MAXIMAI Investment Partners Named Top 11 Miami Financial Advisor

MAXIMAI Investment Partners is proud to have been named as one of the top 11 Independent Advisor firms in Coral Gables and greater Miami by AdvisoryHQ for the second year in a row!

We are grateful to our clients and partners both in the US and abroad for contributing to our success.  Our clients are our passion.

Check out AdvisoryHQs full rankings here

Fund selectors’ 2017 highs and 2018 expectations

Alejandro Behrens, Maximai Investment Partners

Miami, Florida, USA


What has been the best manager meeting this year?

Harding Loevner, great manager for international equities.

What was the best market moments of this year?

Every time the market hit a new record


What are your market expectations for 2018?  

For 2018, we continue to favor equities over bonds with increased volatility and a three time interest rate hike. We expect a continuation of global growth and favor the financial, technology and energy sectors.

There will be volatility as a result of political uncertainty (elections in Italy, Mexico, Brazil and Russia as well as Brexit negotiations). We also expect strong corporate earnings along with tax reform and continued bank deregulation.

Marco Salín, EuroAmerica AGF

Santiago, Chile

What was your best manager meeting in 2017?

One of the most noteworthy instances was when we were looking to the launch the EuroAmerica MSCI Small Cap Chile ETF, which we ended up doing with the sponsorship of MSCI.

While developing this product we met with Raman Subramanian, MSCI’s head of Equity Applied Research for the Americas, who showed his vast experience in the building, development and evolution of this kind of product.

With that help we have been able to meet the high expectations of our investors, which has at the same time made us very proud that we can offer a vehicle like this one.

What was your high point of 2017?

We were very innovative with several strategies launched this year. Among them is our first real estate fund, which looks to allow prospective investors to capture the core real estate markets in developed countries, with an interesting hedge to the local market.

What are your market expectations for 2018?  

From a Latin America point of view, I think the outlook is positive for next year. Although we’re going to have high volatility levels because of political matters, mainly in Brazil and Mexico, our economies are facing a positive cycle marked by better commodity prices, dropping interest rates and a better growth outlook compared to 2017.

Therefore, despite some political uncertainty, these variables should translate mainly into strong fundamentals not just in terms of macroeconomic indicators but also for company results, supporting the performance of different asset classes in the region.’

And one last market outlook from Alex Polshikov, Itau Asset Management (USA)

New York City, New York, USA

What are your market expectations for 2018?

They are cautiously optimistic. From a 2018 equity outlook, the US and Japan are my preferred destinations. Corporate profits in the US are at multi-cycle highs with steady revenue growth, and limited cost pressure weighing on net income. In Japan, a sustainable pickup in inflation and a focus on shareholder returns are driving a positive corporate operating environment.

Within fixed income, I believe that US high yield markets provides the most attractive opportunity. Although spreads have narrowed, corporate balance in the sector sheets remain robust, providing one of the better risk/return profiles in the fixed income markets.

From a cautionary perspective, we are definitely in a period of heightened exuberance. One significant example of this is the global cryptocurrency craze, which has ballooned to over half a trillion dollars. From my experience it’s impossible to call market tops, and while my opinion is that we’re in the late innings of this business cycle, I don’t see meaningful signs of recession within twelve months.

Why Educational Programs for Clients’ Children and Grandchildren Are Win-Win

Learning initiatives can encourage younger generations to understand basic investing concepts and build adviser-client relationships

The Wall Street Journal — View Original Article

March 9, 2017 9:30 a.m. ET

Elizabeth van Walleghem is chief executive and founder of Maximai Investment Partners in Coral Gables, Fla. Voices is an occasional feature of edited excerpts in which wealth managers address issues of interest to the advisory community. As told to Jacob Meade.

Elizabeth van Walleghem, chief executive and Founder of Maximai Investment Partners in Coral Gables, Fla. … We become more important to clients because they come to see us as a mentor and resource to their children. PHOTO: VERONICA AZPURUA

Around the time of the technology-stock bubble in the late 1990s and early 2000s, my firm started exploring ways to engage more deeply with clients. To cultivate conversation, one measure we introduced was educational seminars with clients’ children and grandchildren.

