After spending 12 years at Charles Schwab [SCHW] helping advisors build and market their practices, David Welling is joining Jacksonville, Fla.-based Black Diamond Performance Reporting as its chief solutions officer, where he will oversee sales, marketing, product management and advisor client solutions for the seven-year old company.
“I’m helping this company define who it wants to be three to five years from now and devise a plan to get there,” Welling said.
He said that he envisions Black Diamond continuing to get business from advisors at wirehouses and large independent firms who want to go independent, and existing brokers looking to upgrade their systems.
Although the new post is at a company whose core focus is technology, Welling said that the job harkens back to his days at Schwab Institutional as an advisory business consultant and general manager. He joined the financial services giant in 1997 as chief of staff to John Coughlan, a vice chairman and head of Schwab Institutional, but eventually made his mark for developing its GrowthPoint program. GrowthPoint rolled up all of the best marketing, business development and organizational structures from Schwab’s best advisors and offered advice and support to their peers. GrowthPoint was so successful that other major custodial firms have copied and implemented their own versions of it, according to Welling. Schwab has since rebranded the program as Business Consulting Services.
The seven-year-old Black Diamond provides performance reporting for 175 financial advisors, representing $35 billion in assets and 110,000 client accounts. Those numbers make Black Diamond the largest outsourced portfolio management performance reporting company now serving registered investment advisors, Welling said. A lot of advisors are unaware of that, mainly because the company previously gained new business by word of mouth, and did very little formal marketing, Welling said. That was fine when advisors did many performance-reporting functions in house and generated and mailed quarterly paper statements to all of their clients. But businesses want to be less paper-driven and more efficient these days. Many advisory firms are using Web-based systems to monitor client accounts, and 80% of client reports are distributed electronically, instead of being printed and mailed.
Using Black Diamond’s technology, advisors can perform an array of functions, from the basics like predicting revenues based on assets under management to giving their clients daily updates on how their portfolios are doing.
Advisors can even do the latter with the latest consumer electronic equipment, like iPhones, if necessary, said Tim Welsh, president of Nexus Strategy, a Larkspur, Calif.-based consulting firm and a former Schwab colleague of Welling’s. “He is going from a highly focused custodial function to a tech firm that is up and coming,” Welsh said. “He sees where the business is going and that is the next evolution.”
As for where Black Diamond Performance Reporting is going, Welling says the goal is to serve 1,000 of the best advisors in the country, and expand its customer base from independent RIAs to include more broker-dealers, banks and trusts.
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Also on the move this week:
Cannex Financial Exchanges of Toronto hired Gary Baker as president of its U.S. division. He was vice president of income solutions, for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Springfield, Mass., where he facilitated the development of a retirement income strategy and helped develop new markets and products.
Steve Hayden, the chairman and chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, of New York City, has joined the board of directors of Chicago-based HighTower.
The Insured Retirement Institute hired Karen Alvarado as vice president of regulatory affairs, rounding out its first government affairs team. She was vice president and chief compliance article for Baltimore-based Aegon Insurance Group [AEG], a pension, life insurance and financial services industry group.
KBS Capital Markets Group of Newport Beach, Calif., announced that it promoted Hans Henselman to chief operating officer of affiliate companies KBS Capital Advisors and KBS Realty Advisors. Henselman is currently the parent company's chief compliance officer.
New York Life Investments of New York City has promoted Don Salama to the newly created position of chief strategy office overseeing mergers and acquisitions. Salama was head of New York Life Retirement Plan Services. Also, the company hired Drew Lawton as chief executive officer of New York Life Retirement Plan Services and a senior managing director at the firm. Lawton was a senior vice president at Boston-based Fidelity Investments, where he managed all investment-related functions for Fidelity's defined contribution businesses.
Russell Investments of Tacoma, Wash., announced it hired James Polisson as managing director of its global exchange-traded fund business, and Andrew Arenberg as its managing director of global ETF distribution. Polisson and Arenberg both worked at San Francisco-based Barclays Global Investors’ global iShares business, as chief marketing officer and managing director of its global eBusiness, respectively.
Securities America announced it named Dan Binn of San Mateo, Calif., Monte Marti of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Craig Rubrecht of Cornelius, N.C. to its 2010 Advisory Council. They join existing council members Steve Bryer of Richboro, Penn., Trudy Haussmann of Newport Beach, Calif., Karen Lee of Atlanta, Fla., John Linge of Orange Park, Fla., Scott Swander of Little Rock, Ark., Max Briggs of Palm Desert, Calif., David G. Hanson of Houston, Texas, and Thomas Reynolds of Oak Brook, Ill. Comprised of 11 members, Securities America selects the advisory council from among its top financial advisors. They serve on a three-year rotating basis.
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