Dynasty Financial Partners has a new CIO -- and a stronger connection to the RIA market.

The outsourcing platform has hired former Fortigent EVP and CIO Scott Welch as its new chief investment officer, a position the company has been looking to fill for two years.

"We've been looking for the right person for a few years and talked to a number of people," says Dynasty Chairman Todd Thomson, who heads the firm's investment committee and served as interim CIO, "and Scott was the right fit culturally and a great investment professional."

One key to the hire was Welch's strong relationships with many of the country's top wealth managers, developed over 15 years as a senior executive and CIO at Fortigent -- one of the industry's best-known providers of outsourcing investment and support services for  high-end independents.

Established independents only make up about one-third of the advisory firms that have joined Dynasty's platform, Thomson says, with breakaway brokers making up the bulk of the firm's 28 clients. "We've never had a marketing effort to existing RIAs," he says.

Having Welch on board will be a "beacon of light" for RIAs "to notice Dynasty as a partner," Thomson adds.

The hire drew high praise from RIAs, including former Fortigent client John Wolff, chief executive of Leesburg, Va.-based Capital Fiduciary Advisors. "Scott really cared about his clients, our model, and the industry," Wolf says. "Dynasty is very lucky to have him."

Welch says his Fortigent background and relationships will help "extend Dynasty further into the RIA community." Dynasty's entrepreneurial culture was also a draw, he adds, as was the 5-year old firm's similarities to Fortigent's commitment to "complete alignment" with independent firms.


Welch, who will join Dynasty as a partner, says he will work closely with institutional investment consulting firms including Wilshire Associates and Callan Associates on manager selection for advisors. Dynasty clients will also receive an "intellectual value add" of market commentary, Welch says -- benefiting from the his own expertise as well as that of Thomson, Michael Moriarty, director of investment platforms, and Tom Petrone, director of capital markets. 

In addition to manager selection, asset allocation recommendations and model portfolios, advisors can also tap Dynasty's own portfolio management offerings, including equity, fixed income and real asset and hedge fund models, as well as an OCIO (outsourced chief investment officer) service.

The 54-year-old Welch is a well-known figure on the industry's conference circuit and prolific contributor to trade journals. He worked for Swiss Bank Corp. and the Globecon Group for 12 years before co-founding Fortigent in 1998 with Andy Putterman, Jamie McIntyre and Gary Carrai, with help from ex-Convergent Wealth Advisors Chairman Steve Lockshin.

Fortigent was acquired by LPL Financial in 2012, in a move aimed at boosting the giant independent B-D's market share in the high-end RIA market. Welch departed last year to form a wealth management consulting firm, Unconstrained Thought.

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