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DHS Issues Tips for Cyber Security Campaign

The following article was compiled by Alyssa Ritchie.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Here are some useful tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign.

When in doubt, throw it out.  Stop and think before you open attachments or click links in emails.
Back it up.  Make electronic and physical backups.
Guard your devices.  Never leave your laptop or mobile devices unattended in a public place.
Secure your accounts.  Use passwords that are at least eight characters long and a mix of letters, numbers, and characters.
Report anything suspicious. If you experience unusual problems with your computer or device, report it to your IT department.

For information and useful cybersecurity tips, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

Mesirow Fiduciary Services now available on Mid Atlantic Trust Company’s FiduciaryXChange

Mesirow Financial Investment Management (MFIM) and Mid Atlantic Trust Company (MATC) are partnering together to make available MFIM’s 3(21) and 3(38) Fiduciary Partnership services through MATC’s FiduciaryXChange level-compensation platform.  Recordkeepers and broker-dealers seeking level compensation solutions for retirement plans will be able to utilize MFIM’s outsourced, integrated fiduciary services.

Client plans, advisors, and broker-dealers will receive fiduciary protection and direct, ongoing communications from MFIM for 3(21) and 3(38) services through this arrangement.  Meanwhile, broker-dealers and advisors will receive extensive compliance and reporting deliverables, including the status of fiduciary coverage for all plans within a retirement book of business, in addition to actions being taken to remedy client plans in jeopardy of losing fiduciary coverage.

Mid Atlantic Welcomes Smith Financial Group

We are pleased to welcome the Smith Financial Group to the Mid Atlantic family.  Located in Dallas, Texas, Smith Financial is a father/son practice consisting of Richard and Chris Smith, along with assistant Mary Ellen Smith.  Richard has been in the industry for 36 years, while Chris has been in for 24 years.  Smith Financial has built its business providing clients with corporate and municipal bonds.

Introducing Executive Vice President of Operations Dan Sterling

Dan Sterling

Mid Atlantic is excited to welcome Daniel Sterling as its new Executive Vice President of Mid Atlantic Operations.  He will be responsible for all brokerage, advisory, custody, and trust operations groups within the company.  In this capacity, Dan will oversee mutual fund brokerage, ACATS, asset movement and controls, custody operations, and trust and brokerage customer support operations.

Mr. Sterling began his career in 1994 as Assistant Vice President of Operations Control at Barings Securities, where his duties included financial analysis and development of policies and procedures for global cash reconciliation.  In 2002 he became Vice President of Asset Servicing, Physical Operations at BNY Mellon (then known as Bank of New York) in which he was responsible for overall direction of the U.S. settlements related to trade processing, tri-party repos, time deposits, precious metals safekeeping, and all aspects of physical custody of certificated securities.

At BNY Mellon, Dan was appointed Managing Director Investment Services, Global Operations, U.S. Settlements from 2008-2016.  In this role, he addressed U.S. settlement compliance issues, approved risk mitigation plans, developed operational standards, and elevated departmental presence through exemplary customer service and problem resolution.  He was a subject matter expert in the areas of trading, settlement, and custody for DTC, FRB, money market and mutual funds, time deposits, repos and various other securities.

Mr. Sterling received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Recently, we caught up with Dan to learn a little more about him and his new position with Mid Atlantic:

