WSR Honors The CIO 5: Top Wealth Management CIOs

Veteran CIOs From NewEdge, Perigon, Orion, Verdence And Dynasty Comprise WSR’s Inaugural Group Of Recognized Investment Leaders
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

In wealth management, the investment function of a firm is so critical to the core mission of serving clients that all firms must ensure clients receive the expertise of good investments leadership, whether from inside or outside the firm. Investment leadership is more complex today than ever, with constant innovation in products and services including ETF and fund variations, new technologies for tailored portfolios and a proliferation of alternative investments.

Stepping up to a chief investment officer position requires the ability to absorb troves of information, make decisions across a broad range of products and portfolios, and charismatically engage clients and prospects with clear and concise analysis.

For our inaugural CIO 5: Top Wealth Management CIOs, we searched the industry for outstanding investment leaders with track records demonstrating achievement and dedication to the industry, recognition and reputation as a wealth management leader, and impact on the investments arena and across wealth management.

The honorees’ names are set out alphabetically below. Please join us in congratulating them.

Cameron Dawson, CIO, NewEdge Wealth

Cameron Dawson, CIO, NewEdge Wealth
Cameron Dawson, CIO, NewEdge Wealth

Arriving at NewEdge Wealth in 2022, Cameron Dawson leads the development of the firm’s investment themes, strategies and market views, and works with the firm’s advisors and clients. Her arrival came at a critical point in the company’s history, as it quickly added multiple ultra-high net worth advisor teams that required access to a wider set of investment solutions while continuing to utilize distinct strategies and approaches.

Prior to NewEdge, she was the Chief Market Strategist at Fieldpoint Private Securities and a Senior Equity Analyst at Bank of America. She is a frequent guest on Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business and leads “The Weekly Edge” newsletter she developed for NewEdge clients.

For CIOs leading a rapid buildout of investment solutions, Dawson recommends “empowering a team of tech-enabled, asset-class experts who can identify the best solutions for our clients. This allows us to conduct robust due diligence on a vast landscape of potential investment solutions that we can bring to clients to help them achieve their goals. We value the flexibility to challenge and improve upon how analysis and portfolio construction is done, so we can deliver better client outcomes.”

Dawson was previously a professional ballerina. Outside of the office, she practices yoga and enjoys reading.

Rafia Hasan, CIO, Perigon Wealth Management

Rafia Hasan, CIO, Perigon Wealth Management
Rafia Hasan, CIO, Perigon Wealth Management

Rafia Hasan joined Perigon Wealth Management in July 2023 to support the firm’s national growth strategy, enhance its investment strategy, strengthen the investment team and support its advisors across affiliation models. She chairs the firm’s investment committee and leads its investment and trading team.

With two decades of experience in financial services, she spent eight years at Wipfli Financial Advisors, a Chicago-based RIA with $5.5 billion in client assets. She joined Wipfli in 2014 as a Senior Associate Consultant and rose through the ranks to Chief Investment Officer.

Prior to Wipfli, she worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors, advising RIA firms on portfolio construction and developing asset allocations. She also worked at Citibank in its Emerging Markets Corporate Bank and at Credit Suisse in its Alternative Investments Division.

Addressing the most important elements of supporting RIAs from the CIOs perspective, Hasan said, “Effective communication and understanding the needs of the client base are the hallmarks for building a successful investment program at an RIA firm. A CIO should be an RIA firm’s voice during periods of market turmoil and serve as a sounding board for advisors on investments.”

She continued: “Additionally, having a deep understanding of clients’ complexities, from behavioral biases to tax implications, is key to designing an array of well-researched investment solutions for meeting diverse client needs.”

