AssetMark names CEO, who comes with aggressive plan

Goldman says: “I am in here to push the accelerator on growth”

Jan 13, 2014 @ 10:35 am

By Matt Ackermann

AssetMark Inc. is hoping some new leadership and an aggressive growth strategy will provide a necessary shot in the arm to drive an increase in assets under management.

On Monday, the turnkey asset management provider said that Charles Goldman, chairman of its governing board, will assume the role of president and chief executive.

He replaces Gurinder Ahluwalia, who has worked at the company for 10 years.

Mr. Goldman, who has been chairman of the company since October, was president of custody and clearing at Fidelity Investments from 2009 to 2010. He led Schwab Institutional from 2007 to 2008 and held other senior roles at The Charles Schwab Corp., which he joined in 2001.

In an interview Sunday, Mr. Goldman said that Mr. Ahluwalia will help with the transition over the next couple of months before leaving AssetMark to “seek new opportunities.”

AssetMark, which became independent in September and changed its name from Genworth Wealth Management in November, provides open-architecture asset management services to independent financial advisers.

Mr. Goldman said that AssetMark, which has $20 billion in assets under management, plans to be much more aggressive about growth under his leadership.

He said that he expects to increase assets "meaningfully" in the next 12 months by adding new relationships and increasing wallet share with its roster of advisers.

“Our growth dynamics are excellent and I am in here to push the accelerator on growth,” Mr. Goldman said. "There are lot of advisers moving to a fee-based model, moving to independence and moving to outsourcing, and we are focused on capturing that opportunity."

The company has been rather stagnant over the past year.

Genworth Wealth Management had just under $20 billion in assets under management at the end 2012 and a little more than $21 billion at the end of last year.

The company's core audience is independent advisers with $50 million to $200 million in assets under management, Mr. Goldman said.

It has relationships with about 6,000 financial advisers, and there are more than 100,000 that fit the company's target segment, he said.

“There really isn't anyone that owns this segment. This is a fragmented market," Mr. Goldman said.

"We have 6,000 relationships and $20 billion in assets, and that is meaningful, but we don't have a dominant share, and frankly, no one does," he said.

Mr. Goldman said he plans to increase AssetMark's sales force over the next three to five years, invest in technology, and continue to develop new practice management and financial planning offerings.

“We have to continue to innovate our product strategies to meet the needs of advisers and their clients,” he said.

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