News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Dynasty Financial leads a second $1 billion-range team -- now Fidelity RIA -- out of Wall Street in as many weeks

Fusion Family Wealth LLC presumed the economics of buying top research wasn't there -- but was shown otherwise

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – 7:07 PM by Brooke Southall
no description available
Jonathan Blau: We never knew there was a way to partner with someone like Dynasty.

Brooke’s Note: Dynasty Financial was quiet, very quiet, for months on end. But now it has started to rack up wins, big, exotic ones, with a vengeance. More impressive is that in each case, the newly minted RIA principals named Dynasty as a key missing piece in emerging from the wirehouse womb. This Blau departure is the second one in a couple of weeks after Hal Lambert’s defection from Credit Suisse. See: Pershing, Dynasty and Envestnet gang-tackle Credit Suisse and jolt loose $1 billion duo. It’s hard to believe these prestigious and flat-out big wins won’t capture the attention of other would-be RIAs.

Fusion Family Wealth LLC has a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that strategy for building its business that had one potential weak underpinning, now seemingly corrected.

The New York City- and Long Island-based RIA that broke away from UBS on Friday expects to have about $900 million of assets under management when the dust settles after re-materializing as a legally fiduciary advisor. See: Merrill Lynch breakaway wins $550-million account in head-to-head battle with UBS — despite a higher bid.

While its founder, Jonathan R. Blau, 46, liked life under UBS and felt he could deliver good advice, he was uneasy about a niggling factor. He was determined to serve as a high-level fiduciary. And though clients never questioned him on that, he was aware that by serving under FINRA’s rule-based suitability standard and UBS’ corporate structure, that technically he was not a fiduciary. See: An in-depth analysis of FINRA’s attempted takeover of RIAs and why the group should be disbanded, Part 2.

“Fusion Family Wealth was formed for a simple reason: We recognized that clients expect a high level of professional care aligned with the highest legal fiduciary standard. As an SEC-registered firm, we are able to fuse these two concepts together,” Blau said in a release.

Accountant category killer

Blau built the business to its current stature by adhering to a script followed by many advisors — seeking out trusted advisors, such as accountants and lawyers, and serving their clients.

But he took it a couple steps further. Blau is an accountant by training himself and he takes on the accounts of CPAs — even if they don’t fit the generally established asset minimums of clients in general. See: In their own words: Five top advisors’ secrets for creating stronger alliances to gain more referrals.

“If they’re giving us that compliment [of referring their own wealthy clients], we’re not going to impose a standard minimum.”

The expectation is that this fusing of form and function will lead to accelerated growth, according to Shirl Penney, president and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners. Dynasty now has 54 advisors in 27 offices advising $19 billion of assets.

“Over the years, Jonathan has built a substantial network of accounting and legal professionals and has successfully collaborated with a wide center of influence in building his business. Now, more opportunities will present themselves to Fusion Wealth as independent advisors.”

What has held Blau back from breaking away until now, he says, was concern about the ability to achieve critical mass as an RIA to afford the kind of manager research necessary to invest properly. Key manager vetting services assembled by Dynasty come from Callan Associates Inc., Wilshire Associates Inc. and Envestnet.

Callan at reasonable cost

“We never knew there was a way to partner with someone like Dynasty. Having close to $1 billion made us a large team but in terms of research, we wouldn’t be big enough for Callan for research.” See: Attack of the killer app: Dynasty targets the corner-office broker by combining Envestnet and Callan.

Blau says he was pleasantly surprised to learn of Dynasty because of its omnibus relationship with Callan and because he knew Penney’s name from his days at Smith Barney.

Blau chose Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services as the RIA’s custodian based on its brand and technology, he says. He adds that Fidelity and Dynasty exceeded his hopes for hands-on transition assistance — quipping that that was not easy to do because the promises were ample enough.

Blau has worked as a senior advisor at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc., Morgan Stanley and UBS. Blau holds two post-graduate degrees from Fordham University — an MS in taxation and an MBA in accounting.

He is proud that the rest of his team also has a wealth of experience and education.

Harvey L. Radler began his career at Wertheim & Co./Schroders. He then moved to Prudential Securities Inc., where he became chief executive of Gibraltar Advisors. In 1996, Radler joined Sanford Bernstein. After that, he moved to Morgan Stanley in 2000 and then joined UBS in 2008. In addition, Radler spent 25 years on the disciplinary panel of the NYSE.

Merrill and el Touro

Joel S. Bodner joined Fusion Family Wealth from UBS, where he had worked since 2008. He began his career in investment management at Merrill Lynch in 2002. Bodner received his B.S. from Touro College, majoring in finance with a concentration in computers. He holds an MBA in finance from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in New York.

James F. Cloudman Jr. previously worked as a financial advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc., which he joined in 2010. He has a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an MBA in management from Hofstra University.

Related Moves

Executive shake-up and staff hiring binge change Dynasty Financial Partners' talent mix, with Todd Thomson, Scott Welch, Ed Friedman and 12 women as headliners

The St. Petersburg-based producer of 'synthetic RIA scale' will continue to aggressively hire and adjust its talent ranks as it readies for next growth push.

September 24, 2019 – 2:02 AM

UBS bets its 'wealth' future on ex-Schwabbie Naureen Hassan, a corporate digital A-lister, who analysts give a fighting chance to transcend PaineWebber's ossified culture

Still a $2-billion cash-flow cow, the Swiss bank's 6,000-broker, US-based wirehouse is milking aging broker relationships with aging investors but needs a new kind of human presence, empathy, mindset and smarts to draw in Gen Z.

July 16, 2022 – 1:35 AM

Dynasty Financial hires 'real deal' TD Ameritrade RIA sales talent who left after Schwab deal; he'll again mine for RIAs on Florida's Gold Coast--first big news since IPO disclosed

The St. Peterburg, Fla., technology outsourcer made its 10th Florida hire since start of year but first one on the state's Southeastern Coast

February 17, 2022 – 2:50 AM

Envestnet nabs Dani Fava to cross-pollinate semi-autonomous units and reap 'financial wellness' as the end product

The Chicago outsourcer has a massive, partially disconnected arsenal of products that CEO Bill Crager is rationalizing into 'wellness' with yet another new unit.

July 23, 2020 – 1:42 AM



June 26, 2014 — 8:44 AM

Inogen oxygen is quite preferred as of late simply because it’s the purified form of oxygen. This may improve the regular of existence and will guide in escalating the freedom for that oxygen therapy shoppers and it really is of major use inside of the clients battling with Persistent Obstructive Lung condition. Using this sort of oxygen is amazingly valuable such sufferers as being the the greater part on the circumstances which happen to be thought of as dying because of to this ailment. The provisions of such facilities have elevated the daily life time these kinds of individuals.



June 26, 2014 — 7:18 AM

Over the front from the iPad in the vicinity of is usually a on your residence button, which workings particularly exact same way the same as apple iphone does. The Apple iPad homes exactly the same consumer interface and OS the same as the apple iphone. The iPad pores and skin texture a virtual infant grand which can be current applied together with the nearly all the apps about the iPad, helps make much easier to depletion while texting, emailing , web searching which., from the sphere of sketch method, we have been able to faucet dazed a bit messages utilizing our thumbs, but we largely touched during the incorrect keys. Over the landscape child grand is immense and comprehensively less complicated to depletion.

RIABiz Directory

The Industry Sourcebook for RIAs

   |    LISTING

RIABiz Directory sponsored by:

Directory Sponsor Logo