There is a masthead change in this issue that merits some reflection. After 18 years as publisher, Rich Santos is retiring from daily duty.
From his first day at the helm in 1997 onward, his achievements are known: Record circulation and advertising growth, a shelf full of awards, mentoring dozens of younger ad sales reps and forging strong relationships with both readers and advertisers.
Most important, he made sure the magazine evolved alongside the industry. In fact, 10 years ago Registered Rep. presciently bought the domain WealthManagement.com after Rich hatched the idea with Penton Senior Vice President Warren Bimblick during an evening strategy meeting (I’m told) at an upscale watering hole in downtown Manhattan.
There are plenty of people at REP., Trust & Estates and WealthManagement.com who have worked with Rich longer than I; I know they all agree he’s a great boss, a true, larger-than-life, old-school magazine publisher in the best sense: A booming voice, snappy dresser, polo player, particular about his vodka martinis, quick with an off-color joke and cool under pressure—the kind that makes coming to work fun. I’ve never seen him ruffled. He connects to everyone with equal ease and sincerity, from CEOs of billion-dollar firms to the receptionists in their offices; in ways large and small, that skill has benefitted all of us here.
Above all, he is a true advocate for the people who work in the industry, and a firm believer that if advertisers have undue influence on the editorial content we produce for readers, it lowers the value of both. For that I thank him.
After 28 years at Penton, and 18 as the publisher of REP. magazine (formerly Registered Rep., formerly Registered Representative), I have chosen to retire. Reflecting on our industry over the past 18 years, the only constant has been change—to an extent. (For one, I still have the same amount of hair, which isn’t saying much.) When I assumed the role in October 1997, my inaugural publisher’s letter addressed the looming fear of competition from low-cost online brokers. Wow, doesn’t that sound like today’s robo-advisors?
What also hasn’t changed is the retail investing public’s need for your investment and wealth management planning and advice. I’ve enjoyed interacting with many of you in all three channels of the business. That’s what I’ll miss the most. The WealthManagment.com brand, along with REP. and Trusts & Estates, are in very capable hands and continues to improve to serve your information needs.
I wish everyone all the best and feel free to reach out any time; I’ll continue on a few projects here going forward, and help the team when needed. I’m not going underground!
Group Publisher Emeritus