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‘Spring-loaded’ Demand Drives Dynasty Hiring Spree

The pandemic slowed the service provider’s growth last year. Now, it’s preparing for a wave of new partners and activity.

Dynasty Financial Partners, one of the largest service providers to wealth managers and a leader in helping advisors establish their own firms, has begun a hiring spree in preparation for growth delayed by the pandemic.

Financial advisors spent much of last year tending to clients as the Covid-19 virus spread throughout the U.S., disrupting markets and daily life. But in July, deals that were paused finally resumed (third quarter transaction volume hit a record high) and other advisors were back to exploring mergers, acquisitions, and other significant changes to their businesses — like switching service providers.

“It was a slower year in the aggregate,” Shirl Penney, the founder, president and CEO of Dynasty, said about 2020. “I am okay with saying you’re going to see a fair amount of activity with Dynasty in 2021.” 

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Dynasty has a network of 48 firms using its platform and managing an aggregate of $55 billion. The network has been hovering around 50 firms in recent years. As companies have left, the existing members have grown and larger ones have joined, which is all part of Penney’s plan. (Dynasty charges companies a percentage of their assets under management.) However, the network, and other Dynasty businesses like its lending capital and lending services, are expected to grow this year and the company is preparing. “We had a lot of, I guess, pent-up demand. We were kind of spring-loaded coming out of the market selloff last year,” Penney told RIA Intel.

The service provider announced Thursday that it hired nine new employees so far in 2021, bringing its total to 80, and plans to grow its workforce by another 25% before year-end.

The new hires have been made across all parts of Dynasty and that will continue throughout the year, Penney said.

Tony Biancarosa, a former director at UBS in the Tampa Bay area, where Dynasty relocated its headquarters in 2019, recently joined Dynasty to become a senior vice president of relationship management. Former Evercore director Chris Marsh is now a vice president of Dynasty Capital Strategies & M&A and Jared Pestcoe, a former sales specialist at TD Ameritrade Institutional, is now a vice president of Network Development in Dynasty’s Central Region. It also hired Fei Xue, vice president of Relationship Management, who was previously Director of National Accounts & Due Diligence at CNL Financial Group and worked in product strategy for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

It has turned over several times, but one job at Dynasty might be the most sought after in wealth management.

“If you want to build a Dynasty, you need to continually upgrade your talent. We continue to add new talent to Dynasty and welcome diverse perspectives,” Mason Salit, chief talent officer of Dynasty, said in a statement about the new hires.

Dynasty’s turnkey asset management platform, or TAMP, has also grown to one of the largest managing $27 billion on behalf of financial advisors, up from $18 billion in January last year. Research has shown that most advisory practices don’t have the personnel needed to effectively build and manage investment portfolios on their own. More advisors are turning to TAMPs for help and Penney said the pandemic accelerated that trend.

At $27 billion, Dynasty’s TAMP manages nearly half of the assets of its network, a much greater percentage than other TAMPs and a sign of its success, according to Penney.

The executive also said Dynasty’s institutional business, which provides its services to wealth managers that are not part of Dynasty’s network, also continues to grow. If it continues to provide a high level of service and is willing to customize solutions there are “large multi-billion opportunities” out there, Penney said. 

Michael Thrasher (@Mike_Thrasher) is a reporter at RIA Intel based in New York City.

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