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Thursday August 1, 2019

B. Riley Wealth Management Q&A Series: Tyler Berry, Financial Advisor, Nashville

Recently, we spoke with Tyler Berry, who joined B. Riley Wealth Management from Morgan Stanley in 2015 with his partner Rachel Pena. He shared what motivates him, what excites him about the wealth management industry, and his passion for helping people. Tyler’s unique experience and positive outlook have contributed greatly to his success at B. Riley Wealth Management.

How did you end up in the wealth management business?

In my youth, I spent a great deal of time with my uncle and grandmother, who were passionate about the stock market. Their passion for stocks and investing motivated me and I became interested in investing early, watching stocks of local interest in the newspaper, and buying shares of companies like Cracker Barrel and the Holiday Inn.

Talk about your specific role, focus area and what you’re doing on a day to day basis at BRWM.

I love multigenerational wealth management; planning, educating, and helping high net worth individuals make good decisions so they can pass on their legacies. This work involves asking them pointed questions around many complex financial matters because of their success. Our team, including my partner of 15 years Rachel Pena, works with a lot of busy professionals who have made their money in various industries and look to the capital markets to protect, grow and share their wealth.

My philosophy is based around providing solutions, especially given what I faced early on with my own complicated situation. I lost both my parents at a fairly young age, and in dealing with the complicated financial matters which arose from that, I lived and learned the importance of planning and communicating. It was a unique experience, and the lessons I learned in that time are what drive my passion for helping people today.

What B. Riley tools are you utilizing?

The whole platform. As B. Riley Wealth Management financial advisors, we can leverage the resources of B. Riley FBR, a leading investment bank and institutional platform, and the tools of First Clearing,* which are highly valued for their global reach. We have access to award-winning, actionable research across the spectrum.

We have connected clients with our investment bank, B. Riley FBR, to help position their companies for growth or sale in the marketplace; to GlassRatner for forensic accounting matters, and more. We also use our lending capability through third party lenders to secure meaningful securities-based lines of credit for liquidity needs.

What do you like most about your job?

I derive so much gratification from helping people solve problems. There is nothing like the joy you see in people when they realize they have “made it.”

What distinguishes B. Riley Wealth Management from the competition as a great place to work? 

B. Riley occupies such a unique space. We’re nimble and flexible, which allows us to meet clients exactly where they are in terms of their financial lives – and solve their problems. We’re not a wirehouse where things are top-down and dictatorial, and we’re not an RIA cookie-cutter shop either. We’re part of a sophisticated diversified financial services firm. This is an advisor-friendly company, and because of that, we’ve got the best of both worlds here. If you consider yourself unique in any way, a wirehouse is a tough place to be, in my view.

The access to multiple platforms is key. Wells Fargo is doing great analysis, the institutional sales and trading desk is available, there is excellent small-cap research available, and from a client perspective it’s important to know that if they are a small to mid-sized business, they will have their phone calls returned. These capabilities are a great value add.

I love the entrepreneurial culture which is financial advisor-focused, and at the same time, I appreciate the compliance focus. We run a tight ship. I feel good about the positioning of the B. Riley Wealth Management business; I feel like I have a capable team around me.

What advice would you have for a new financial advisor joining a firm?

Spend some time in your newness to meet and connect with the circle of influence around you inside the firm. Take a moment to reach out and get a lifeline to each one of those people.

What’s changed in the business, and how do you view the changes that have taken place in the wealth management industry over the past 5-10 years?

There is so much more transparency, and the business has become much more client-focused. People who focus on that thrive. Technology, such as planning software and tools, our balance sheet analysis and portfolio construction tools, which are the touchpoints of the firm that we use daily, are all robust.

Are there hobbies or something personal about you that provide resonate discussion points to help you connect with current or prospective clients?

I’m involved with several non-profits and am immediate past Board Chair at Battle Ground Academy, a 130-year-old independent school in Franklin, Tennessee that I have worked with for many years. I’m proud of this part of my life for many reasons, one of which being we provide over $2 million in financial aid every year, helping people across the socio-economic spectrum. I’m also involved in historic preservation, and I have an extensive background in land planning and real estate development.

*First Clearing is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.