BOSTON – Fidelity Clearing & Custody, the division of Fidelity that provides clearing and custody to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealer firms, banks and insurance companies, today announced the winners of the inaugural Be Greater Awards. This is the first year that Fidelity has issued the awards which recognize RIAs and retirement advisors or recordkeepers that are taking their practices to the next level.
The winners of the 2015 Be Greater Awards are:
- Haven Wealth Group (Houston, TX)
- Compak Asset Management (Newport Beach, CA)
- Wescott Financial Advisory Group (Philadelphia, PA)
- Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services (Albert Lea, MN)
"In today's competitive marketplace, we think firms need to set their sights higher to ensure they're building lasting organizations," said Bob Oros, executive vice president and head of the RIA segment, Fidelity Clearing & Custody. "After we published Be Greater last year, we saw a terrific response from advisors who said that our message resonated with them. We launched the Be Greater Awards this year to celebrate those firms that are taking their businesses to the next level."
Winners were chosen by an esteemed panel of industry professionals: Karen Barr, Investment Adviser Association; Joel Bruckenstein, Technology Tools for Today; Mindy Diamond, Diamond Consultants; Beverly Flaxington, The Collaborative; Brian Hamburger, MarketCounsel; and Philip Palaveev, The Ensemble Practice.
"We read many terrific submissions describing unique initiatives that help firms grow faster, serve clients better, attract and retain talented people and build value," said Philip Palaveev, CEO of The Ensemble Practice. "While we were impressed by all the submissions we reviewed, the winners stood out for their focus on innovation coupled with disciplined implementation in all aspects of their business, from strategy to client engagement to managing people."
Fidelity will make a donation to the charity of each winner's choice in the amount of $15,000. For more information on the Be Greater® Awards, including the inspiring stories of how the winners have built great businesses, see below or visit go.fidelity.com/begreaterawards.
Haven Wealth Group
- Richea Powell, President and CEO of Haven Wealth Group, and her partner left a major financial institution in 2008 where they had worked together for many years to establish their RIA. They felt this would enable them to offer a more personalized, client-focused approach to wealth management. "We help our clients deal with a wide range of issues," says Powell, "from growing wealth for multigenerational families to making retirement more comfortable to assisting with saving for a child's college education. The RIA model ensures that we always have their best interests in mind."
- Haven is powering its transition from a start-up RIA into a full-service wealth management firm through ongoing strategic planning. The firm invests time and resources into developing and improving its technology platform, including integrating client data with external software systems as well as internally developing a Proprietary Portfolio Management System.
- Category: RIA, $50 - $250 million in total assets under management
Compak Asset Management
- Compak Asset Management provides investment management services, comprehensive financial plans, insurance solutions, and assistance with estate planning. At the same time, the firm keeps the big picture in mind—their clients' happiness. "As the wealth management business becomes more competitive and technology takes over many basic functions of financial advice, we believe RIAs need to add value beyond asset allocation or simple financial planning," says Moeez Ansari, president and chief investment officer. "In our case, we have done this by becoming a life advisor for our clients."
- Over the years, Compak's business model has evolved from being a tactical asset manager to a firm that focuses on enhancing the life experience of its clients. The firm emphasizes strategic planning, with 100% team participation, which was key during their transition from asset management to wealth management. The team leverages technology for client communication, comprehensive financial planning, meetings, and CRM. To engage clients further, Compak developed a program called LIVE360, based on research in positive psychology with the goal to increase life satisfaction.
- Category: $250 million - $1 billion in total assets under management
Wescott Financial Advisory Group
- Wescott is driven by a passion to continually "do more, better, different" to hone the delivery of wealth management services to its clients. Grant Rawdin, CEO of the firm, moved from his tax and business practice at a national law firm in 1987 to form this RIA. Today, Wescott has more than $2 billion in AUM and 35 staff members, which includes experience in the areas of finance, law, taxation, and business. "I would describe our firm as entrepreneurial, collegial, and collaborative," says Rawdin, "which is an important mix to fuel sustainable growth."
- Wescott provides comprehensive financial planning, using an internally designed Perfect ScoreTM metric to track the status of a client’s planning and MyWescottVaultTM, a client environment for all their reports, document storage and management system. The firm also developed Entrada, for those with growing financial planning needs and investment portfolios under $2 million. Its technology capabilities allows clients and staff access to its systems 24 hours a day and hold virtual meetings, along with the added security of MyWescottVaultTM for transferring sensitive information. The firm recently unveiled its digital marketing expansion, including an enhanced website, a blog, SEO, paid search and site retargeting.
- Category: Greater than $1 billion in total assets under management
Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services
- Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services, Corp. (ABGFS) is a privately-owned full-service employee benefits consulting, recordkeeping, and administration firm. The consulting office works closely with its plan sponsor clients to design effective retirement plans and employee education campaigns, using unique decision-support tools to help enhance the retirement readiness of all participants. With over $2.4 billion in assets under advisement, this area of the company has 30 employees who serve more than 1,650 corporate clients and 20,000 plan participants.
- "Our mission is to drive sustainable financial outcomes for the American worker," says Brad Arends, chief executive officer of the firm. "That requires new ways of thinking about financial wellness and how to prepare employees for retirement. Our vision and efforts are driven by our company’s four core values: passion, collaboration, innovation, and quality."
- Category: Retirement Advisor or Recordkeeper
About the Fidelity Be Greater® Awards
- The award honors a total of four firms: three registered investment advisors (one from each of the following categories: $50 - $250 million, $250 million - $1 billion and greater than $1 billion in total assets under management) and one retirement advisor or recordkeeper.
- Firms were judged on demonstrated excellence across five critical areas of their businesses: business models, planning, technology, client engagement and teams and partnerships.
- Eligible requirements include that firms be a custody client of Fidelity Clearing & Custody, be in business for at least four years, have more than two full-time employees, have at least $50 million in total assets under management.
- Winners were announced on October 29, 2015 at Fidelity’s Inside Track event in New York. Fidelity will make a donation to the charity of each winner’s choice in the amount of $15,000.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of September 30, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 24 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 42,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.