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Dynasty Financial nabs a big Florida RIA as a client, pulling closer to Schwab

The New York start-up has known Cypress since a conversation in 2008

Friday, July 22, 2011 – 7:36 PM by Brooke Southall
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Shirl Penney: They want more wallet share.

Dynasty Financial Partners has brought aboard its first non-breakaway RIA client to its wealth management platform – and pulled itself closer to Schwab Advisor Services in the bargain.

The New York-based start-up now counts Cypress Trust Company, which has more than $1.2 billion of assets under administration and management, as a customer. The advisory firm is Palm Beach, Fla.-based and uses Schwab as its primary custodian. See: Schwab strengthens its hand against Fidelity via hot NY startup.

Dynasty president and chief executive Shirl Penney says the reason that Cypress is signing on with his firm relates to its desire to shift its orientation from being a pure trust company and investment manager into the wealth management realm.

Wallet share

“[Cypress] wants more wallet share,” Penney says. “This is part of an evolution of its platform. We’re really a completion strategy.” See: What exactly is Dynasty Financial Partners and why is the Smith Barney execs’ startup gaining so much attention?.

In particular, Penney expects Cypress to take advantage of his company’s access to private-placement life insurance services, its network of private bank lending and its investment banking partnerships. Penney added that Cypress will augment its in-house investing capabilities with the Callan Associates Inc. research and other company expertise associated with managing portfolios and adding alternative assets to portfolios.

“We believe that Dynasty has built the finest end-to-end wealth management platform in the industry, Barry Hoyt, director of Cypress, said in a statement.

For an interview about the Dynasty deal with Erik Joh, CEO of Cypress, see: See: Three RIA happenings this last week.

Dynasty was originally formed as a platform for luring the most coddled corner office wirehouse advisors out of their firms. Its founder come from Citi’s old wealth management unit. This includes Todd Thomson, former head of Smith Barney. See: In a Q&A, Todd Thomson explains why Wall Street’s glitter faded beside Dynasty opportunity.

Penney added that he’s excited that the deal withh Cypress creates a greater connection with Schwab considering that the RIA is one of the San Francisco custodial giant’s larger clients in the Southeast region of the United States. He says he worked closely with David DeVoe, Schwab Advisor Services’ managing director of strategic business development, to close the deal.

Loren Morris, formerly (until April) Schwab’s front man for talking to RIA consolidators, now a partner and director of RIA Services was also involved in making the transaction work.

Listening tour pays off

Penney has known Cypress executives since 2008 when he was making the rounds of large RIAs in what he calls a “listening tour.” He also expects this announcement to be followed by others that will be split fairly evenly between breakaways from wirehouses and existing RIAs.

Another element of Dynasty’s deal with Cypress is that the Florida firm will become a provider on the platform of administrative trust services where RIAs can place trust assets but continue to manage them on their own. Penney says this offering was generated in response to RIA feedback about wanting a place where no one would try and cross-sell their clients.

“Every time they went to work with Bessemer, Northern Trust or Alliance Bernstein, the possibility of disintermediation was there. The RIAs got burned and stopped doing it,” Penney says.

This is also a niche that National Advisors Trust of Overland Park, Kan. has identified.

See: National Advisors Trust gets busy Northern Trust-ifying the RIA business, minus the big fees.


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