This profile appeared earlier this year as part of On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40. All details are as of Sept. 31, 2017. To see who else made the top 10, please click here.
Dane Runia has risen to the top of this year's Top 40 ranking in part because he focuses on what clients care about beyond their portfolio.
"If you sat in one of our typical client meetings, you'd be surprised how often we're talking about something other than finances," says Runia, who generated $10.6 million in production. "Obviously, we're keyed in on that. But we're interested in building relationships that are meaningful and last a long time."
That attentiveness helps clients see that Runia and his eight-member team, which includes his father, genuinely care, he says. It also helps them address wealthy clients' concerns about how their fortunes will impact their children and grandchildren.
"They are interested in what the wealth will do for the kids," he says. "And we utilize Merrill's resources on this because at a certain level of wealth it can complicate kids' lives."
Many of the Provo, Utah-based team's clients are multigenerational families. Runia's father, Scott, has been in the business for more than three decades, all of them at Merrill Lynch. Runia and his brother joined the practice in 2006, after his father’s business partner developed cancer and passed away. Runia's brother died in an accident several years later.
"It's actually shaped our practice. We have really deep relationships with our clients because when they go through tough times, they know we've been through the wringer too," he says.
Many of the clients are also wealth creators, Runia says. The team's mission is to help them diversify in order to stay rich.
But Runia, who studied business and finance at Brigham Young University, emphasizes the importance of maintaining close contact with his clients.
"Our clients call and they talk to us. I don't want them to have a year go by and not have them talk to me or my father," he says. "If the phone rings three times, that's too long."