New executive position reflects institutional investment consulting firm’s commitment to complete independence, transparency and objectivity
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 30, 2017) – AndCo Consulting, an independent institutional investment consulting firm with approximately $72 billion in assets under advisement and offices around the country, announces today the appointment of a new chief compliance officer – industry veteran Matthew DeConcini, Esq.
In his new role at AndCo, DeConcini will be responsible for managing all compliance initiatives to ensure that AndCo and its employees are complying with relevant regulatory requirements and internal policies and procedures. He will also be responsible for ensuring that the firm remains compliant with all SEC, DOL and state promulgated regulations and industry best practices, and will help build and maintain the firm’s focus on compliance. DeConcini will be replacing Richard Spurgeon, CFA who was the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. Spurgeon will be working closely with DeConcini going forward as a compliance analyst as AndCo continues to build out its compliance program to meet rapidly evolving client needs in a dynamic investment consulting world.
A graduate of Georgetown University Law School with over 20 years of legal and compliance experience, DeConcini’s past roles include assistant general counsel at the International Union of Operating Engineers, fund counsel at the Bakery and Confectionary Union Pension Fund, and chief compliance officer and general counsel at Marco Consulting Group, Inc.
“We selected the name ‘AndCo’ during our recent company rebrand because of what it represents – that our clients come first, even in our name. We are OUR CLIENTS &Co,” said Mike Welker, CEO of AndCo. “For this reason, we wanted to make our first official hire as AndCo a position that is 100 percent dedicated to enhancing our independence, transparency, objectivity and overall compliance within our firm. We believe focusing on these areas will continue to drive real value for our clients. We are excited to have Matt, who is one of the best compliance officers in the business, on our team to help us maintain our commitment to our clients and industry best practices.”
“It is an honor and a privilege to join one of the best and fastest growing independent investment consulting firms in the country,” said DeConcini. “I look forward to working with my new team members at AndCo in putting our clients first and enhancing our compliance program to be the gold standard in the industry.”
The onboarding of DeConcini is the second significant act by the firm since rebranding from The Bogdahn Group in early January. The company announced the acquisition of Reno-based Bidart & Ross, another independent institutional investment consulting firm, immediately following its rebrand.
In the days before I became a reclusive home exerciser, I rolled into the YMCA every morning at 5:30AM. Without going into the unflattering details, anyone that makes public exercise a part of their daily routine can attest to the various gym personalities you are likely to encounter that early in the morning. However, despite our differences, there was an unspoken “we’re all in this together” feeling among us. The largest bond between the “regulars” was always during the month of January, when all of the New Year’s resolution attendees flooded the gym. While the inconvenient crowding would ultimately die down by the end of January, I can still remember making unnecessary, negative judgments on who might make it past January to achieve “regular” status, rather than simply being happy for someone trying to make a positive change in their life.
As I was conceptualizing this blog and sharing it with my son, he identified another annual tradition that occurs just one week before New Year’s Resolutions, called the “noob-harvest”. If you’re not familiar with the term “noob”, it is short for “newbie” and refers to someone who got a new console or online game for Christmas. These noobs then proceed to get shredded and berated in the online gaming world until they are able to get up to speed with the protocols and skills of the more seasoned gamers. Here’s a quick hint; if you’re new to gaming it is probably best to mute player microphones for your own psychological well-being. The realization for me? Survival of the fittest extends well beyond the animal kingdom and to all ages.
Anyone familiar with my posts know the “literary geometry” I am willing to fabricate in order to twist my non-financial introductory musings to an investment-related topic but I am happy to report this post is a fairly straight line from the opening. Whether you’ve been successful or not, we’re all likely familiar with the New Year’s Resolution. So, here’s a simple list of resolutions for oversight boards to undertake. We can call it an investment portfolio check-up.
These five annual check-up items are not meant to be an all-inclusive list. However, there is a common theme that runs through each of them. Namely, boards should set aside the necessary time to fully understand the structural elements of their investment portfolio. If there is ever something that doesn’t jive with your understanding of the way things should be, the board should foster an environment where anyone is comfortable asking “why?” One more thing–be nice to the “noobs” at the gym.
AndCo Consulting, the Orlando, FL-based independent institutional investment advisory firm announces today its acquisition of Reno consulting firm Bidart & Ross. The acquisition will not only enhance its position on the West Coast, it will also increase the firm’s significant and growing presence in the defined contribution market.
AndCo Consulting’s decision to acquire Bidart & Ross stems from the two firms’ shared philosophies regarding independent consulting services and the value that approach brings to their clients. Along with their shared servicing philosophies, AndCo and Bidart & Ross are excited about growing their presence out West within the institutional marketplace.
“We are approached constantly from firms that would like to partner with us to service the institutional marketplace. Quickly, you determine whether or not the partnership will work based on the objectives of each firm. With Bidart & Ross we found a true partner who is as passionate as we are serving their clients within an independent framework”, said Mike Welker, President/CEO of AndCo Consulting. “This acquisition is a reflection of just how highly we think of the people at Bidart & Ross, and we are excited for our future together.”
