, and Phil Fiore, Partner and CEO at Procyon Partners.
EPISODE 2: The Science of Client Acquisition
Growth is the lifeblood of any independent wealth management business. Adding new clients and assets is central to that growth. The best firms in our industry take a very deliberate, process driven approach. The Science of Client Acquisition takes a deep dive into some of the ideas and insights from industry leaders on this vital topic. Joining host Ed Friedman to explore this subject is Ken Haman, Managing Director of Alliance Bernstein, Erik Strid, CEO – Concentus Wealth Advisors and Liz Manibay, Managing Director – Schwab Advisor Services.
EPISODE 1: Women on Wall Street - When Socks Tell a Story
Why have so few women joined the wealth management industry? What can the industry do to change this? What should a wealth management firm be doing to ensure it is attractive to female clients? Ed Friedman is joined by a panel of experts to discuss these questions and more: Michelle Smith, Founder and CEO of Source Financial Advisors, Penny Phillips, Founder and CEO of Thrivos Consulting, Sally Cates, Director of PR at Dynasty Financial Partners, Catherine Saunders, Head of Client Engagement Center at Putnam Investments.