Kicking off our interview series with successful financial advisors I recently interviewed David Costigan of Banyan Partners. David is the Managing Director of Wealth Management at the firm, which has offices across the US. Below is a summary of our conversation.
John: Give us some quick background on Banyan Partners?
David: Sure, Banyan Partners got going in 2006 and was founded by Peter Raimondi who was recently profiled in Financial Advisor magazine. We work exclusively with HNW individuals to craft custom wealth solutions. We don’t just put a bunch of client information in a blender and spit out a result. We work closely with them to ensure our approach meets their needs and objectives.
John: How did you become a financial advisor? What brought you to this industry?
David: In the early 90’s I was running a trucking business but eventually went to graduate school and got my CFP (Certificate of Financial Planning). I ended up as a broker at Merrill Lynch but that didn’t quite suit my personality. I wanted to shift my focus from financial products to long-term client relationships. I settled at The Colony Group working for Peter Raimondi for 10 years before following him on to Banyan Partners.
John: So having a strong mentor was important to your professional success?
David: Having a mentor was paramount to my success.
John: Registered Rep/Wealth Management recently ranked your firm as a top advisor. What distinguishes your firm from others?
David: There is no need re-invent the wheel. We just stick to some key principles. We do what we say we will do. We remain constantly focused on client needs and we bring in partners to help give specialist advice to our clients, such as estate planning. We know our scope and we stick to it.
John: What software, tools and techniques do you use to ensure you remain successful?
David: We use Advent for our trading as well the usual tools you would expect like Bloomberg. We are in the middle of merging a few firms so our software my change over the short term.
John: Your firm has been very successful but what challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis?
David: Client psychology. With everything that is going on in Washington D.C. we are living in uncertain times. We are constantly communicating with our clients to ensure they are well informed.
John: What software and tools do you think are missing in the industry?
David: Healthcare software programs that can predict the cost on portfolios once someone enters retirement.
John: Lastly, What do you think advisors need to focus on in the future to be successful?
David: Every advisory firm should have a strong philosophy and the discipline to stick to it.