D.A. Davidson 80 Years Later: New Brand, Poised for Growth
For its 80th birthday, regional firm D.A. Davidson Companies is getting a bison. Well, for its logo at least.
As the Great Falls, Mont.-based firm approaches its 80th year in 2015, it has rolled out a new logo that features a bison overlaid with a sunburst.
"We're a Western firm and we thought it was important to connect with that in our logo," says CEO William Johnstone. "It says the West and it says strength."
A new tagline to go with the milestone vows Strength of Advice." The parent company also no longer goes by just Davidson Cos., for consistency across its varied businesses.
The changes follow the start of a renewed growth period for the firm, which has more than 400 advisors. Last year Davidson acquired Los Angeles-based brokerage Crowell Weedon, boosting Davidson's presence in California. Davidson now has about 1,350 employees company-wide, operates in 23 states and manages more than $45 billion in client assets.
"We've had a lot of change and had a lot of growth. And we've moved significantly into a new market," says Johnstone.
Davidson also recently launched a new training program aimed at bringing in recent college graduates into the advisory business, and recruited former Merrill Lynch executive Jason Woodward to oversee the program.
The new program is intended to complement an existing training program aimed at more experienced prospective advisors. Bringing new blood into the industry isn't easy, but it's an imperative given the need to replace aging advisors, acknowledges Johnstone.
"It's definitely a longer term program and will require a significant investment on our part, but we think it's the right way to go," he says.
Johnstone says the firm intends to continue to grow organically and pursue acquisitions when the opportunities arise. Size and scale, he says, are necessary given mounting regulatory and technology costs.
"We also think that growth is an important energizer for the business because it attracts people who are inherently entrepreneurial," he adds.