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Asset Management: Building a Deeper Bench

August 19, 2021

As Dynamic Portfolio Services continues to experience heightened interest from advisors looking to outsource portfolio management and solve complex client scenarios, Dynamic continues to seek ways to accelerate its development of institutionalized asset management services.

Looking to capitalize on its current capabilities and build a deeper team of professionals, Portfolio Services recently welcomed a new team member: Konstantin (Kostya) Etus, CFA® joined Dynamic in a new role as Head of Strategy, Portfolio Services Team. Etus has several years of specialized experience in asset allocation and security selection of various ETF and mutual fund portfolios.

Prior to joining Dynamic, he served the Orion organization (CLS Investments and Orion Portfolio Solutions) as a Trader, Portfolio Manager and Director of Research, among other roles. “We are thrilled to welcome Kostya to Dynamic, expanding the depth of our team with credentialed, experienced professionals,” said CEO Jim Cannon. “He has deep portfolio management experience working with clients as well as advisors.”

Cannon continued, “As a Portfolio Manager, Kostya was charged with helping advisors close and maintain business. In his lead research role, he oversaw the due diligence on all strategists, so he’s seen the benefits of solid structure and organizational framework to deliver, manage and grow an asset management business.”

Holding the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation, Etus earned Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis and Master of Business Administration degrees from Creighton University. He and his family reside in Omaha, Neb.

Etus has called the Cornhusker State home since the early 90s when he left Soviet Russia with his family for the United States at the age of 9. The following passage is taken from an August 2015 CLS Investments feature, “All’s Well that Ends Well,” which described the Etus family’s pursuit of the American dream and Kostya’s early love of portfolio management:

The Etus family arrived in the U.S. with nothing. His father spoke some English, but the rest of the family did not. His father got a janitorial job at Nebraska Furniture Mart (owned by a Russian immigrant), and Etus went to school and took ESL classes. “Life was pretty tough,” he recalls, “when you don’t know the language and don’t have any money.”

By the time he got to high school, Etus had settled in as a 4.0 student. In his senior year, he immersed himself in business classes, a subject he was drawn to, and went on with a full-ride scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he discovered his true passion: portfolio management.

“I loved the class so much I asked the teacher if I could take it again as an elective,” he says. “It really sparked something in me.” Portfolio management combined everything Etus loved in business, finance and investing. “There was almost no question—that’s exactly what I wanted to do.”

As Etus works closely with members of the Dynamic Investment Committee and the Portfolio Services team to understand current capabilities, strengths and opportunities, watch for updates from this team on the rollout of initiatives to build a more robust asset management business for Dynamic’s advisor clients. Here, Etus discusses what distinguishes Dynamic, his vision for taking Portfolio Services to new heights and enhancements advisors can expect (hint: market commentary.)

Dynamic News (DN): What intrigues you about the Head of Strategy position at Dynamic?

Kostya Etus (KE): Dynamic is a company that embraces change and technology, and adherence to the fiduciary system—they’re frontrunners in that respect. They’re cutting edge in everything they do. I’d like to bring that type of foresight to the investment side of business.

I believe what sets Dynamic apart is the focus they put on the relationship with the advisor, working closely with them, coaching them, helping the advisor grow their business. It’s that personal touch that’s sometimes lost in this industry.

The team does everything with the advisor in mind, always trying to add value and innovate with new tech and make life easier, like protecting them with the latest security measures—a huge focus. Every decision is put through the fiduciary lens: Is this in the best interest for clients?

DN: What are the strengths of Dynamic Portfolio Services?

KE: The Dynamic approach to risk is an absolute strength. This is a key investment philosophy that revolves around a strategic focus on risk, specifically matching the client risk to investment risk. When you combine this with active asset allocation and security review, it’s a solid approach.

The hands-on, specialized approach of the Portfolio Services team and full menu of model portfolios are other great strengths. As an advisor, you have access to investment strategies, portfolio consultations and a wide variety of options for all different client life stages and comfort levels…

Dynamic offers a broad range of options: For clients with an ability to take on risk, but a low willingness to assume it, we have defensive strategies; for clients that are active in their investment approach, we have market cycle strategies; and for clients that are in the distribution stage of their life cycle, we have income focused strategies.

DN: What’s your vision for Portfolio Services and what does it mean for advisors?

KE: To be the premier offering at Dynamic and a recognized name in the investment strategist space. We will do this through innovative ideas, new offerings and our proprietary investment models. For advisors, we want to be their go-to resource on their portfolio management needs, market information and to help find solutions for their clients.

DN: What types of new Portfolio Services deliverables can advisors expect?

KE: Overall, we want to make it seamless for advisors to do business on our platform and provide them with new strategies and solutions for their clients. This includes proposal tools, greater access to investment alternatives, communications and insights to share for their client discussions—even some market commentary and additional content so advisors don’t have to create their own. (See The Top 3 Investor Concerns: Taxes, Inflation and Crypto.”)

We see where the industry is going and understand the solutions advisors need, so we’ll apply fresh ideas and innovative thinking to new strategies.

DN: When considering outsourcing asset management, what should advisors look for in a provider?

KE: The top three things that advisors should look for are:

  • A focus on low cost – Does the provider look to minimize costs in all aspects of portfolio management from keeping turnover low, to tax management and low-cost investments, to no excessive fees?
  • Corporate culture – Does the provider possess a corporate culture of stewardship with guiding values, decisions and actions that are in your clients’ best interest?
  • Investment philosophy – Does the provider have a clearly defined investment philosophy paired with rules-based, repeatable investment processes that serve to unify all offerings?

I’m so excited to start working with the Dynamic team and partner with the great Dynamic advisors that I’ve heard so much about!

Photo by Daniel McCullough, Unsplash