“Bidart & Ross is proud of the work we have done for our clients over the last 28 years. Our acquisition by AndCo Consulting gives us more resources to assist our clients as we move forward and face the inevitable challenges of the investment world”, said James Ross, Managing Partner of Bidart & Ross. The acquisition provides Bidart & Ross with additional resources and capabilities to further service their clients. This includes a 10-person dedicated research team, additional professionals within defined contribution and fiduciary services, 38 consultants with an average of 25 years’ experience and a 17-person internal support team for client-facing consultants.
As The Bogdahn Group, we have always endeavored to place our clients first, without exception or caveat. We take our role as an independent institutional consulting firm and plan fiduciary very seriously, and we believe this approach and philosophy adds real value to our clients. To ensure that the client always comes first in the service equation and that our fiduciary responsibility is never compromised, the important principles of independence, objectivity and transparency are embodied in our mission and vision statements and define who we are as an organization. They are engrained in our culture and corporate values and used to guide our actions every day.
Over the years, the investment environment has grown more complex and we’ve seen our staff grow and our expertise and services advance to serve our expanding clientele. To strengthen business continuity and meet the needs of our clients, we recently began a program to broaden employee ownership of our firm. Inherently, as we thought about our mission, vision, and the passion behind our service culture, we wanted to do something significant that would better reflect who we are as an organization. The new year is here, and with it, the exciting news that The Bogdahn Group will now be known as AndCo Consulting.
Before we look at the future of our firm, let’s take a look at where we started, and how we arrived at our new name.
Joe Bogdahn had a vision, and in September of the year 2000 he made good on that dream by founding Bogdahn Consulting. But Joe’s desire was not to simply create an institutional consulting firm–he wanted to build one founded on true independence and complete objectivity that always put its clients first. He succeeded, and along with others, grew the firm into the trusted, talent-filled team of professionals with a passion for a client-first approach to institutional investment consulting.
Why a Company Rebrand?
After these years of growth and original brand equity, why a company rebrand now? Though client-first consulting has been a cornerstone of our company since its inception, with the milestone of transitioning majority ownership from our founder to the firm’s next generation of leadership it felt like the perfect opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the world as AndCo Consulting. We have always believed the assets of our firm were the collective body of individuals working together to serve our clients. It was always bigger than one, two or a handful of people. We felt this rebrand better reflected this belief and conviction. Business will continue as usual, as the leadership and team you have come to know and trust will not be impacted by this rebrand.
As AndCo Consulting, we want your first impression to be our commitment to client-first consulting. Our promise to you spans from our very foundation up to the name on our building. Most importantly, this company rebrand sets the stage for the future of our firm, and your place in it. At AndCo Consulting, it is always:
Responsibility–the word is used to convey the fulfillment of one’s promises. When working in institutional portfolios, it can mean the difference between success and failure. With often too many “cooks in the kitchen” on full boards, understanding the fiduciary responsibility of the board (or subcommittees appointed by the board) is intrinsic to the portfolio’s long-term success.
In this blog post, we will help you realize who should be held responsible for both successes and failures, as well as the best communication methods throughout the governance structure.
So often, we hear of boards who simply wish to unburden themselves of the fiduciary responsibility of their portfolio. From monitoring the completion of goals to making tough, strategic decisions, their wish to wash their hands of these worries is absolutely understandable. However, despite these wishes, having “skin in the game” comes part and parcel with being on a board.
Even with a 3(38) advisor or within an OCIO model, which diverts a good deal of day-to-day investment decision-making processes, boards are always required to give the final word on decisions and are ultimately held responsible for the portfolio.
Now that we have established that fiduciary responsibility ultimately lies with the board, how can a board properly facilitate its portfolio? The answer has to do largely with a board’s capability to invest the time and attention necessary to properly care for a portfolio.
A board must be:
Though these attributes are mandatory for the effective management of a portfolio, the real-life logistics of business and scheduling may not make them realistic to achieve for your board. That is understandable, but in such situations, you must elect to have a trusted subset of your board form a subcommittee that can provide the necessary attention and interest in understanding the investment aspect of the portfolio. Potentially, some of the members of this subcommittee may have experience with investments, which is always preferred.
Remember, subcommittees can assess, make judgments and provide opinions and suggestions to the board, but can never make decisions without board approval.
The communication between board and subcommittee is of utmost importance. There are a few options when it comes to how a subcommittee shares its findings with the full board, but using an executive summary format is often most effective. This information can be relayed by an elected subcommittee chair or simply by the advisor assisting the subcommittee.
Always review and assess your communication channels, ensuring that pertinent information is efficiently and effectively being disseminated across the multiple levels of the governance structure. Your communication method may change and evolve to better fit your board’s wants and needs.
The Importance of Trust
Above all else, there must be a trust between the advisors of a board, as well as those that make up the subcommittee, if one is appointed. If a board is not confident in its ability to effectively handle the portfolio, meetings are bound to be fruitless exercises composed of second-guessing until a competent subcommittee can be formed. If that distrust seeps into the subcommittee, their recommendations may be met with similar difficulty, wasting time and opening the door to long-term challenges in portfolio management.
Though every board is different, the virtues of accountability, transparency, strategic decision-making and effective communication can all go a long way for any group of trustees. Never lose sight of the fact that your board is where the buck stops, holding the ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the wins and losses that your portfolio may face. Own that responsibility and ensure that your board is run on trust and communication; your portfolio will be the better for it.