Val Peters Rayevskiy is the Chief Operating Officer of Kingswood U.S., an SEC-registered RIA and a FINRA-licensed broker/dealer with over $2B in assets under management, that offers comprehensive wealth management and business-building services designed specifically for the independent financial advisor.
In this episode of Power Your Advice, Doug Heikkinen and Val talk about his background, what drew him to financial services and why Kingswood U.S. is unique:
- Why advisors should consider Kingswood, and why now
- Why Kingswood works so hard to deliver personal touch and service to their advisors
- How Kingswood’s culture of partnership drives everything they do
- What the future holds for Kingswood U.S.
Resources: Kingswood U.S.
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Val Rayevskiy, Douglas Heikkinen
Douglas Heikkinen 00:03
Welcome to the podcast. Our guest today is Val Peters Rabb ski who's the chief operating officer at Kingswood. Us. . .
Val Rayevskiy 00:28
Thank you very much for having me.
Douglas Heikkinen 00:30
Let's do a little table setting. What's your background?
Val Rayevskiy 00:35
Yeah, absolutely. I actually I immigrated to the United States along with my parents back in 1994. I'm just a kid. But, you know, we settled in Jacksonville, Florida. And Jax was a pretty unique place. It's kind of a it's a huge town but a little bit of a small market. So you know, I enjoy all the things that Florida has to offer. So I you know, while an immigrant I'm definitely a Floridian at heart. I also attended the University of North Florida, native to local right there in Jacksonville. love my time there. And then shortly after graduating, I made the move to to New York.
Douglas Heikkinen 01:14
How did you make your way to Kingswood? Did you pick financial services? How did you get there?
Val Rayevskiy 01:21
So not long after graduating from from college, I kind of decided that I want to pursue career finance, and just kind of go along with with my major and New York, you know, widely considered to be the financial capital of the world. I just decided that, you know, if I was going to do finance, I have to go to New York, and kind of, and kind of a trait of mine from when I was a kid that if I, if I really wanted something, nothing was really stopping me, no matter if that, you know, as a kid, whether that be a tantrum, or what have you. But as an adult, I just knew that, you know, I just have to work hard to get to what I want, and to get to where I want to be. So shortly after joining the financial services industry, you know, I was fortunate enough to have met Mike Nestle. And he's been, you know, nothing short of extraordinary for me, as a you know, as a leader as a mentor, and putting his business acumen aside for a bit and I did listen to his last podcast that he did with you guys, just as an individual. He's a super motivational, very positive guy in everything that he does. So it makes it very easy to execute, you know, kind of on the vision that he sets forth. So, yeah, that's basically the gist of it.
Douglas Heikkinen 02:40
I would agree. We enjoyed that podcast. So being at Kingswood for a while now. Can you articulate to us why Kingswood? It's been getting a lot of great press; why Kingswood and why now?
Val Rayevskiy 02:54
We believe we have a pretty solid value proposition in the in the industry. I think we can offer a small broker dealer field with large institutional type of resources right because our parent company is a publicly traded entity. Kingswood Holdings Limited, though traded on the in London. We also own Kingswood, us, I'm sorry, owns two broker dealers in two Rs. And as a result, we're able to offer a wide range of custody options. And we're able to support numerous types of business models. And I think in terms of timing, I think right now is a good time because we're seeing a lot of industry consolidation, where broker dealers are being squeezed out of the industry for one reason or another. Yet the demand for broker dealer business specifically, in the hybrid model advisor is still quite strong.
Douglas Heikkinen 03:51
There were over 40,000 rep movements last year during a COVID year, which is extraordinary. And this year is supposed to be even more. So why come here if you're a rep, and advisor in search of a new place to call home?
Val Rayevskiy 04:07
Sure, I can just tell you speaking from from a rep perspective, with someone that you know, I still have a maintain kind of a smaller book of business. I think a lot of reps really do want, while they're really seeking, you know, the latest tech and they want to be associated with the biggest names deep down, they really want to be associated with a smaller broker dealer type of experience. And the reason for that is because you definitely want to get, you want to be able to get somebody on the phone, you want to be able to, there's an issue you wanna be able to call someone and have a know that somebody is working on it. And that's kind of what we're able to offer right with a smaller broker dealer feel. And when you call up kings with us, you're going to get a live person that's answering the phone for one. If she's not able to help you right away she will, she'll be able to get in touch with someone that will so you're Not going to be in a situation where, you know, when you when you call the play stuff, it's going to say, for English press one, that's not what we are, we're really trying to kind of keep our small, smaller broker dealer feel, and we're trying to extend it and, you know, make it known to all the reps, we do also have some exciting tech on the horizon. And we're, we're very, very busy building out the new tech platform. And, you know, we're truly believe in partnering up with with our reps. So whether that be, you know, helping them with succession planning, whether that be helping them recruit in the area, I think we, you know, we're really keen on making sure that we're taking care of the reps and every single way that we can,
Douglas Heikkinen 05:48
It's really interesting, that service is still named the game, with some of these firms getting bigger and bigger and bigger, I think they lose sight of that. And it's interesting to hear that that's what you lead with, that the personal touch, the personal feeling is, is what's important to who you're talking to.
