The third-generation scion of one of the leading families of the independent broker-dealer industry, Ryan Diachok knows what it's like to start at the bottom rung of the family business.
Promoted this year to president of Geneos Wealth Management Inc., Mr. Diachok in 1999 started in the mailroom of the family's previous broker-dealer, Multi-Financial Securities Corp., which was sold to ING in the 1990s and is now part of Cetera Financial Group.
"As cliché as that sounds, that's what I did. And then I worked eventually in every department: operations, trading, compliance, marketing," he said. "I really enjoyed the business right from the beginning — learning what we did and how it was done."
His grandfather, George, a longtime favorite among old-timers at industry meetings, started Multi-Financial in the 1980s, and his uncle, Russ, eventually took over that firm. The family and a core of loyal employees left in 2002 to begin Geneos, which has seen solid growth during a decade of market turmoil. Dozens of Geneos' IBD competitors have been wiped out due to bad investments and poor due diligence.
Geneos currently has 260 affiliated registered reps and posted $104.6 million in total revenue last year. Reps and employees also own shares of the company, with George Diachok, now 88, and Russ Diachok controlling the largest amount.
Ryan Diachok is proud of his family's legacy of being leaders in the independent broker-dealer business. He combines the old school hands-on approach when listening to advisers and potential recruits, but the Diachok family is not shy about innovation. The family also operates a software company and leases their product to other broker-dealers.
The IBD industry "is in my blood, and we have put ourselves in a good niche and focusing on higher-producing, quality advisers," he said. "It's a tight-margin business, but if you have the right people, technology and processes, you can run this business profitably."
— Bruce Kelly
President, Michael A. Dubis Financial Planning