  • How did you first come to learn about Mid Atlantic Capital Group?
    Working with BNY Mellon, my Settlement team was looking at Pershing as an internal solution to executing and settling mutual fund trades and moving away from a third party vendor. After having some discussions between Pershing and BNYM, we expanded the meeting to add representatives from Mid Atlantic as we discussed our options. I met both Tim Friday and Nick Ventura in those meetings.
  • What do you find most appealing about your decision to join the Mid Atlantic family?
    Mid Atlantic does have a family feel to it, there’s an energy that is both refreshing and exciting.  The individuals I’ve met throughout have been great, either in meetings, one to one at their desks, or at the water cooler. The teams seem genuinely excited about the successes we’ve had and are looking forward to more growth in the weeks and months ahead. I feel blessed to have been adopted into this family and am eager to provide all the support that I’m able.
  • How would you envision success in your new role as Executive Vice President of Operations?
    Scalability and Control. We need to deliver exceptional service by developing processing models which can handle the growth of the business without dramatically expanding head-count. We also need to be able to adequately demonstrate that our processing risks have been properly identified and mitigated, that the oversight/review process is thorough and meaningful and that we, as a team, continue to have confidence in the numbers that are being reported.
  • “In my free time…”
    I bike, mostly on the Montour trail or GAP. I recently bought a kayak, but haven’t been too adventurous with it yet. I belong to the Amateur Astronomers Assoc. of Pittsburgh and do a bit of star-gazing from their observatory in Mingo State Park. And I read a lot, mostly history and biographical books. A life goal of mine is to read at least one biographical book on every US president; I’ve covered 15 so far.

Mid Atlantic Hosts Its 2017 National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

 

Recently, Mid Atlantic held its 2017 National Partner Conference at the beautiful and elegant Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.  In the process, attendees were taken on a trip back in time with a 1930s art deco theme!  The three day event provided something for everyone, including Bruce Johnstone, Fidelity Investments Managing Director, treating audiences once again to his unique and entertaining perspective on present day economic and market conditions.

Also, Dr. Ben Sorenson of T. Rowe Price delivered a riveting session on how to gather information about clients and prospects through “tells” and develop the skills for response.  Meanwhile, David Levine and George Sepsakos of the Groom Law Group tackled the current in-flux state of affairs regarding the DOL fiduciary rule.  Additionally, attendees were able to participate in one-on-one training sessions and demonstrations of some of the industry’s top technology platforms by leading third party providers.

As always, many thanks go out to all our terrific speakers, sponsors, and business partners for their involvement in helping us make this year’s annual conference so successful and well-received!

In the Spotlight: Canterbury Investment Management

Mid Atlantic recently welcomed to its roster of valued business partners Canterbury Investment Management in Zionsville, Indiana.

Canterbury specializes in providing financial advisers with systematic, rules-based investment solutions.  Its mission is to provide strategies that produce the stability needed to achieve long-term risk adjusted growth through compounded returns.

Recently, Mid Atlantic caught up with the Canterbury team for a more in-depth perspective about the firm:

How would you describe the underlying philosophy, principles, and/or strategies you implement when working with your clients?

Canterbury’s philosophy was built on the fact that financial markets and securities are variable, meaning they have both bull and bear markets.  The Portfolio Thermostat is constructed to adapt to changes in the market environment similar to how a home thermostat adapts to changes in weather.  Instead of measuring temperature, the Portfolio Thermostat is evaluating risk in real-time and making the proper adjustments to remove the portfolio from high risk securities while increasing exposure to lower risk securities. 

How is Canterbury Investment Management currently developing and building its brand?

Canterbury’s focus has always been on advisor education and what that means to us is portfolio implementation.  We want to be known not only as a company that offers quality strategies but one that can also clearly position ourselves within a portfolio.  The ability to effectively position our strategy starts with understanding each advisor’s unique business and their approach to building model portfolios.  A brand is built by relationships and we look forward to starting that journey with Mid Atlantic.

What led to your decision to partner with Mid Atlantic on its ModelxChange platform?

Partnering with Mid Atlantic was an easy decision for us.  In our initial discussions with Kyle Smith and his team, it was obvious the passion they have for what they do.  We have had a great experience working through the due diligence process and hearing about the ideas and thoughts that the team has for the future of the ModelxChange platform.  We want to partner with groups that are passionate about what they do because we are passionate about what we do.