Tim Holland, Chief Investment Officer – OCIO, Orion Advisor Solutions

Tim Holland, Chief Investment Officer – OCIO, Orion Advisor Solutions
Tim Holland, Chief Investment Officer – OCIO, Orion Advisor Solutions

With over 20 years of experience, Tim Holland arrived at Orion Advisor Solutions as it merged with Brinker Capital Investments in 2020. He served as CIO for Orion for over two years, with responsibility for the investment management and strategies for Orion Portfolio Solutions and Brinker Capital. In his current role as Chief Investment Officer – OCIO, he consults with Orion’s largest customers to grow their firms by utilizing Orion’s outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services.

Holland joined Brinker Capital as Global Investment Strategist in 2017. Prior to that, he was a Portfolio Manager at TAMRO Capital Partners, an Equity Analyst at long/short hedge fund firm Manley Asset Management and a Partner at communications firm Towers Group.

He has provided investment commentaries to CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily and the Financial Times.

“An OCIO provider should be an extension of their advisor partners,” Holland said, describing the unique attributes of a CIO managing OCIO services. “As it concerns investments, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of the advisor and their clients, and clearly communicate your views on the economy, markets, asset allocation and portfolio construction.”

Holland concluded, “Orion OCIO prides itself on the quality, breadth and depth of our investment platform. We also pride ourselves on keeping close to our clients in bullish and bearish markets.”

Megan Horneman, CIO, Verdence Capital Advisors

Megan Horneman, CIO, Verdence Capital Advisors
Megan Horneman, CIO, Verdence Capital Advisors

Megan Horneman has served over six years as CIO at Verdence Capital Advisors, leading the firm’s research and playing a key role in determining its economic viewpoint. She heads the firm’s investment committee, setting strategic asset allocations for client portfolios. She also leads the firm’s charitable arm, the Verdence Foundation, which focuses on empowering individuals from underserved communities with resources and support.

Prior to Verdence, Horneman worked at Deutsche Bank as a Director and Senior Investment Strategist for almost 13 years. Before that, she held roles at LaSalle and Legg Mason.

Horneman regularly appears on financial networks including Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance to speak on markets and investing. She also hosts the “Markets with Megan” podcast, informing listeners on market trends by providing succinct summaries.

“For women considering careers in investing,” Horneman said, “I recommend, first, dedicating yourself to continuous learning. Read voraciously to build your knowledge. Also, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and demonstrate grit, even if it means starting at the bottom.”

She continued, “Develop your emotional intelligence alongside technical expertise. In this field, we tackle complex topics, so having the ability to explain them clearly and connect with others is invaluable. With persistence and strong communication skills, you can thrive.”

Bob Shea, CIO, Dynasty Financial Partners

Bob Shea, CIO, Dynasty Financial Partners
Bob Shea, CIO, Dynasty Financial Partners

Arriving at Dynasty Financial Partners in 2022, Bob Shea leads the firm’s investment committee, provides asset allocation guidance and insights, leads investment manager selection, constructs and maintains the firm’s OCIO portfolios, manages asset manager relationships and serves on the investment committees of firm clients.

Shea has over three decades of experience. He served at various firms, including as CEO and CIO at FCF Advisors and Trimtabs Asset Management. He began his career with almost 14 years at Goldman Sachs, where he rose to Partner, Co-Head of Cash Equity Trading.

In his time at Dynasty, he has institutionalized the OCIO offering to scale for the network of customized, ultra-high and high net worth clients, built a multi-manager model business with tax smart technology and assisted in idea generation for global markets.

Describing the evolution of the wealth management CIO, Shea said, “In general, the role of the wealth CIO is no longer the behind-the-scenes internal role – instead, it has become increasingly externally focused, meeting with advisors, their clients, investment partners and operations executives and presenting at conferences and webinars.”

He explained that advisors increasingly want to outsource investment advice and management so they can focus their time on clients and growth. “As a result, the CIO position at wealth firms now needs to be in the forefront of building the awareness of a firm’s investment brand and in institutionalizing our process.”

Outside of the office, Shea enjoys fly fishing, hiking and skiing.

Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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