There was an article in the October 18, 2013 issue of The Wall Street Journal titled “Going Solo: When Your Adviser Dies.” The major point of the article was that many investment advisers are one-person operations with minimal administrative support staff. Even though the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal agency that oversees Registered Investment Advisers, expects an adviser’s policies and procedures to include continuity plans, it is unclear how often the agency actually enforces that. And what good is a plan if there is only one adviser in the company?
As a client of RCG you have “no worries” in this regard. We have been working diligently on our business continuity plan for years. As of June 2014, we have seven shareholders and no single person owns a controlling interest in the firm.
Here are all the shareholders, their ages, their positions, and their tenure with RCG:
- Mike Davis (61), JD, LLM, CFP® – CEO and Adviser – 26 years
- Kimberly Sterling (60), CPA, CFP® – President and Adviser – 14 years
- Steve Mackall (38) – Operations Manager – 12 years
- Nicole Regilio (35), CFP® – Adviser – 12 years
- Ernie Phillips (39), CFP® – Adviser – 11 years
- Mike Masur (53), CPA, CFP® – CFO, COO and Adviser – 8 years
- Gregg Biro (52), Director of Business Development – 4 years
We also have great depth. We have nine financial advisers with over 150 years of collective experience in the world of finance. We have twenty two employees. Most RCG clients have two financial advisers familiar with their situation, so if one adviser is not available the other can step in.
In addition, we have a well thought-out buy/sell agreement that is funded with life insurance. Our firm is well capitalized and has no debt.
We are unusual for a firm of our size in that we hired dedicated employees for Human Resources and Technology MANY years ago. Ann Prince, our HR director, has been with the firm for 12 years. Karla Keeney, our IT leader, has been with us for 7 years (we now have two full-time IT professionals). Mike Masur, who serves as an adviser to a limited number of clients, is our Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Compliance Officer.
We have worked diligently on our systems and procedures as well as cohesion of philosophy. Some financial planning and investment management firms are really just individual planners sharing overhead. Not so with RCG – if you were to pick up any file (well, not really “pick up” – virtually all client records are electronic at this point) you would be hard pressed to know which of our planner(s) was involved. We are all on the same page as far as our approach to financial planning and investment management.
When I named the firm in 1988, it was intentional. I did not want it to be “Mike Davis and Company” – I always wanted the firm to be around to serve our clients for generations. On a personal note, I can tell you I have no plans to retire in the foreseeable future. I take off most Friday afternoons, but, other than that, I am fully engaged with the firm and I intend to continue as long as I am mentally and physically able to do so. I would hope I would be missed in the event of my death or disability, but the reality is that clients of RCG would continue to be served at the same high level of expertise and passion.