VOL. 130 | NO. 176 | Thursday, September 10, 2015
Duncan-Williams Launches Asset-Management Business
By Andy Meek
A new standalone financial firm has launched out of Duncan-Williams Inc. that has its own name and website and will soon move into its own Poplar Avenue office space.
Duncan Williams Asset Management is the culmination of the nearly 50-year-old Memphis-based institutional bond shop deciding to segregate its financial services for clients like foundations, nonprofits, individuals and businesses from its traditional operation. Duncan-Williams Inc. president Duncan Williams said the firm came to the conclusion it could do a better job of that with a separate business, where people and resources could be steered exclusively toward that goal.
Duncan-Williams Inc. president Duncan Williams, left, will serve as chairman of the standalone Duncan Williams Asset Management, while Demetri Patikas will serve as the new business's president.
(Duncan Williams Asset Management)
As part of that effort, the new asset management operation – which will have Williams as its chairman – has signed a lease for about 5,500 square feet of space at 6263 Poplar Ave. That’s about a mile from the Duncan-Williams headquarters at 6750 Poplar.
Williams estimates the move-in of the asset management team to the new space will happen in a couple of weeks.
“This gives us a new opportunity to expand the Duncan-Williams family out in the community,” said Williams, whose profile, along with that of his firm, has grown in recent years.
He’s served as president of Duncan-Williams Inc. since 2000.
In tandem with the increasing civic presence in Memphis of the firm that bears his name, through things like its sponsorship of such community organizations and events as the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Williams also is one of the local owners of the Memphis Grizzlies. And his new company, which is already managing or advising more than $200 million in assets, will be just as much a part of the community, Williams said.
The new firm’s tagline is “Invest. Inspire.” It includes a current staff of 12, and its president is Demetri Patikas, who has more than 20 years of experience in finance. Until now, Patikas has been the executive vice president of the Duncan-Williams private client group.
“And there’s a group under Demetri that’s out meeting with clients now, telling them what we’re doing,” Williams said.
“Customer service is an important part of this. We feel like so many other firms are caught up in – you have to have a certain amount of net worth, and so many businesses, foundations and others aren’t being managed. We feel like that’s our home run.”
For individual investors, the new firm’s services include things like investment management, financial planning, estate planning, retirement planning and tax mitigation strategies. Duncan Williams Asset Management, as the firm’s website at dwassetmgmt.com promises, “invests for the long term.”
For small businesses, the new firm can handle things like helping with business succession planning and retirement plan consulting. Its work with nonprofit clients as well as foundations and endowments includes services like investment consulting and investment research.
“We’re two companies now,” Williams said. “One is focused on institutional bond sales and transactional sales. The other – DWAM, as we call it – is focused on managing peoples’ money and helping manage their future.”