We have found the best way to run these seminars is to assemble a varied group from the practice and have each person cover a different topic. That variety tends to keep participants engaged. And while we also bring in guest speakers and discuss millennial generation trends, the seminars generally work best as a straightforward presentation of the basics of finance and investing. Learning simple concepts such as the difference between a stock and a bond can help participants in these age groups as they build a base of knowledge that will serve them later on.

Yet the impact of these seminars extends past the realm of finance education. While positioning enrollees for greater success and confidence with money as they move to adulthood, the knowledge they gain may also influence their academic or career pursuits. Some participants have gone on to become finance professionals based on their engagement with the program. As an added benefit to advisers, the programs can work as an initial step toward bringing on your own next generation of entry-level talent—at my firm we have been able to recruit several interns.

These seminars can also effect a profound change in your relationship with clients, because they illustrate how we care about more than just a standard quarterly discussion of portfolio performance. The conversation we initiate with clients’ kids and grandkids often continues after the seminar ends and establishes a stronger connection with the whole family unit. We become more important to clients because they come to see us as a mentor and resource to their children.

Finally, educational programs for children can yield surprising benefits to clients themselves. By instilling in young people a greater interest in personal finance, the seminars help open up a crucial conversation with their parents. Clients often struggle to communicate openly with their children about money, but these seminars offer a foundation for starting that dialogue. And more open communication about financial planning can help an entire family in the long run.

Dynasty Financial Partners Wins 2017 Award from Private Asset Management – Best Investment Platform: Client Service

Business Wire — View Original Article

February 14, 2017

NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Dynasty Financial Partners is proud to announce that the firm has won the 2017 Private Asset Management Magazine Award for: Best Investment Platform: Client Service. Dynasty Financial Partners is an RIA integrated middle and back office platform for some of the leading financial advisors in the U.S.

The Private Asset Management Awards recognize high performing investment firms and wealth advisors operating within the private asset management industry. The PAM Awards are a much sought-after industry accolade, and Dynasty has now won six PAM Awards since 2012.

Dynasty received the Best Investment Platform: Client Service Award at the Private Asset Management Magazine Award ceremony on February 13th, 2017 in New York City.

“We are delighted to be recognized for our outstanding client service,” said Dynasty’s President and CEO Shirl Penney. “Dynasty has seen significant momentum since the launch of our Values Pillar initiative in 2016. Our clients have worked with us on designing our Pillar offering; our clients make us better every day so we always accept any industry recognition with them on behalf of our community.”

When an independent firm is powered by Dynasty, the advisors continue to own and operate their own business while having access to the scale, intellectual capital, practice management, proprietary desktop technology and an advisory community of a much larger firm and network.

Dynasty’s Core Values Pillars are provided to support each Network firm’s growth and include:

  1. Dynasty Community includes Dynasty’s Annual Summit, Regional Peer Events and Education Series.
  2. Dynasty Technology includes a proprietary advisor platform the Dynasty Desktop, custom-designed CRM, billing, financial planning; performance reporting, and Dynasty digital client solution including the Dynasty client portal and Dynasty iPhone App.
  3. Dynasty Finance includes P&L budgeting & capital sourcing, bookkeeping, mergers & acquisitions support, and succession planning and structuring.
  4. Dynasty Investments/Operations includes investment research and consulting, research center and analytical tools, Dynasty TAMP and Capital Markets/Investment Banking.
  5. Dynasty Marketing includes brand/marketing strategy, communications, client experience and digital marketing.
  6. Dynasty Compliance includes legal structure & governance, RIA Registration and Licensing, Dynasty Compliance Services and Network compliance support.
  7. Dynasty Practice Management includes business design & consulting, implementation & transition services, dedicated regional management and business operations.
Dynasty Financial Partners is a registered trademark of Dynasty Financial Partners LLC. Dynasty Financial Partners offers a platform of various products and services to support the business and operations of independent registered investment advisers. Services and products may be provided by independent companies that are unaffiliated with Dynasty. There is no form of legal partnership, agency, affiliation or similar relationship between these providers and Dynasty. The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Dynasty’s wholly owned subsidiary, Dynasty Wealth Management, LLC (“Dynasty”) is a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. DWM serves as a sub-advisor to Dynasty Strategist Portfolios (“the Portfolios”), however DWM does not directly manage client assets within the Portfolios. Any reference to the term “registered investment adviser” or “registered” does not imply that Dynasty or any person associated with Dynasty has achieved a certain level of skill or training.

