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wellington | professional

Castleberry Financial Services Offers Innovative Wealth Management Solutions Story by M. Dennis Taylor • Photos by Abner Pedraza

Scott Strochak, senior executive vice president and director of alternative investments at Castleberry Financial Services, has been in the wealth management business for 35 years. Born and raised in Forest Hills, N.Y., he moved to the area 23 years ago. “The business has changed dramatically in recent years. It has gotten highly fee-compressed, commoditized and undifferentiated,” Strochak explained. Looking for a more innovative way to help clients, Strochak was impressed when he met Castleberry’s T. Jonathon Turner and Norman M. Strell. “When I met the team at Castleberry Financial Services, Jon and Norman were, quite frankly, innovators and creators in a business that is not noted for being innovative and creative anymore,” Strochak said. Castleberry Financial Services is a Wellington-based alternative investment management firm that offers principal-protected and insured fixedincome alternatives. These include investments in assets other than stocks, bonds and cash. This would include commodities or investments using strategies that go beyond traditional ways of investing. Adding them to a portfolio might provide enhanced diversification, reduced risk and greater returns, since the factors that drive these markets are different from those that drive the public equity markets. Nimble in its purchases and operating its businesses in an integrated manner, Castleberry Financial Services finds that these characteristics distinguish it from many other alternative investment managers. Over its five-year history, the firm has deployed more than $800 million in capital, while

seeking to create principal-protected “equity-like” fixed income returns for its investors throughout economic cycles — raising, investing and managing on behalf of more than 860 individual investors all over the U.S. Strochak is a graduate of Emory University who earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He began in the wealth management business right out of college, getting his start at E.F. Hutton, where he went through their training program. Before joining Castleberry Financial Services, he worked for several years as a vice president with the firms of Neuberger Berman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and BNY Mellon. “If you’re selling stocks and bonds, you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, so there’s no differentiation,” Strochak said. “Jon and Norman were doing something very creative and innovative, and I was interested in pursuing that.” Strochak said that today, everyone’s alternative investment portfolio is perhaps four times what it once was, and people have satellite strategies to provide Alpha (or active) return on investments that can be gleaned from things like private equity, venture capital, real estate, long/short and market neutral investments. “We are a fixed-income alternative strategy that provides Alpha return with the principal protected,” Strochak said. “This was a natural evolution for

Scott Strochak, senior executive vice president and director of alternative investments at Castleberry Financial Services, has more than 35 years of experience in wealth management.

my career from something that was more mainstream at the beginning, to something that is now cutting edge. Something, as I described, that is innovative and creative.” When he is not at work, Strochak’s hobbies include being a music aficionado, travel, gourmet dining and fine wines. Yet he keeps healthy because he is also deeply involved in personal fitness. “I do Pilates, cardio, weights and spinning,” he said. “I try to keep as fit as I can because you can’t control the stress, you can only vent the stress.” Strochak spends a lot of his time wellington the magazine | january 2019

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Wellington The Magazine January 2019  

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Wellington The Magazine January 2019  

January 2019 | ON THE COVER Polo great Mariano Aguerre, profiled this month, has been a force to be reckoned with on the field for three dec...