A conversation with Steve Dimitriou, Managing Partner, Mayflower Advisors
Steve Dimitriou started in wealth management selling insurance at New York Life. Intrigued by the investment and planning side of the business, he continued down that path, building his book in firms like MFS, Alex.Brown, AdVest and later FiNet. Over time, he and his team grew the business to $1.3B in AUM. Yet the call for greater independence became the motivation to leave FiNet in 2020 and launch their own RIA firm, Mayflower Advisors, which today manages over $1.7B.
About this episode…
It’s interesting how a tough job market can divert the path one may envision as they graduate college. But as the guest on this episode shares, it can result in an incredibly successful journey.
And it reminds us of an important lesson: The only thing that’s constant in life is change.
Steve Dimitriou left college with a degree in honors physics and economics. Yet the job market was tight, so he ended up selling insurance at New York Life. While there, the investment management and planning side of the business intrigued him—and it was a path he continued on, building his knowledge and book in firms like MFS, Alex.Brown and later AdVest.
Yet it was in 2005 that Steve and his team heeded the call of independence and transitioned to FiNet.
It was an extraordinary move that resulted in growing the team from 5 to 30 over the course of 15 years—and assets under management to $1.3B from a client base that was transitioning from mass affluent to high net worth.
And the wealth management world had grown dramatically over that time period as well, motivating them to consider an even more independent path than they had at FiNet. One where they had access to the full universe of products and the freedom to build their business without limitation.
So in 2020, Steve and his team chose to leave the FiNet umbrella and build their own RIA – from scratch – Mayflower Advisors in Boston, Massachusetts. Today, the firm manages over $1.7B with Steve at the helm as CEO.
In this episode, Steve discusses his journey with Louis Diamond, including:
- The motivations behind his moves over the years—and the valuable business lessons he learned along the way.
- The desire to be more independent—and how independence with FiNet differed from launching a fully independent RIA.
- The choice to build an RIA from scratch rather than opt for a platform provider—and what key factors influenced that decision.
- The impact of his own personal transition from advisor to CEO—and how “staying involved” helps him to be a better leader.
Steve’s story is an instructive one that demonstrates how a business – and the individuals who build it – grow and evolve over time motivated by shifting client needs. It also punctuates the positive impact that changing firms and models can have, opening up new doors of opportunities for clients and expanding the ability to grow organically and inorganically. It’s an episode that has valuable lessons for employee advisors and business owners alike.
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Managing Partner, Mayflower Advisors
Steven Dimitriou is a founder and Managing Partner of Mayflower Advisors with 30 years of retirement plan industry experience. His current designations include the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA), and Certified 401(k) Professional (C(k)P®) from The Retirement Advisor University® / UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education.
Steve graduated from Colby College with B.A.s in Honors Physics and Economics. Prior to forming Mayflower Advisors, he was a Managing Director at H. C. Wainwright & Co., Inc. leading the Retail Products division, which included Retirement Plan Services and Mutual Fund Research. He was also a Vice President in Alex Brown’s Retirement Plan Services group and one of the original members of the Retirement Sales Team at Massachusetts Financial Services (MFS), Inc. Steve is a Registered Securities Principal and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
In 2019, Steve served as President of the American Retirement Association (ARA) after serving on its Leadership Council since its formation. The ARA is the parent organization to NAPA, ASPPA, ACOPA, NTSA and the PSCA, representing over 30,000 professionals working in all facets of the retirement plan industry, including advisors, administrators, actuaries and plan sponsors. In 2014, Steve served as President of the National Association of Plan Advisers (NAPA), the largest retirement plan advocacy group in the Nation for Advisors with over 9,000 members. Along with providing continuing education and credentialing, the organizations work directly with Congress and regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C. to shape legislation and rulemaking for the industry in an effort to drive successful retirement plan outcomes for participants. Steve is also a founding member of the Retirement Advisory Council (RAC) and has served on several vendor advisory boards throughout the industry.
In 2009, Steve was named PLANSPONSOR Magazine Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year, one of two major industry awards. In 2010 he was named runner up for the second award, the ASPPA-Morningstar Leadership Award. Steve has been named repeatedly to PlanAdviser Magazine’s “Best of the Best” and Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisors lists. In 2011, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Magazine’s PLANADVISER Hall of Fame. In 2010, Steve was named one of the 40 Most Influential Advisors in Defined Contribution by The 401kWire and made its 50 Most Influential Advisors list again in 2012. The Financial Times has named Steve one of the Top 401 Advisors in the nation every year since the award’s inception in 2015.
Steve has been recognized by both the local and national media for his expertise. He has appeared on CNBC, WBZ television, Fox Business television, U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger, Investment News and other publications.