According to Todd Thomson, Chairman, “The Dynasty Core Value Pillars are the framework we use to professionalize the Dynasty Network firms and ensure they will thrive, grow, and provide the industry’s leading support and services for their clients. It’s an honor to have our proactive RIA pillar service platform honored as the best in class in the industry.”

Dynasty Financial Partners has won the following PAM Awards since 2012:

  • 2012 – Best Newcomer Advisory Consulting
  • 2013 – Private Client Investment Platform – Innovation
  • 2014 – Private Client Investment Platform – Innovation
  • 2015 – Private Client Investment Platform – Innovation
  • 2016 – Best Outsourced CIO Solution

The PAM Awards: The PAM Awards (“PAMA”) are awarded annually by Private Asset Management, a financial services industry trade publication. PAMA invites firms to compete for awards in several categories by providing answers regarding their business model, services offered, growth in client count and assets managed, countries of operation, service innovation, and performance. In addition, PAMA permits firms to provide additional information of their choosing in support of their candidacy. A panel of independent industry experts selects the nominees and winners based on a number of qualitative and quantitative performance indicators. PAMA does not release statistics on the number of firms competing. Nomination or receipt of a PAMA is not necessarily indicative of any particular client’s experience or a guarantee that the firm will perform in the future as it did during the period evaluated by PAMA. They are sponsored by Private Asset Management magazine, a publication of Pageant Media.

About Dynasty Financial Partners

Dynasty Financial Partners develops, sources and integrates management capabilities for some of the industry’s leading independent investment advisor firms. Dynasty’s integrated platform services delivery chassis offers a customized, open-architecture wealth management solutions and technology platform supporting advisors as they protect and seek to grow their clients’ wealth. Dynasty’s core principle is “objectivity without compromise,” and the firm is committed to crafting solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients.

Merrill FA Breaks Away to Better Serve Global Clients

By Murray Coleman

Financial Advisor IQ — View Original Article

October 11, 2016

After 24 years at Merrill Lynch, advisor Elizabeth van Walleghem left last month to help open MAXIMAI Investment Partners. The independent RIA is based in Coral Gables, Fla. Joining her at the new firm is her longtime partner, Thomas (Jim) Butler and three ex-Merrill staffers. The team managed $550 million at the wirehouse.

Q: What was the main reason why you decided to leave Merrill?

A: Merrill had been a leader in the market for ultra high net worth global investors before the takeover by Bank of America. But in recent years we’ve seen a change in the environment at Merrill. They’ve been closing branches internationally and asking us to close accounts in different jurisdictions. And in foreign markets where they still have a presence, they’ve been raising account minimums. So it was making things very difficult for us to keep servicing families we’d been working with in some cases for more than two decades.

Q: How much of your client base is devoted to international clients?

A: At this point it’s about 80%. These are clients who have multiple footprints. Some live in Latin America and Europe but have business interests in the U.S. Others have adult children living here and others live in the U.S. but spend a lot of time overseas. When I joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 from the Bank of Tokyo, I brought a globally diversified book of business. So our team has always worked primarily with ultra high net worth clients who live all over the world.

Q: Did you feel like cross-selling and other non-wealth related issues contributed to your decision to go independent?

A: We decided that we wanted more control over our future. When you’re working for a large firm, decisions are made at a level that is well above any individual financial advisor. We felt a need to move away from the bank’s increasing focus on cross-selling its products. Our team wanted to devote all of its energies to wealth management and serving our clients in a more customized fashion.

Q: How are your clients reacting to the move?

A: We’re serving very entrepreneurial-minded people, so they understand the concept of being independent as opposed to being employees. They realize we’re now in a situation where we’ve got more freedom to look for better services and products to help them prosper in both their estate planning needs and business financing requirements. So we’ve always had a family office-type feel to our practice, but now we’re moving to an independent model where we see more opportunities to expand our role as fiduciaries.

Q: How so?

