Scott Welch has joined New York-based WisdomTree Investments as chief investment officer of model portfolios, a newly created role at the exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded product sponsor and asset manager, the firm said Monday.
WisdomTree is looking to “further strengthen” its model portfolio initiative, it said, noting Welch will oversee and lead its asset allocation team and investment committee that includes fellow voting members Jeremy Schwartz, executive vice president and global head of research, and Rick Harper, head of fixed income and currency.
Welch will be responsible for the performance and process of WisdomTree’s ETF model portfolios, “developing thoughtful investment research and content, managing model portfolio asset allocation and portfolio construction decisions and process and optimizing” the firm’s investment solutions for current and future advisors, WisdomTree said.
Welch joins WisdomTree from Dynasty Financial Partners, where he served as CIO and chair of its investment committee. He was CIO there for more than four years, and his responsibilities also included overseeing the firm’s “Outsourced Chief Investment Officer” solution to Dynasty Network firms. That involved developing original investment research and thought-leadership content, overseeing model portfolio asset allocation and portfolio construction decisions, identifying and selecting research partners, and selecting and monitoring differentiated portfolio managers. He also worked closely with firms in the Dynasty network to optimize their investment solutions and customize investment solutions for large client opportunities, WisdomTree said.
“We wish Scott well,” Ed Swenson, co-founder and chief operating officer of Dynasty, told ThinkAdvisor, adding that Welch “is a good friend of the firm and he remains an investor and an investment committee member.” Joe Dursi, who Scott reported to at Dynasty, moved into the CIO role and “we expect to have an announcement soon on further additions” to the investment platform team, Swenson said.
Welch, noting in a statement that he was “thrilled to join” WisdomTree, said: “From my days working at a registered investment advisor to becoming the CIO at a wealth platform servicing multiple RIAs, I have a deep understanding of what advisors need and how to best serve them from an investment solutions perspective. WisdomTree’s ETF platform is exciting, and I look forward to helping grow the model portfolio and solutions business overall.”
Prior to Dynasty, Welch worked from 1998 to 2008 in a variety of senior investment-related positions at a multibillion-dollar RIA, and then co-founded Fortigent, a provider of outsourced research, technology and practice management solutions to RIAs and banks. At Fortigent, he served as an executive vice president and was CIO from 2008-2014.
Prior to 1998, Welch spent more than 12 years on Wall Street, first at Swiss Bank Corp. and then at The Globecon Group, where he focused on capital markets, derivatives, risk management and relationship management.
At WisdomTree, Welch will report to Schwartz, who said in a statement: “Recent trends show that advisors are increasingly outsourcing investment management processes, such as portfolio construction, to third party providers like asset management companies. Scott’s role as CIO – Model Portfolios can take advantage of this trend, playing a key decision-making role in developing and managing WisdomTree’s world-class investment solutions. Scott’s deep knowledge and expertise of portfolio construction, model portfolio development and management and understanding advisors’ focus areas will be incredibly valuable to leading a successful asset allocation team and investment committee at WisdomTree.”