Duncan-Newman Associates

Bringing Midwest Culture to the West Coast

Move to WFAFN brings new values, platform to Duncan-Newman Associates

Los Angeles is the city of stars, sunshine, surfboards, and sand. The lifelong residents and Hollywood transplants march to the beat of their own drum. It’s an atmosphere and a way of life that few places in the U.S. can relate to, especially the Midwest.

When Bob Duncan and Brad Newman of Duncan-Newman Associates in Agoura Hills, on the west end of L.A., made the move to WFAFN, they were able to combine the way of life they had always known with the Midwest culture that WFAFN brought to them.

“Growing up in wirehouses, we were steeped in the culture of L.A. and to an extent New York,” said Newman. “It’s an aggressive culture. WFAFN runs off of Midwest values, and it’s a very different culture than we were used to. It is driven by really strong interpersonal relationships, which you don’t find at a wirehouse.”

After working for wirehouses for more than 50 years combined, Duncan and Newman knew it was time for a change. They did a lot of research and interviewed a wide variety of broker/dealers before choosing WFAFN in 2016. After working through the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, they wanted to make sure they had a strong parent company holding their clients’ assets.

“Before joining WFAFN, there was so much turnover that we constantly had to rebuild relationships with our managers,” said Duncan. “It wasn’t becoming a comfortable fit for us because we were always having to prove ourselves to new management. So we started weighing our options and the possibility of going independent, as well as the highs and lows of what we knew it would entail.”

One of the benefits Duncan and Newman saw as they considered a move to WFAFN was more freedom with how they communicated with their clients. In order to keep their clients in the know of what the ever-changing laws and regulations mean for their investments, they provide updates to a webpage on the team’s website called “Bob’s Desk.” This is a chance for their clients to gain insight on how certain items in the news could affect them and their investments.

“One of the things that has been central to our growth is a very personal and down to earth way of speaking to clients about what is and isn’t important for our clients in the news,” Newman said. “Bob has a folksy way of talking to clients about difficult things that they really appreciate and resonate with them. Having that in one central place on our website gives clients a place to access it when it’s convenient for them. It also helps us drive clients to our website where they can set up appointments to discuss other important financial topics that might be important to them.”

Not only did WFAFN allow and support Duncan and Newman’s platform to communicate with clients, it also gave them the ability to develop their own brand.

“WFAFN was a means to an end for us,” Duncan said.

“We knew we wanted to eventually be able to brand ourselves. Within six months of making the move, we were able to do that. We made our practice’s brand about ourselves and what we can uniquely offer. WFAFN provides that flexibility, which made the move so easy for us. The only regret is that I didn’t do it 20 years sooner.”

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). Duncan-Newman Associates is a separate entity from WFAFN.