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Dynasty Financial wins the account of Lori Van Dusen's new RIA through Focus Financial

The arrangement holds the possibility of a symbiotic advisor-vendor relationship between the wealth management platform and the big aggregator

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Lori Van Dusen has been thinking about starting an RIA for 20 years but the 'pieces' couldn't be assembled to her liking, until now.

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Mentioned in this article:

Nexus Strategy
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Timothy D. Welsh

Focus Financial Partners, LLC
Consolidator/Roll-up Firm
Top Executive: Rudy Adolf

Envestnet | Tamarac
Portfolio Management System, CRM Software, Trading/Rebalancing
Top Executive: Stuart DePina




Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

October 18, 2011 — 8:41 PM

Lori Van Dusen is one of several hundred outstanding institutional consultants (she has never lost a client—quite a testimonial to her ability) who have billions under advisement, who have outgrown the ability of the brokerage business to support them, particularily when it comes to acting on behalf of their clients in the client’s best interest required of institutions which are held to the fiduciary standard of care.

The differentiation Lori notes between independent broker/dealers which have many of the same limitations of wirehouses (except independent firms are far more under resourced), and advisory services support firms like Dynasty is most significant. Essentially product access, trade execution services and administrative support have become commodity services offered by custodians at far more favorable terms than brokerage firms, whether wirehouses or IB/Ds. The game changer is indeed an advisory services support firm like Dynasty, that can actually treat trade execution as a cost center, eliminating the conflict of interest of trade execution as a profit center. Because large scale institutional support for fiduciary standing does not exist even in RIA rollup firms like Focus, where everyone is a free agent and scale is not possible, Dynasty could make a big difference in the evolution of the industry.

Thus the importance of how Dynasty actually approaches its value proposition.

Dynasty can become profound as it can:

(a) create a prudent process authenticated by statutory documentation for each of the ten major market segments advisors serve (Mass, Retail, HNW, Ultra HNW, DC, DB, Foundations and Endowments, Public Funds, Profit sharing, Taft-Hartley) which makes the advisor’s acknowledgement of fiduciary standing safe, as confirmed by expert opinion letter, which entails the expert management of all considerations essential for fiduciary standing which are beyond the reach of the individual broker,

(b) advance modern technology necessary to support the continuous comprehensive counsel required for fiduciary standing (which changes how we approach portfolio construction and the dispensing of high cost packaged retail products in violation of fiduciary duty),

(c) establish work flow management tied to a functional division of labor (Advisor, CAO, CIO) which leads to very high margings and makes advisory services scalable, easy to manage and execute, presently not possible in the brokerage business and not supported by custodians, but perfectly suited for Dynasty as it acknowledges the fiduciary standing of its advisors and accordingly supports them by expertly addressing and managing practice management and expertly simplifing advisory services while maximizing margins, something Focus, custodian and certainly brokerage firms can not do.

(d) manage conflicts of interest, not just disclose them which perpetuates conflicts—which literally makes fiduciary standing possible and establishes the defining competitive edge of Dynastry to which the brokerage industry can not respond in kind.

(e) provide expert advisory services support for each of the ten major market segments advisors serve, with expert user groups for each market segment which make Dynasty far more responsive to the needs of the marketplace than is possible in the brokerage industry which does not even acknowledge that brokers render advice.

Essentially, Dynasty has a lisense to execute that goes far beyond the capability of the brokerage and custody industry’s and can be the first to create large sale institutionalized support for fiduciary standing, which makes advice safe, scalable, easy to execute and manage—the holy grail for the industry going forward.

If brokers want to be part of a first rate, world class advisory services firms, where they can achieve margins not possible as an independent RIA, which is preemptive to the brokerage/custodian industry’s approach to advisory services—Dynasty may be the solution, but only if Dyansty can execute. The industry’s top talent expects world class support, which is presently not possible in the brokerage industry. There is an universal opportunity to build a very large business based on inplace advisory services resources cited above which are preemptive to the brokerage industry. Dynasty could very well become the answer that top advisors like Lori Van Dusen are looking for. Safety, scale, expert support not required by Lori but essential to building a very large business remain challenges. There is much work to be done. Give Dynasty 12 months and we will see if the promise of expert large scale institutionalized support for fiduciary standing is part of Dynasty’s vision..

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