At the Financial Services Institute’s annual OneVoice conference, I caught up with Kevin Keefe, CEO of Realta Wealth, which recently rebranded from CoastalOne, and Mark Helliker, its COO. We talked about the firm’s recent rebranding, ongoing and upcoming initiatives, and opportunities in the high net worth space.
“There’s nothing wrong with the ‘Coastal’ name, but you have to be thoughtful of how you show up,” Keefe said of the rebranding, pointing out that the firm carried the name for about 30 years. It was time to select a new name with meaning, he emphasized. The word “realta” means “star” in Celtic, indicating “light and brightness in an elegant, clean, crisp and modern way,” according to Keefe.
Helliker and Keefe discussed developments and plans across areas including talent and leadership, strategy and the firm’s service model. Keefe pointed out that the firm onboarded a new Chief Product Officer, Yanni Bousnakis, shortly after Keefe took the helm as CEO last June. Helliker is a recent addition to the leadership team as well, joining the firm in January 2024. “Mark’s a game-changer for us,” Keefe said. The firm also recently added several industry veterans to its board of advisors.
“Do we have the right team on the field to play a game different from what we played as CoastalOne?” Keefe asked rhetorically, then answered: “We have a great team. Stay tuned.”
Detecting a gap in services provided for experienced independent advisors, Realta plans to increase its flexibility for affiliates. The firm will endeavor to build a community of like-minded professionals and focus on relationships with advisors.
Keefe also noted that the firm’s service model is slated to change this year, emphasizing the ease of doing business with it, development of talent, and empowering and educating employees to help advisors.
Helliker noted that the firm has adopted a mindset of continually seeking opportunities for improvement, including helping advisors achieve organic growth.
Realta recruited 56 new advisors in 2023 and aims to exceed that number for 2024.
In the high net worth space, Keefe sees opportunity for advisors to advise business owners before – rather than after – a large wealth creation event, to maximize the event proceeds and apply advanced tax strategies.
The firm also sees opportunity in complex products and private markets, reducing correlation and diversifying away from public market events. “Private market solutions are here to stay,” said Keefe. “This is a large topic in the high net worth space.”
Julius Buchanan, Editor in Chief at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.