Damian Lo Basso, the former founder and CEO of Compass CFO Solutions, has joined Journey Strategic Wealth, the new registered investment advisor/partnership launched earlier this year, as managing partner. Lo Basso joins three other managing partners at the firm, which include former Dynasty Financial Partners executives Michael Brown and Brian Flynn, as well as practice management coach Penny Phillips, founder of Thrivos Consulting.
As of the end of the first quarter, Lo Basso sold his stake in Compass CFO Solutions, an outsourced accounting, bookkeeping and strategy firm that services financial advisors exclusively, to his partner Matt Hayon.
Prior to founding Compass, Lo Basso spent several years as a vice president at Dynasty, where he worked with Brown and Flynn.
“Damian has forged his own path in this industry, always focusing on how to improve the experience for advisors and their clients,” Phillips said in a statement. “All of the partners here at Journey have known Damian for quite some time; what we respect so much about him is not just his sheer knowledge and competency in finance, accounting and operations—he’s also one of the most ethical and compassionate people we all know.”
At Journey, he’ll head finance, operations and mergers and acquisitions for the RIA.
Journey, based in Summit, N.J., is structured as a hybrid RIA, with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments as the broker/dealer, but the model is a spin on the aggregator approach. They are looking to tuck in advisor teams from all over the country and will provide more services to advisors than the typical RIA, with an emphasis on practice management consulting.
The firm brought on its first tuck-in team last month, adding financial advisor Kristin Bartlow and her team, who bring $180 million in client assets, from Northwestern Mutual.
When an advisor joins the firm, they come under Journey’s ADV, but they will own their book of business if they decide to leave, according to the firm’s executives. Journey will provide operations and billing, human resources and payroll, investment management, financial planning support, a technology stack, home office support and marketing. The advisor can keep their administrative staff, associate advisors and other client-facing staff, but they will be on Journey’s payroll.
The advisor will likely get a payout of around 50% to 60% of gross revenue.
Advisors can choose to sell a minority or majority stake in their practice, if they want to de-risk or sunset out of the business, but they don’t have to, Lo Basso said.
Lo Basso will be working alongside Phillips, coaching teams on the financial side of practice management.
“Even though they’re not involved in a lot of the day-to-day decision making when it comes to the operational part of running an RIA, they still are, for all intents and purposes, business owners. And we want to make sure they’re armed with the information they need to go out and continue to grow their business,” he said.
Journey also recently brought on Erin Moeller as chief of staff and Caitlin West as director of operations.