Geneos Wealth Management announced Tuesday that Ryan Diachok has been named president of the Denver-based independent broker-dealer; Russ Diachok will give up the presidency but remain CEO of the firm, which has 275 producing reps.
Ryan Diachok, 35, is the nephew of Russ Diachok, 56, who with his father, George Diachok, founded Geneos in 2003 after selling the IBD Multi Financial to ING (Multi is now part of Cetera).
In an interview, Russ Diachock said the promotion was a “natural progression for family-run firms” and reflected the “fantastic job” that Ryan Diachok has done in his 15 years at the firm, especially working with advisors, in recruiting and serving as liaison with Geneos’ product and strategic partners.
“Ryan started at the bottom — I stuck him the mailroom — but he was one of my strategic partners early on,” Russ Diachok said. “Ryan will continue to oversee what he’s been doing,” notably in recruiting, “while I’ll be spending a little less time in the office.”
Instead, Diachok said, he will be traveling more. When asked how the change will impact Geneos’ representatives, Russ Diachok said “some of them will see me in their offices; I’ve been to almost all our branches, but I’ve got a list of 25 people” that he wants to see. “Otherwise,” he said, “they won’t see much difference, in our direction or emphasis.”
While he said that “Ryan may need to hire more people over the next six months to replace what he’s been doing, we won’t change what we do. Ryan is ready; I’m ready to do a little less.”
The two Diachoks reported that Geneos “crossed the $100 million mark” in revenue in 2013, an achievement Ryan Diachok said reflected more the broker-dealer’s “shift a bit” on helping existing advisors grow their businesses rather than adding more reps. Russ Diachok said “we’ve been selective in our recruiting; a good year for Geneos is adding $10 million” in production from new reps.
Ryan Diachok said that while he may “take some of the things I’ve been doing on a day-to-day business and give them to other people,” he will retain the recruiting responsibilities, which he called the “life blood of any broker-dealer.” He pointed out that the BD’s average production in 2013 is “north of $385,000 per advisor and is continuing to grow significantly.” He credited the “white-label coaching program” provided by consultant John Bowen’s CEG Worldwide for the production increase. “We did two years in a row of the coaching program, and 50 of our advisors participated. We covered some of the cost, and if they grew from what they learned, we covered the whole cost” of the Bowen program.
At a time when there is plenty of consolidation in the independent broker-dealer world, will Geneos remain independent? Russ Diachock said that “we’ve been approached by some of the firms out there buying,” but that he “doesn’t see any reason why we can’t sustain ourselves as independent.” He said that Geneos’ success and profitably has occurred despite it “passing on some of the products that have taken down some firms.” Ryan Diachok noted that the long-term health of Geneos has been possible partly because “we’ve been able to diversify our revenue.”
That diversity comes from the increasingly fee-based business of Geneos Wealth, but also from GenTech, part of Geneos’ technology platform that is sold to smaller broker-dealers, Ryan Diachock said, which is now “a revenue positive business line,” and from SelectOne, a unified managed account (UMA) asset management platform that he said has had “lots of success over the past 24 months.”
Geneos is a four-time winner of Investment Advisor’s Broker-Dealer of the Year award, most recently in 2013. In October, Geneos announced it would subsidize its representatives to a one-year trial membership in the Financial Services Institute.