© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.

High-touch approach marks Top 40 adviser’s $2B AUM practice

Register now

This profile appeared earlier this year as part of On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40. All details are as of Sept. 31, 2016. To see who else made the top 10, please click here.

At a recent conference with other advisers from Merrill Lynch's elite Private Banking & Investment Group, Dane Runia says he realized something that set him apart from his colleagues: he often gets to eat lunch at home with his wife and children.
Runia and his father, Scott Runia, lead a seven-employee team out of an office in Provo, Utah, where Runia was born and raised. The untimely deaths of his father's longtime business partner and friend and Runia's older brother have buffeted his career, Runia says.

"Having gone through those two deaths, you learn what's important in life," says Runia, who ranked no. 6 with $4.843 million in production on On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking.

The father of four and onetime Brigham Young University Cougars basketball player began working at the elder Runia's office in 2006.

On Wall Street's annual ranking of successful young planners.
January 26

He says that his dad, who has worked over three decades for Merrill, made him an "errand boy" for the office before promoting him to be an analyst, adviser and, subsequently, a partner.

"He really had me start from the ground up," Runia says.

While Runia jokes that his lifelong hometown is a "booming metropolis," he notes the area boasts more clients with the private banking unit's required account size of $10 million or more than one might expect in "flyover country." The practice's clients know their advisers well, he says.

"It's a very different feel from the typical wealth management office," Runia says. "We really have a great relationship with our clients. They pop in our office a lot."

He wants to keep that "high-touch approach" intact at the practice moving forward, he adds.

"We could expand, and we certainly have a good foundation to do so, but we want to make sure we keep a balance and don't outsource too much," Runia says. "We deal with people that are nice. And if you're not in that bucket, then it's not a fit for us."

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.