From Institutional to Private Wealth: A Former UBS Advisor on Growth, Expansion and Building a $6B Firm

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A conversation with Phil Fiore, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Managing Director, Co-Founder, Procyon Partners, LLC

Overview

5 years ago, Phil Fiore and his team realized that working at UBS limited their ability to grow and offer customized services to their largely institutional client base. So they launched Procyon Partners and since have expanded services and are achieving extraordinary M&A success.

About this episode…

Institutional consulting is a specialty within the wealth management industry focused on advising corporate, foundation, endowment, and retirement plan clients. It’s a business area that’s often well-served by large firms such as Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting, Merrill, or UBS—which typically have the advantage of a well-known name and a solid platform.

Yet much like private wealth, institutional clients have come to want more from their advisors—services beyond what might be offered by a brokerage firm.

Such was the case with Phil Fiore. He started building his practice at Prudential Securities in the 90s, moved to Merrill in 2005, then on to UBS in 2009. He and his team, FDG Institutional Consulting Group, built a strong business with more than $8B in institutional assets and $400mm in private client assets.

Yet it was in 2017 when Phil and his partners decided that working for a large firm limited their ability to grow and offer more to their clients. They had a desire to expand their footprint and their services—neither of which they could achieve at UBS.

So Phil and his team opted to make the leap to independence, launching Procyon Partners with Dynasty Financial Partners.

In this episode with Louis Diamond, Phil looks back over his journey and the first 5 years as an independent business owner, including:

Phil Fiore

  • The move from Merrill to UBS—and how that compared to their choice to ultimately opt for independence.
  • Transitioning the business—and what differences they realized in converting their institutional clients vs. their private wealth clients.
  • The unique requirements of institutional consulting—and what limitations prevented them from serving their clients optimally from within a wirehouse structure.
  • The breadth of opportunity they realized in independence—and how that fostered growth for their institutional business as well as their private wealth services.
  • Plus, Procyon’s extraordinary success in M&A—and how the firm has found a niche as a landing spot for RIAs looking to shed the day-to-day of running a business.

Often advisors, particularly those with primarily institutional clients, feel that they cannot better serve their clients in independence—and often feel stuck. But with an expanded independent ecosystem, advisors are now finding they can not only match the service they can give their clients but often improve upon it while expanding their business, as Phil and his team has.

It’s an eye-opening look at the real potential that exists—one with lessons for employee advisors and business owners alike.

Related Resources

Exploring Options in the Mid-Market Institutional Advisory Space
What institutional advisors need to know in order to best serve their clients’ needs and their own business goals. Read->

The Evolution of an RIA from Practice to Enterprise
Tim Bello of Merchant Investment Management discusses the growth of the independent space and the burgeoning cottage industry that fills capital, service and support gaps, creating new paths for those who have a desire to grow their own enterprises. Listen->

An At-A-Glance Map for Financial Advisors
The wealth management landscape offers more optionality than ever before, making it difficult to discern, let alone compare and contrast, models. So we’ve created this “at-a-glance” continuum infographic to serve as your guide to the different models and their relative features. Download->

Phil Fiore
Chief Executive Officer, Executive Managing Director
Co-Founder, Procyon Partners, LLC

Phil has more than 25 years of experience in providing investment consulting services to both institutions and high net worth families. Prior to Co- Founding Procyon Partners, Phil was a Senior Vice President of Wealth Management at UBS where he was also a member of the Institutional Consulting Group and its Advisory Council, a Senior Institutional Consultant and a Senior Retirement Plan Consultant. He also served as Co-Chair of the UBS Corporate Development Advisory Board and its Retirement Advisory Council. Phil has twice been recognized by 401KWire as one of the Nation’s 300 Most Influential Advisors in the Defined Contribution Arena, by the Financial Times as one of their Top 400 US Advisors (2014), and as one of Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors (2015). In addition, Phil lead the team (FDG) at UBS that was named by Plan Advisers magazine as one of the Top 100 of the Country’s best retirement plan advisers for over 15 years and received the top honor of the Country’s best retirement adviser team in 2011 by Plan Sponsor magazine. This same team that he led was also named by Barron’s in 2015-17 as one of Barron’s Top Institutional Consultants.

Phil is also a frequent speaker at many national retirement conferences and a sought out after guest on podcasts and media interviews around his specialization in RIA M&A and managing and building an Elite Team. Additionally, Phil is a former member of the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) Development Fund Board, its governance committee, and was also a member of the Danbury Health Systems Board of Directors and its Strategic Development Committee. Phil graduated from the University of Hartford with a B.A., and later earned designation as a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and as a Certified Retirement Plans Counselor (CRPC®) through the College for Financial Planning℠. Phil was also part of the inaugural class of the MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Education Summit Advisor to CEO sponsored by Dynasty Financial Services in May of 2022.

Additionally, Phil is a member of the Investment and Wealth Management Institute an independent group of Investment Management Professionals that collectively manage/consult on more than $3 trillion for institutional and individual clients. Phil is also a member of Secession Golf Club in South Caroline, Eligo Club in the Metro New York Area and Shore and Country Club in East Norwalk Ct. In his spare time Phil enjoys golfing and working out and participating in Exotic Car Rally’s and shows. He currently resides in Westport Connecticut with his wife and their two sons.

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