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Provocative podcast from Dynasty Financial fits the firm’s view of St. Petersburg

Margie Manning



Dynasty Financial Partners, St. Petersburg’s newest headquarters company, has launched a podcast designed to position the financial services firm as a thought leader in the industry.

It’s also intended to be a little provocative, said Ed Friedman, national director of practice management at Dynasty.

The initial episode of the “Powering Independence Podcast” accomplishes that goal.

Four leaders in financial services — all women — joined Friedman in a candid discussion about the obstacles facing women on Wall Street. Click here for the recording.

During the podcast, Penny Phillips, founder and CEO of Thrivos Consulting, recounted an event she attended for financial advisors, at which the gift bag included a pair of men’s socks, sending the message that women weren’t welcome in the industry. Catherine Saunders, head of the client engagement center at Putnam Investments, told how she informed her boss that her partner was a woman. Before the recording, Saunders asked Friedman if it was OK to talk about that and he said it was exactly the type of information he was looking for.

Ed Friedman, Dynasty Financial Partners

“What I did not want to do is have a podcast or a discussion that rehashed canned commentary that we hear all the time, whether it’s in our industry or elsewhere,” Friedman said. “I wanted to dig deep, and not talk about that it’s a problem, but more important why it’s a problem. The lack of women and lack of diversity is a symptom of an issue. I wanted to get underneath and diagnose what the issue was.”

That tone fits with Dynasty’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Manhattan to downtown St. Petersburg. Dynasty employees who have visited St. Pete have come away with very different perceptions of the city than they held originally.

“We’ve had people who say, ‘This isn’t your grandma’s St. Petersburg anymore,’” Friedman said. “The podcast is designed sometimes to rip down old beliefs and look a little deeper and put a fresh perspective on it. That’s what Dynasty has discovered about St. Petersburg. The ability to be very candid and open and be susceptible to fresh ideas and fresh perspectives ties into Dynasty’s view of St. Petersburg and what it will do for our company.”

The new podcast series has its genesis in an internal podcast several years ago at Dynasty, which provides a middle and back-office solutions and technology platform for financial advisors. That internal podcast, called DTalks, was geared to companies that already were part of Dynasty’s network.

Then last year Friedman and Gordon Ross were tasked with launching a new division, the Dynasty Enterprise Group, for companies $1 billion or larger. They held several one-day workshops that proved popular.

“The firms that attended were getting so much out of it that we thought, might there be a different way to deliver this to the wealth management industry that positions Dynasty not only as a thought leader, but brings ideas and concepts to the industry, and lets us be a little a provocative,” Friedman said. “That’s one of the reasons I came up with the idea to launch with Women on Wall Street. I wanted to provoke a discussion in independent wealth management around the issue and the lack of diversity.”

Dynasty will release a new episode every two weeks. Upcoming podcasts are on topics such as technology, mergers and acquisitions, and the science of client acquisition.

“A lot of the content might be applicable to other businesses. We’ll be talking about social media marketing,” he said. “So while a lot of it will have the label on it of wealth management, I believe that will be applicable to a lot of businesses that are out looking for new clients.”

Dynasty is leasing the entire 15th floor of 200 Central Ave. and plans to have 35 to 40 people in the space by year’s end. Shirl Penny, co-founder and CEO, is expected to be one of the first to occupy the new space, moving in June.

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