A conversation with Craig Robson Founding Principal & Managing Director Regent Peak Wealth
On his 25th anniversary with Merrill, Craig Robson resigned to launch RIA Regent Peak Wealth in Atlanta, GA. It was a bold move designed to “liberate and empower” him and his team to serve their clients completely and with objectivity. Craig shares the drivers that led to his decision to leave Merrill and launch an independent firm, instead of opting for a transition from another firm.
About this episode…
It was May of 1994 when Craig Robson decided engineering wasn’t for him and accepted an offer to join Merrill Lynch to start a career in wealth management.
And it proved to be both a bold and smart move, because over two-and-a-half decades, Craig built a business managing $450mm in assets for high net worth clients.
It was an experience that Craig credits as framing his business life—one that would set the stage for yet another bold move: Handing in his resignation on his 25th anniversary with Merrill to launch RIA Regent Peak Wealth in Atlanta, Georgia with Dynasty Financial Partners.
And just 3 years later, Regent Peak is managing some $570mm assets.
So what was it that motivated Craig to leave the firm he grew up with? In this episode, Craig walks Mindy through his journey from Merrill to independence, including:
- The key moments that motivated him to explore his options—and why he headed for independence when he could have accepted a transition deal from another firm.
- The real value he is experiencing in independence—and how his growth trajectory has changed since making the leap.
- The role of objectivity as a financial advisor—and what Craig and his team can do differently in independence that allows them to be true fiduciaries.
- The ability to creatively market their services—and how the freedom to brand and create personalized messaging and videos was a real gamechanger for him and his team.
As Craig put it, breaking away was about “liberating and empowering” him and his team in how they could manage and grow the business, while providing greater optionality and choice when it comes to the products and services they can offer their clients.
No doubt that making the leap to independence – like any move – comes with some “professional risk,” as Craig put it, but he sees it as a risk worth taking—and after you hear his story, you’re likely to agree.
Download: The Decision-Methodology Infographic–Strategic Exploration and the Road to Taking Control of Your Professional Destiny
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Founding Principal And Managing Director
Craig is the founder of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors. During his 25 years at Merrill Lynch, Craig became the Founder and Managing Director of Robson & Associates, a high net worth wealth advisory practice within the firm. At Regent Peak, he serves as Managing Director and sets the firm’s overall vision and strategy. The creation of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors, an independent advisory firm, is a direct result of Craig’s desire to provide all relationships with objective advice free from the conflicts of interest that might come from large institutions.
Craig earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University in 1991. For the next 3 years Craig provided consulting services on behalf of Accenture Consulting, primarily within their manufacturing and information technology divisions, to both publicly traded and privately held corporations. An unexpected opportunity to employ his practice management experiences within the financial services industry arose and in 1994 Craig embarked on creating a unique wealth advisory offering within Merrill Lynch.
Craig has been recognized for his investment acuity including being named in Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and most recently 2018. Craig also was recognized by Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in 2019. Craig holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designations as well as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Craig also holds all the relevant general securities registrations and insurance licenses.
Craig and his wife Angelia have two children, Nicholas and Lucas, and they live in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He enjoys playing ice hockey, swimming, hiking, volunteering for animal rescue groups and coaching youth sports. Within the local community Craig has previously served on many board positions, most recently the Board of Directors for Learning on the Log, a nonprofit organization for children with a focus on supporting and growing social skills. He also previously served on the Corporate Leadership Council for the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and as a host committee member for the Partnership Against Domestic Violence.