A: At the end of the day we want to offer clients more objective advice. We’re now going to be able to go to different lending institutions to help them negotiate the best deals. We also are going to have more freedom to expand our network of outside financial professionals. So if we have a family in France, for example, we can go find attorneys or accountants there who are experts in that country’s legal and financial system. At the bank if we had to go outside for specific expertise, it was under fairly restrictive guidelines.

Q: Doesn’t Merrill have a strong presence in the U.S. ultra high net worth market?

A: Yes, they do. But our business model is more global in focus. So the resources the bank was able to bring us didn’t carry as much weight with our particular client base. Merrill is a great institution but even for our domestic ultra high net worth families we felt like they would be better served working in a more objective and transparent environment in which their advisors aren’t tied to any one set of products or service menu.

Q: Has fee transparency improved under the independent model?

A: Yes, it’s greatly improved. Everything can be broken down for the client. There are no hidden fees and we’re able to better show the client exactly what they’re paying for and what we’re able to provide. In general, we’re going to make sure that our fees are going to be a little lower. At the same time, we feel like our clients are going to receive a lot more in terms of customized service no matter what fee schedule they follow.

Q: Do you think your compensation will improve?

A: Over time, being owners of our own business should prove beneficial. But our primary goal in making this move was to maintain our global connection to our client base. We are also putting a lot of time and capital into building a better client service model. So we’re planning to invest any incremental profits from owning our own firm back into making our service menu even stronger.

Q: Why did you decide to bring in an outside consultant to help with your move?

A: We were introduced to Dynasty Financial Partners by another financial advisor who we’ve watched go independent over several years and become very successful. So we came into this independent space with an understanding of the importance of tapping into the resources of a third-party business consultant. We selected Dynasty because they are very committed to working with global clients. So they’re helping us open doors with custodians. Along those lines, we’ve decided early in the process to use both Pershing and Fidelity.

Q: Does technology also present a major change at the new firm?

A: It is. A big attraction for our global clients is gaining mobile access to their accounts no matter where they are at any time. Being able to see multiple accounts from one window is also another major feature that we’re now able to offer that wasn’t available to our clients in the past. Dynasty has been a big driver behind our move to upgrade this practice’s technology. They’ve introduced us to software partners like Addepar and helped us deepen our relationship with Salesforce.

Merrill Lynch Broker Team with $550 Million in Assets Resigns

Ex-Merrill adviser team launches international-focused boutique

Two Merrill Lynch brokers who managed $550 million in client assets have resigned to launch a boutique advisory focused on international clients, joining a number of small adviser groups to leave big firms to offer more specialized services.

Advisers Elizabeth van Walleghem and Thomas J. Butler III on Tuesday officially launched Maximai Investment Partners in Coral Gables, Fla. The firm is focused on ultra-high-net worth entrepreneurs and families from Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Ms. van Walleghem had been at Merrill, now a unit of Bank of America Corp., since 1992. Mr. Butler worked at Merrill for 28 years.

A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed the departures.

About two years ago, the advisers started to search for another platform to serve clients. Many of their clients had been asking when they were going to start their own firm, Ms. van Walleghem says, largely because they desired more investment options.

The advisers determined that by going independent, they would have more flexibility to meet clients’ needs. “The world is our oyster now as opposed to being limited by the boundary of four walls,” Ms. van Walleghem said.

Last summer, Merrill trimmed its international effort to focus on 29 target countries, primarily Canada and in Latin America, and it curtailed brokers’ ability to travel outside the U.S. The company also announced that brokers who serve international clients would work as part of a specialized team and it raised the minimum account size that those overseas clients need to work with a Merrill broker.

Ms. van Walleghem says those policies played a role in the advisers’ decision to move. At Merrill, the advisers said they had a $2.5 million or $5 million account minimum for new clients depending on the country. Their new firm has a $1 million minimum, Ms. van Walleghem says.

Ms. van Walleghem will work primarily with clients from Venezuela, Peru, Chile, the Caribbean and Europe. Mr. Butler will focus on the firm’s clients from Mexico, Central America and Brazil.

Also joining the advisers are three Merrill Lynch employees. They are launching the firm with the support of Dynasty Financial Partners, a New York-based firm that provides independent adviser teams access to a platform for trading, clearing, research and other support services.

