Bessemer Trust alum John Knox has founded a new RIA in Connecticut.
Knox’s new firm, Jadwin Asset Management, said Monday that it has received backing from tru Independence, a platform and consultancy for RIAs.
Before amicably departing in June, Knox spent a little over five years at Bessemer Trust, managing money for clients with a net worth of at least $10 million at the family office as he rose to the role of managing director and senior wealth advisor.
Knox told Citywire in an interview that he plans to lower the minimum net worth for clients at his new practice to $500,000. He’s restricted from recruiting many of his old clients due to a non-compete clause in his contract with Bessemer Trust.
‘I think there is a huge opportunity in the Connecticut area to market to clients that are smaller than $10 million,’ Knox said. ‘If we get a $10 million account, that’s great. We actually have a couple of them already. But it’s an unserved area here. There are banks and brokerage houses, but what I’m looking to do is to have a high touch, high service, high quality platform working with families.’
Knox only has two people on staff in Greenwich right now besides himself: a secretary and a research analyst. He plans to bring on other advisors down the line as his business grows. He’s been in touch with some of his old colleagues from First Republic Investment Management, where he served as president and later chairman.
‘I think it’s pretty likely that if not by the end of the year, early next year we’re going to bring in some other partners,’ Knox said. He has ‘visibility’ to $50 million in client assets at launch and has set $100 million as a loose AUM target for the end of 2018.
Knox plans to eschew model portfolios in favor of crafting individual client portfolios that he’ll populate with a mixture of individual stocks and bonds as well as strong performing mutual funds and ETFs – the Pimco Short Term Municipal Bond Active ETF and the DoubleLine Total Return Bond fund are among his favorites.
‘As much as I’d love to have a model portfolio, you really have got to work with being tax-efficient,’ Knox said. ‘It’s going to be a one-off, high touch, client-by-client experience just because I don’t want to generate some huge tax bill for somebody.’
As Knox looks to obtain new client accounts, he plans to rely on tru Independence for middle and back office support, such as portfolio reconciliation and payroll management. Tru Independence competes with RIA backers like Focus Financial Partners, which offers a turnkey platform for breakaway RIAs, and Dynasty Financial Partners, which specializes in middle and back office support as well.
‘’The similarities [between us and a firm like Dynasty] are that we work to help advisors start their own business. From marketing, branding, real estate, regulatory, technology choices, all of that start-up stuff, which is a lot of heavy lifting,’ said tru Independence managing partner Craig Butler. ‘The difference between us and Dynasty is we typically don’t charge for that. There’s great value there so maybe we’re missing the mark on that at the moment.
‘I think the bigger distinction between us and Dynasty is that we’re more RIA-centric. All of us either worked at an RIA or have worked in the RIA industry.’