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A closer look at the Top 40 Under 40’s No. 1 advisor

Dane Runia’s favorite 15-minute stretch of his workday provides critical perspective on his team’s efforts.

“Each day after everyone leaves, I get some time to put in notes from the day and see all that we've accomplished,” Runia says.

The Merrill Lynch advisor and No. 1 on this year’s Top 40 Under 40 shared insights into his work practices and ethics with On Wall Street, which is taking a closer look at the advisors who led this year’s ranking. Morning beverage of choice? An Orange C-Booster from Jamba Juice. And his favorite piece of technology, one of the details of his workday, may surprise you.

Read on to learn more about Runia.

Dane Runia Merrill Lynch advisor

Finalists for the Top 40 Under 40 were to be no older than 39 as of Dec. 31, 2018. They also had to be registered with a firm in the employee channel. Nominees’ information was confirmed with their employers. Production totals were used to determine the rankings. Production and AUM figures are as of Sept. 30, 2018.

How would you describe your practice?

We are a wealth management team in Provo, Utah. We work with business owners, entrepreneurs, senior executives, professional athletes and institutions, helping advance their financial goals in meaningful and tangible ways. We recognize that significant wealth can bring challenges, as well as opportunities. We strive to help multiple generations pursue their objectives, while instituting the structures that can reduce complexity, capitalize on opportunity and lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

What was your biggest work accomplishment in 2018, and was there something that nearly kept you from achieving it?

In 2018 we had to restructure our team after the departure of my father (our other FA). He is serving a three-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia, so we had to make some adjustments to ensure we are able to maintain the high level of service. We have an amazing team of analysts and client associates that have all really stepped up to help us keep things running smoothly.

What was your biggest personal accomplishment in 2018?

I've accomplished a lot in 2018 in growing our business, spending time with family and joining the board of a great organization Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.

Describe the best 15 minutes of your workday.

Each day after everyone leaves, I get some time to put in notes from the day and see all that we've accomplished.

What’s the toughest part of your job?

Always being available. I want to make sure my clients have access to me, but my first priority will always be my family.

What makes you stand out as an advisor?

Integrity and a unique relationship with our clients. We are friends and neighbors, and for years my father and I have built our business on trust and honesty. We are very low pressure when it comes to prospecting, something everyone appreciates. Our sense of community is something that has produced a lot of success for our team.

What do you think people often misunderstand about the work advisors do?

They often think we are fortune tellers who can predict the future. We consider ourselves asset allocators to safeguard and grow the income of clients through any ups and downs in the market. Also, I think people focus mainly on investing expertise which is clearly important to have, but it is also important to remember that an advisor can help you coordinate with a variety of resources including estate planning, tax assistance, and other areas that contribute to a client’s financial well-being.

If you could get Americans to change one financial habit this year, what would it be?

Regardless of income level, too many people overextend themselves. I would encourage people to live within their means and save for the future.

The advisors at the top of the ranking generated more than $59 million in combined annual revenue.
February 4

What advice do you give to new FAs?

Join a team and be proactive about offering unique solutions to help their current operations.

What trends are you watching in 2019?

Seeing how volatility will impact investing decisions. Additionally, we are always watching interest rates.

What technology can you not live without?

My Sleep Number bed.

Who is your personal hero?

My father. He has always maintained a high level of success by just being a genuine person. He also did a great job leaving the stresses of work at his office to allow time for his family.

What is your morning beverage of choice?

An Orange C-Booster from Jamba Juice.

What goal, professional or personal, do you most want to achieve in 2019?

As always, create a work/life balance that allows me to continue to grow this business and enjoy time with my family.

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