Payne Capital Management was founded in 2008 with a determined focus. To be different. To be better. To put the client first.
Bob and Ryan Payne co-founded Payne Capital Management (PCM) in 2008 with a determined focus. To be different. To be better. To put the client first. Years later, that plan has proven phenomenally successful and spawned a level of growth almost unheard of in the financial service industry.
Both Bob and Ryan are veterans of Merrill Lynch. Bob spent about 25 years working for that company and another several years as an independent industry consultant before co-founding PCM.
“I had an opportunity to see all the different business models available,” says Bob. “Whether it was a money-center bank, wire house, regional bank, regional brokerage firm, or insurance company. It became clear to me that the future of the industry was the independent model through the Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) channel.”
“If you look at the industry when I first started in the 1970’s, Wall Street consisted of basically two sides,” Bob adds. “The investment banking side primarily created products for the capital markets, such as underwriting stocks and bonds. On the other side was the private client part, where I worked, which created distribution to meet the demand for those products. So back in the 1970’s and 80’s, you really had to belong to a major firm to get access to the investment products. But with technology and the evolution of the financial service business, you now have access to all investment products regardless of who you work for or with. So the opportunity that we took in 2008 didn’t really exist 25 years ago.”
“I was called a ‘Registered Representative,’ so when you signed a contract to do business with me it stated that I worked for Merrill Lynch,” explains Bob. “If there was a conflict, I was required to take the company’s side, and you were on your own.
Now as ‘Registered Investment Advisors’ at Payne Capital Management, Ryan and I are designated as fiduciaries by the SEC. It’s the same type of licensure, but we’re viewed as having a higher responsibility because we don’t represent any institution. We represent our clients.
As an RIA, we invest the client’s money as if it’s our own. It’s a much higher standard of responsibility. You would think the whole industry works that way, but it doesn’t.
In the Registered Representative world, all you have to do is recommend and invest the client’s money in something deemed suitable. In the Registered Investment Advisor world, we need to invest the client’s money as if it’s our own. So we have much more responsibility, and to us it’s the best deal for any potential investors, because they have an advocate who legally needs to keep their best interest at heart. You would think the whole industry works that way, but it doesn’t.”
In addition to the greater legal responsibility created by the RIA title, Bob and Ryan determined that PCM would set itself apart from the competition through excellent customer service.
“Once you become a client of Payne Capital Management, you will receive either monthly or quarterly calls from your advisor,” Ryan says. “Then on a 12-month basis, we reevaluate your goals, update your retirement projections, monitor the investment performance and make sure it’s in line to achieve your goals.”
This is opposed to a more generic method commonly employed by other firms. “I think most firms view investing as just finding a strategy that’s suitable for you,” adds Ryan. “So you take a risk-tolerance test, and then they apply a one-size-fits-all product approach. Whereas our philosophy sees that as putting the cart before the horse. We start by asking what goals you’re trying to reach, then work backward and build an investment plan around those goals.
Our belief is it’s very hard to put together an investment strategy if we don’t know what you’re trying to achieve first. And I think that’s one of the biggest flaws in the financial service industry. So at Payne Capital Management, you get highly customized personal service, with goal-based investment advice.
Your individual financial plan is holistic in that we advise you from the perspective of tax efficiency and an estate standpoint, making sure your assets are structured for wealth transference from one generation to the next.”
How do PCM clients react to such customized individual treatment?
“They wouldn’t go anywhere else,” Ryan says. “Once they get that kind of service, they not only stay clients for life but they don’t keep it a secret, so we become the advisors to their friends and family as well. Because of that consistent personal contact, and the focused treatment of their financial plan as a working document. It’s not like we plug in the numbers, and hope in 10-20 years that it worked. It’s a very fluid process. We’re constantly updating, looking at changes in the lives of our clients and the marketplace, new tax and estate laws, investment options, and how we need to adjust the portfolio, essentially on a year-to-year basis.”
This dynamic client-centered approach has helped create a stunning growth rate each year.
Most of our introductions are through word-of-mouth. As a matter of fact, Forbes magazine recently named Payne Capital Management one of the top 50 fastest-growing RIAs in the country, continually adding clients who are thrilled with the personalized service they receive. Maybe the next new client will be you.
“Getting to retirement is a journey, but even once you reach retirement it’s not the destination,” Ryan concludes. “Retirement is a journey as well. Our approach is ongoing throughout a client’s lifetime. We’re a firm that will continually adjust and grow with you as life changes.”