Mid Atlantic Welcomes BlueStar and Vantage

Mid Atlantic is happy to bring on board its newest business partners:

BlueStar Retirement Services has a singular focus of making retirement plans simple and effective for employers and advisers.  The company services a variety of retirement plan types and is a national specialist in Multiple Employer Plans.  By utilizing an open architecture platform, BlueStar provides plan access to a nearly limitless menu of investment options.  And as an integrated recordkeeper and Third Party Administrator (TPA), BlueStar delivers the most efficient and effective model for servicing them.  BlueStar was founded in 1997 and is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Vantage Benefits Administrators is a full-service employee benefits consultant, TPA, and professional fiduciary based in Dallas, Texas.  The firm specializes in comprehensive, cutting-edge corporate benefit program administration, offering fiduciary services as needed.  Independent of all carriers and investment product providers, Vantage is unbiased in its pursuit of its clients’ best interests.  The company emphasizes transparency, integrity, responsiveness, and cost efficiency.

Mid Atlantic Hosts Its Second Annual Non-Perishable Food Drive

Last month, Mid Atlantic, in conjunction with loyal business partner Derek Fiorenza and his non-profit organization Fiorenza’s Food For Friends (F4), hosted its 2nd Annual non-perishable food drive to help alleviate hunger in the nearby community.  Over the course of seven business days, the Pittsburgh office was organized into three separate teams as staff enthusiastically came together in the spirit of service, teamwork, and competitive fun to donate items such as canned tuna, canned fruit, beans, grains, pasta, and personal hygiene products.

We are thrilled to report that employees raised over 2,800 items overall, which more than doubled last year’s tally!  These donations were promptly picked up by the Oakland CHS Food Pantry for distribution to local area residents in need.  We are truly grateful to everyone involved for making the Mid Atlantic Pittsburgh Office’s 2nd Annual Food Drive its most successful yet!

Mid Atlantic Welcomes Model Managers Glovista, GeaSphere, and Epic Trust

Mid Atlantic is pleased to welcome the following ModelxChange™ managers to its 401(k) ModelxChange™ platform:

Glovista Investments is an advisory firm formed by seasoned finance professionals with decades of market experience spanning many geographic regions and products.  The firm seeks to provide investment management services to both institutional and high net worth clients, including state and municipal pension funds, endowments, RIAs, family offices, and high net worth individuals.  Glovista’s core values are integrity, independence, innovation, and intellectual commitment and is committed to creating value for its customers, employees, and shareholders.

GeaSphere Advisors in Cranston and Warwick, Rhode Island, is an independent advisory firm that recognizes the importance of its fiduciary responsibility to provide clients with prudent investment management and unbiased advice.  The GeaSphere proprietary research study and technical methodology is the first step to its portfolio construction and management of its model portfolios.  The firm’s portfolio construction begins with its 60 year empirical research study and investing philosophy rooted in the relationship of free cash flow to the stock price.  GeaSphere’s rules-based diversification method alongside the proprietary stock valuation philosophy gives its investors uncompromising value for true piece of mind investing.

Epic Trust Advisors is an independent financial services firm serving clients throughout Washington state.  It primarily helps individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products customized to their personal needs and objectives.  The firm has developed its business by reaching out, nurturing, and maintaining close, trusting relationships with each client.  Epic’s mission is to simplify the finances of its clients and help them to enjoy the people and causes in their lives that matter more to them than their money.

Mid Atlantic Welcomes Gebhardt Financial Group

We are pleased to welcome Gebhardt Financial Group to the Mid Atlantic family.  Gebhardt is a wealth management firm based out of Sugarcreek, Ohio.  The rep group consists of Phil Gebhardt and junior advisor Brooks Numbers, both of whom are affiliated with Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation and Mid Atlantic Financial Management.  Phil was formerly with LPL for 15 years as a financial advisor and an OSJ Branch Manager/Registered Principal.

Gebhardt will be managing its assets through Mid Atlantic via direct business, brokerage, and fee-based accounts.  The firm will also be creating models through ModelxChange for its accounts, in addition to conducting general wealth management for individuals and overseeing qualified plans.