Ms. van Walleghem says the advisers chose to work with Dynasty after hearing success stories from other international advisers who had left brokerage firms and gone independent. “Knowing other similar advisers who made the move made me feel confident we could do it, too,” she says.

Write to Veronica Dagher at

Five Merrill Lynch LatAm advisors exit to launch own firm

By Atholl Simpson

City Wire Americas — View original article

13 Sep, 2016 at 12:48

Five Merrill Lynch global advisors have left the US giant to launch their own Florida-based investment advisory firm in partnership with wealth management support service provider Dynasty Financial Partners.

The new venture, named MAXIMAI Investment Partners, is led by industry veterans Elizabeth (Lisa) van Walleghem, who has been with Merrill since 1993, and Thomas J. (Jim) Butler III, an investor with almost 30 years of experience. During their time at Merrill’s Miami base the duo managed $550 million in client assets.

Joining them at MAXIMAI’s Coral Gables offices are Alejandro Behrens, Daniella Viete, and Ana Bueso — all from the Merrill Lynch Miami LatAm complex.

The independent investment advisory firm will work with ultra-high-net worth entrepreneurs and families from around the world, with a particular focus and experience dealing with Latin American clients.

Its partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners gives MAXIMAI access to the group’s investment platform and integrated marketing solutions and to Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, to custody MAXIMAI’s advisory assets.

The group also provides concierge services to entrepreneurs and families with international financial interests.

Commenting on the new venture, van Valleghem said: ‘One of the main reasons we have decided to launch MAXIMAI is our desire to build stronger relationships with our clients, their families and communities by offering objective and transparent advice unconstrained by the structure of a one-firm model.’

Butler added: ‘Given the pace of change within global markets, we must maintain the agility to identify new developments, tap attractive opportunities around the world and deliver advanced solutions while safeguarding client assets. Independence equips us to do all this and more.’

Expanding business

This is the second group to enter a partnership with Dynasty this year following the agreement it struck with Premia Global Advisors in April this year. The latter was also launched by an ex-Merrill advisor, Miguel Sosa.

At the same time as the Premia agreement, Dynasty also announced a tie-up with Global Investor Services (GIS) which would provide broker-dealer services for its partners firms.

These latest departures from Merrill Lynch’s wealth management team are among a number of advisor exits since the group announced a major restructuring of its international business last year.

Merrill Lynch financial advisors leave to start new investment firm

Sep 13, 2016, 12:39pm EDT

Nina Lincoff, Reporter

South Florida Business Journal — View Original Article

Continuing the trend of financial advisors leaving big firms to make it on their own, former Merrill Lynch team member Elizabeth van Walleghem and Thomas J. Butler, III have launched the new MAXIMAI Investments Partners.

MAXIMAI is based in Coral Gables, and is a partnership with New York-based Dynasty Financial Partners, which announced the new firm Tuesday. The new South Florida entity will utilize certain Dynasty investment platforms and marketing materials.

Three other former Merrill Lynch alums from the firm’s Miami Latin America team are joining Butler and van Walleghem: Alejandro Behrens, Daniella Viete and Ana Bueso.

MAXIMAI intends to provide concierge financial services to entrepreneurs and families with international financial interests. The firm caters to the ultra-affluent, particularly global clients with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the MAXIMAI website.

“One of the main reasons that we have decided to launch MAXIMAI is our desire to build stronger relationships with our clients, their families and communities by offering objective and transparent advice unconstrained by the structure of a one-firm model,” van Walleghem, CEO and co-founder of MAXIMAI, said in a statement.

MAXIMAI is an independent, boutique investment advisory firm based in Coral Gables. The firm’s financial advisors are also registered financial representatives of Miami-based Global Investment Services.

Butler, co-founder of MAXIMAI, was formerly a senior VP at Merrill Lynch International, and worked at the firm for 28 years both in New York and Miami. Van Walleghem joined Merrill Lynch in 1992.

Viete has assumed the role of COO and associate partner at the new firm, Behrens is managing director and associate partner, and Bueso is the manager of client services. Joining the five Merrill Lynch alums are Vivian Velazquez, chief compliance officer, Dynasty member Scott Welch, chief investment officer, and Dynasty member Javier Rivero, senior VP.

MAXIMAI’s offices are located at 2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 300.