Matthew Petrozelli
Matthew Petrozelli37

Chief executive officer,
Valley National Financial Advisors

Fast Facts

  • Huge history buff.
  • Grateful his 3-month-old baby is a good sleeper.
  • Spent a summer climbing mountains in the Yukon.

Matthew Petrozelli learned his craft by working as a financial adviser for Fidelity Investments for four years and in private banking at HSBC for two.

"But I felt I could be far more effective helping to shape an advisory business than being a full-time adviser myself," he said, which led him to join his current firm in 2011.

Mr. Petrozelli began as a vice president helping to advise other advisers. He was elevated to chief operating officer in early 2013, and became the firm's CEO this past January. In that time, Valley National, which has an in-house accounting business doing tax work in addition to traditional financial planning and wealth management, has grown from $490 million in assets under management to almost $1 billion, with 35 employees.

"The fact that I had been in the trenches as an adviser carries a lot of credibility within the firm," said Mr. Petrozelli, who is a graduate of the Schwab Executive Leadership Program.

He describes his current duties as a mix of recruitment, improving workflows, assessing technology and business development.

"I represent our brand in the community, and I'm drumming up a lot of business — but I hand it over to one of our 12 advisers; I'm not managing books of business," he said. "Previously, the firm's managers did run their own books, and the business shrank."

— Evan Cooper

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