Val Rayevskiy 06:07
I think it's today, I think it's important as ever, you know, you just mentioned the personal field, but you know, being a customer of a larger Corporation, you know, anytime you call in, you really feel insignificant. Because of, you know, again, you're having to wait, you know, 2030 minutes on hold, whereas, you know, and to that end, even if they're having you like, Okay, well just just send us a message and you know, write to this inbox, and we'll get back to you, it's really just not the same. I feel like, if you can get a live person on the phone to hear you out, them, maybe they'll they'll make a note, they'll reach out to someone that can assist. And at least then, you know, something is in motion. But if you you know, there's no inbox that can replace that human interaction.
Douglas Heikkinen 06:50
What are some of the other things that Kingswood offers that it's important to their businesses?
Val Rayevskiy 06:56
Well, I think one of the things that we offer that would differentiate us kind of from, from the industry and or maybe from the norm, would be that, I think succession planning is really underestimated in our business, because we're getting a lot of advisors, you know, that kind of in the late stages of their career, where they're really looking to make a make a move, make a change, but they're not changing for reasons you would expect, right? They're not changing because they know they want, you know, there's a we have a superior tech platform, they're not changing because we have something that their current broker dealer does not. They're changing, because we can offer them something that is, is again, it's not really valued for whatever reason, in our industry today. And that's succession planning. So if we can find and kind of commit to finding the right fit for the advisors, clients, once he decides to retire, or is thinking about retiring, I think that, you know, it really speaks volumes to what we can do, we've actually delivered on that promise numerous times already. You know, we caught we hired an advisor, not too long ago, things last year, who kind of made it very clear to us that, you know, he joining, but he really has his eyes set on on retiring soon, maybe within the next five to seven years. And he would really like to put together a succession plan, which, you know, just, again, about three weeks ago, we hired a group right out of his area, that will be helping them out with succession planning, and he will be slowly transitioning his business when he's comfortable to that to the entire group. And again, we we flew out there we met with him, we met with the group that he's thinking of joining with kind of a broker, the whole the whole trip transition. And, you know, I think that's just one of hopefully many successful stories. So for the future,
Douglas Heikkinen 08:51
Service. Boutique. Succession Planning, I'm seeing the value proposition coming together. Are there any other advantages that one will find?
Val Rayevskiy 09:01
Yeah, I think, you know, kind of just echo what I said previously, which is, you know, I think one of the key advantages is going to be the, you know, being able to get somebody on the phone, like, for example, in my email signature, I, you know, my cell phone is a staple there, it's just part of, it's just part of it, because I definitely want everyone to feel like they can, I'm accessible, they can always reach me, despite titles, etc. In the end, I can be helpful in, in solving a problem, whether they're, you know, if they're having an issue with an account, they have a simple question. There's a, you know, a tech support situation, whatever it is, even if I'm not the right guy to solve it. And maybe they just couldn't get the answer somewhere else for whatever reason. I want them to feel like they can reach me. You know, if you look at some, you know, basically just up and down a roster, you'll find that everyone's providing their their cell phone And I know it's maybe it's it's not really standard, it's a little bit. You know, it's, it's, it's not really what other companies do. But, you know, everyone always wants to kind of layer things and make like a logical progression for, you know, for you to reach something like a, you know, like a next level supervisor, etc. But here, I think it's good if we can, if we can do something to solve your problem a little bit quicker, and do things a little bit more efficiently. And then that's really what we want to do. And I think this is all a part of just kind of the greater vision, which ultimately, we really just want to be, we want to work hard, and we really want to be successful. So that's what it takes. That's what we're gonna do.
Douglas Heikkinen 10:43
It's not only a greater vision, but you're just you're beginning to describe the culture. How would you put that into words?
Val Rayevskiy 10:51
Yeah, I think in terms of culture, I think we really, it's really a cultural partnership, is what I would say, you know, we partner up with, with our representatives, we make certain commitments to them, as I previously mentioned, with succession planning, as being an example. And in turn, they make commitments to their clients. And we, you know, as long as long as we can continue to support each other as partners, in the end, we're all able to deliver, ultimately to the client. And I think that's, that's kind of the end goal, but we partner up with our, with our sponsors, as well, they, they obviously do a fantastic job, and in helping us out everything from alternatives to tech, tech buy from sponsors, etc. So I think if I was to describe our firm in our in the culture of our firm, I think in one word, I really think it would be partnership.
Douglas Heikkinen 11:46
Last one, so what's the future of Kingswood US? Where where's all this going?
Val Rayevskiy 11:51
I think the future really holds growth and further development for the enterprise. I think between acquisitions, organic growth, recruitment, we're in a trajectory we really want to be on. And with Mike's vision, support of our partners, hard work of our staff. I think we have the opportunity to become a real force in the financial service industry.
Douglas Heikkinen 12:17
The future does sound bright. Val, thank you very much for being with us today. It's been quite a pleasure.
Val Rayevskiy 12:23
Thank you for having me.
Douglas Heikkinen 12:24
For anyone who wants to learn more about Kingswood us please visit KingswoodUS.com. Please follow us for the latest updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all at advisor pedia for everybody Advisorpedia our producer Jakie Beard and the Power Your Advice podcast team. This is Doug Heikkinen