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Mindy Diamond on Independence: Matt Celenza on Doubling Growth, Opportunity, and Life After Merrill

Matt Celenza returns to the podcast to share an insider perspective on “what he wishes he knew before breaking away”—the good and the bad.

It was nearly six years ago when we welcomed our first guest on this series.

At that time, Matt Celenza was just a few months into life as an independent business owner, the founder of Boulevard Family Wealth in Beverly Hills.

A seasoned industry professional hailing from Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney Citigroup, and later Merrill, Matt made the leap to independence after building an extraordinary $800 million-plus business serving ultra-high net worth clients.

Yet he left Merrill to build his own RIA firm.

A transition like this begs the questions: Why leave when business is good? What could possibly be missing that would warrant the risk and hassle of a move? And what about upsetting momentum?

Matt’s motivations, even back in 2018, mimic many of the advisors we speak with today—most importantly, a focus on the long-term.

In this episode, Matt looks back at his transition and shares an insider perspective on “what he wishes he knew before breaking away”:

  1. Why he believed he had “open architecture” access to everything he needed to serve his UHNW clients in the wirehouse world.
  2. What he can do now for clients and the business that he could not do as an employee of a wirehouse.
  3. How, even though it wasn’t a primary driver for his move, he is now able to grow faster AND live a better business life.

Today, Matt’s firm has more than doubled in assets under management—and he attributes that to gaining the ability to think and act strategically.

Listen in as Matt revisits that breakaway decision with Mindy Diamond:

  • The perspective of hindsight—and what he might have done differently.
  • The journey of building an independent business—and how he achieved such extraordinary growth.
  • Their value proposition—and why it’s evolved over time.
  • The partners they chose—and how they continue to benefit from them today.
  • His long-term focus—and how it is empowering him and his team.

Listen in as Matt shares a point of view relevant to any advisor who has taken the time to consider their goals and is striving to live their best business life.

Download a transcript of this episode…

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