Investment firm expands with merger

The team at WealthSource Partners in Grand Junction includes, back row from left, Jeff Murray, Barbara Traylor Smith and Donnie Alexander and, front row, Lisa Mauser and Doug May. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)
The team at WealthSource Partners in Grand Junction includes, back row from left, Jeff Murray, Barbara Traylor Smith and Donnie Alexander and, front row, Lisa Mauser and Doug May. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Doug May believes what were two investment firms now work better as one in offering clients the benefits of technology and experience — along with an independent approach.

“The decision was we’d be stronger overall together,” said May, an investment advisor in Grand Junction and director of the mountain west region for WealthSource Partners.

WealthSource Partners is the unified brand that follows the merger of Avant-Garde Advisors and Vellum Financial. The firm is headquartered in San Luis Obisbo, Calif., but operates a network of 24 investment advisor representatives working in a total of 10 cities in Colorado, California and Florida.

May said Avant-Garde Advisors brought to the merger cutting-edge technology, while Vellum Financial brought experience in working with clients. Rather than continue to compete, executives with the two firms decided to join forces to continue growing their operations.

Eric Patton and Jon Dubravac, founders of Avant-Garde Advisors, serve as chief operations officer and chief development officer, respectively, of WealthSource Partners. Bryan Sullivan, founder of Vellum Financial, serves as chief executive officer of WealthSource Partners.

May founded May-Investments in 2005 after working for two decades for institutions and bank trust departments. He merged May-Investments with Avant-Garde Advisors in 2013.

The team of advisors in Grand Junction includes May as well as Barbara Traylor Smith and Jeff Murray. While May focuses on investments, Smith focuses on Social Security and retirement planning and Murray focuses on qualified retirement plans.

But they also work together to meet the needs of clients, May said, and can tap that expertise without leaving the office.

May said the latest merger creating WealthSource Partners brings to the Grand Junction operation even more resources, including a compliance program, information technology, investment research and marketing and office management. That frees advisors to spend more time serving clients.

Smith said the Grand Junction office takes advantage of the economies of scale created by the merger. “It makes us more efficient.”

Murray said the operation not only combines in one office different services and expertises, but also an independent approach that puts clients first. “I think we are really unique in this community.”

May said it’s important for investment advisors to not only offer clients assistance in managing assets, but also help them plan for retirement and determine whether or not they have sufficient assets.

“Do I have enough? That’s a critical question. And that’s a planning question,” he said.