Wall Street

For the past decade, Whitney has served as Vice President at several Wall Street firms including John Hancock Financial Services, Chatfield Dean & Company, Tucker Anthony, and The Royal Bank of Canada. Currently a financial expert at one of the world's largest financial institutions, Whitney has been featured on CNNfn, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, NY1, Fox News and in The New York Time's Business Day, and has been featured and on the cover of (to name a few) numerous Wall Street rags including Research Magazine, Registered Representative, and this month's On Wall Street. Additionally, he has served on Goldman Sachs Fund's Blue Chip Council, Munder Fund's Millennium Advisory Council, and Oppenheimer Fund's Executive Council, and he has received countless Awards in the financial services industry.

Finding Your High Net Worth Niche
September 1, 2002

Small business owners, professionals and corporate executives. These are the demographic niches typically favored by brokers who go after the high-net-worth market. But there are many other high-net-worth niches -- and the more obscure or off-beat yours is, the more likely you are to dominate it. Not sure which niche to select? Marketing experts suggest you concentrate on who and what you know and the areas that stir your passions.

Lights, Action, Broker!

James Ronald Whitney

Vice President, Royal Bank of Canada/Dain Rauscher

New York, New York
What better way to specialize in a high-net-worth niche than to be part of that niche yourself?

James Ronald Whitney discusses
the business of showbiz.

That's what James Ronald Whitney does, juggling two full-time careers. During the conventional workday, he's a full-time broker at RBC Dain Rauscher's Fifth Avenue office in New York City. He has been an investment professional for the past eight years, managing "under $50 million" for about 100 high-net-worth actors, talk-show personalities, producers and directors in New York and Hollywood. Although he won't go public with his client list, he serves a well-known MTV news anchor, a CNN correspondent, a couple of nationally-known movie critics and several soap opera stars. (You won't find stage actors on his bill, however; he says they rarely have sufficient net worth.)In his other life, Whitney is a full-time director/producer, working as long as nine hours a day writing, directing, producing, composing and filming TV shows and feature-length movies.

"People usually have only one career," Whitney says. "I always want to focus on two. What I end up giving up is, quite simply, sleep." So far, Whitney has produced four documentaries. One --"Telling Nicholas"-- will kick off a week of September 11-related programs on HBO. The film follows the ordeal of a father struggling to tell his son that the boy's mother had been killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Whitney promoted the film on "Oprah" and "Inside Edition."

Always the marketer, he takes pains to reflect some of the dazzle of his entertainment pursuits onto his brokerage career. "I have a pretty high-profile life," he explains. "My customers find me.by watching my movies on HBO, and since I'm in all of them, I always identify myself as a broker."

In "Telling Nicholas," for instance, Whitney shows footage of and talks about the destroyed offices of his former employer, Tucker Anthony. And in interviews, he promoted some of the funds that were created to assist victims' families.
Whitney has Web sites for all his films and whenever he's interviewed on talk shows -- and he's been on virtually all of them -- he's identified as a vice president at RBC Dain Rauscher. He actively courts the media, and allowed ABC to use his loft for Barbara Walters' pre-Oscar interview with Faith Hill.

Whitney was in show business long before the brokerage business. Starting at 13, he performed on TV shows like "Fame," "Star Search," and "Cagney and Lacey." He's written plays and TV treatments, and danced at Chippendale's. After marrying a dancer from the hit musical "Cats," he opened a store where the two of them walked a tightrope above customers' heads. He went on to operate a string of retail businesses (remember, he rarely sleeps) and not trusting anyone else to manage his growing portfolio, he decided to pursue a Series 7. When he joined Chatfield Dean & Co. in 1994, show business friends began asking him to manage their money.
With their potential for roller-coaster surges and dips in earnings, entertainment clients need help understanding how tax laws, stock options and business expenses affect their financial health. Entertainers, he says, worry most about job security, or lack thereof, and the possibility of extended periods without income. While that might suggest fixed-income investing, most of his clients prefer equities, particularly large-cap funds.

Not all brokers can, or even want to, specialize, Whitney acknowledges. But those who do want to concentrate one segment of the high-net-worth market can borrow his marketing tips [see box on p. 54]. he believes. And brokers who have other interests or an avocation should maximize the networking potential of their non-financial field."Wherever there are investors -- in entertainment, or aeronautics ---there are opportunities."

--Tony Chapelle


CNN fn


DIRECTOR'S FILMS: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood, Telling Nicholas, Just, Melvin, TheWorkingGirl.com
Find out more about James Ronald Whitney's Productions at the Fire Island Films website
: www.FIFproductions.com
Comments or questions about the Web site contact the Web Master at www.SolutionsWebDesign.net

© 2003 James Ronald Whitney