- change ups
Yarch named Regal’s COO
Brian Yarch, one of the three original founders of Regal Financial LLC of Kentwood — at the age of 22 — has been named chief operating officer of the company.
Yarch will be responsible for the internal and external operations of all the Regal companies: Regal Investment Advisors, Regulus Advisors and Regal Holding Co.
Regal Financial Group is an independent, integrated financial service firm at 2687 44th St. SE. Its affiliates include 100 brokers in 16 states who collectively manage an estimated $1 billion of assets. About 14 people are currently employed at the Regal headquarters in Kentwood.
Regal Financial Group was founded in January 2000 by John A. Kailunas II, J. Lawrence Taunt and Yarch. Regal had been an independent part of American International Group Financial Advisors Inc., and the Regal brokers had been AIGFA’s “largest producer group in the United States,” Kailunas told the Business Journal a year ago.
AIGFA underwent serious negative publicity after the 2008 bailout of its parent company, AIG, by the federal government. AIGFA subsequently changed its name to SagePoint. Citing the “turmoil” at SagePoint, Regal ended its relationship with SagePoint in February 2010.
Regal announced a new partnership one year ago with American Portfolios of Holbrook, N.Y. American Portfolios Financial Services Inc., a broker-dealer, functions primarily as a technology support service for independent financial professionals in private practice.
Kailunas said a year ago that Regal is in the process of forming its own broker-dealer organization called Regulus Advisors. Yarch said Regulus Advisors will handle all of Regal’s backroom services for its investors and may be fully operational within the next two years.
Yarch, now 33, is a native of Alpena who received a bachelor’s degree from Hope College when he was 21. He immediately went to work at John Hancock where he met Kailunas and Taunt. About six or seven months later, they left John Hancock to form Regal.
Regal is based in Greater Grand Rapids because “this is where we all lived when we started the company, and we think this is a great community. Not too big, but big enough,” said Yarch.
Regal Financial Group is growing, according to Yarch.
“We did a lot of restructuring this past year, and part of the restructuring was changing some duties around. We had a good last quarter, and we’re coming into the year pretty strong and plan to have a good year,” said Yarch.
As for the economy, in general, Yarch said it appears to be “heading in a positive direction.”
“I think we have a lot of work to do. I don’t think we’re out in the clear, but I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.
Tense situations on the world stage, such as the turmoil in the Middle East, can create a ripple effect that triggers emotional factors, affecting how people make investment decisions, he said.