Robert Fragasso of Fragasso Financial Advisors Celebrates 50 Years in Investment Advisory Industry
PITTSBURGH, PA: In 1972, Robert (Bob) Fragasso started as a sole practitioner with a large wirehouse firm. As the industry evolved moving away from fixed commissions and into product creation to fill that revenue gap, Bob began his journey to becoming an independent advisor. Proprietary products were being sold by large investment firm brokers, and the customers were left to decide what was right for them under the assumption the broker was an advisor, not a product salesman. Bob was not comfortable with this confusing arrangement. Fragasso stated, “Investment advisors should not work for the product companies; instead, they should be representing the investors.” It is that mindset that led to the creation and independent model that Fragasso Financial Advisors still adheres to today.
Since the move to independence in 1996, Fragasso continued to grow the firm adding clients, assets under management, employees and the resources and services to support the goals of clients. Fragasso Financial Advisors operates from a unique structure, and it is positioned for perpetuity and growth with a diverse internal management team and an outside board of directors. In addition to the absence of proprietary products and unbiased advice, Fragasso’s employees, including the financial advisors, are salaried professionals. Employees are also company owners through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Senior vice president and manager of client experience, Christine Robinette, explains, “I was there in 1996 preparing client paperwork the weekend we proclaimed independence, and here we are now with a codified client experience where every touch point is automated through a custom-built CRM system. We are still serving some of the original clients and now their heirs and future generations. Witnessing Bob firsthand creating and carrying out his vision for the firm has been an honor. It’s been an amazing experience to take part in the firm’s growth, and I look forward to what is still to come.”
Over the years, Bob has been recognized by many organizations for his success in the investment industry and for his volunteerism, board service and commitment to animal welfare. Since the program’s inception, Bob has been recognized as a Top Independent Advisor in the state of PA and nationally by Barron’s magazine.1 He has shared his entrepreneurial wisdom in his book, Starting Your Own Practice: The Independence Guide for Professional Service Providers, John Wiley & Sons, 2020. Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps, he is a vocal advocate for veterans and was awarded the Globe and Anchor Award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund. Bob may be best known for his tireless commitment to animal welfare in the region, currently serving as the treasurer for Animal Friends. Bob has served the organization in various capacities for over twenty-five years. He began the Animal Friends for Veterans program where trained emotional companion dogs are provided at no cost to veterans encountering physical and emotional challenges.
It is also worth mentioning Bob’s commitment to financial literacy. Financial literacy is a key issue where only approximately 50% of the American population have the skills and knowledge to make the decisions and actions to attain their financial goals.2 Bob began teaching lectures on personal finances at libraries, universities, and community colleges in the late 90’s and 2000’s. This financial education strategy led to the onboarding of many clients – some of whom are now generational clients. More financial advisors from Fragasso adopted this strategy, and the firm continues to produce educational content for clients and prospects on a consistent basis.
“Bob has been a tremendous leader in so many ways for the firm, the investment industry, the Pittsburgh business community, and for me personally. While Bob possesses confidence and determination, as many strong leaders do, he does so without ego and truly leads by example. I have had the benefit of working closely with Bob for fifteen years, and the lessons learned have been invaluable to me.” said Daniel Dingus, president and executive vice president of portfolio management at Fragasso Financial Advisors.
Fragasso’s anniversary is officially in September. The firm kicked-off the 50-year celebration with a commemorative 2022 calendar debuting the anniversary logo. Additionally, photos from their archives documenting their growth and evolution over the years can be found on Fragasso’s social media posts and website. For more information, please visit https://www.fragassoadvisors.com/fragasso50
1 The Barron’s rankings are based on data provided by around 4,000 of the nation’s most productive advisors. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance isn’t an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment-picking abilities.
Investment advice offered by investment advisor representatives through Fragasso Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.
About Fragasso Financial Advisors
Fragasso Financial Advisors is an independent, employee-owned, and primarily fee-based investment management and financial planning firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, with additional suburban branch locations in Western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1972, the firm today has $2.1 billion under management and non-advisory assets combined. Fragasso serves 2000 clients comprised of individuals, families, business owners, institutions, and nonprofit organizations. For additional information, send an email to email@example.com
Fragasso Financial Advisors
610 Smithfield St., Suite 400