Manny Frangiadakis on What Differentiates TPWM from Other Firms


by Manny Frangiadakis, AIF®, CPFA®, Co-Founder and Principal

In December 2014, Manny Frangiadakis was interviewed as a guest on Radio Entrepreneurs. Hosts Jeff Davis and Peter Morrison spoke to Manny about why Twelve Points Wealth Management was founded, what it means to be an RIA, and his path to a career in wealth management. The following post includes key excerpts from that interview.

Why Twelve Points was created

Right out of college, Manny started his career in financial services at Morgan Stanley. During his four years there, he met “a great group of individuals,” including Dave Clayman and Francesca Federico. “This last year we decided that we would better be able to suit our clients by maybe going private,” says Manny, “and we looked into that opportunity and decided to form Twelve Points Wealth, which started June 1st.

When asked why they decided to leave Morgan Stanley, Manny explains, “We had some issues with some clients not being able to do some things that they wanted to. When you’re at a brokerage firm, it’s more about fitting the client into the wirehouse’s needs than what the client needs, and we wanted to act more on a fiduciary standard, which is why we went to an RIA format.” Manny quotes his partner, Dave Clayman, “The wirehouses lost the ability to benefit their clients when they became public, because at that point, they cared more about their shareholders than they did their actual clients.”

What it means to be an RIA and commodities firm

“What separates us [from non-RIAs] is that we act on fiduciary responsibility,” states Manny. “We can only do what’s best for the client. It’s not what’s best for us, we’re not making money on what we sell versus what other people sell, we’re not getting a claim on the asset. We’re doing what’s best for them.”

Furthermore, the fact that Dave and Manny are Series 3 licensed to trade commodities differentiates Twelve Points from other firms. “We get a global aspect of what’s going on in the world, whether that’s currencies, energies…any type of commodity that fluctuates from geo-political events,” describes Manny. “We pretty much have an eye on anything that’s going on in the world, which gives us a really good idea of what’s happening in the market on a day-to-day basis.”

How Manny became a wealth advisor

Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, Manny started off learning from his grandfather, who opened a diner. “I remember being three or four years old and just plopping into a booth and watching my aunts and uncles, and my mom and my dad, and everybody else running around servicing that diner,” he says.

Manny’s father launched a food distribution company and built it from a two-man shop into what is now the largest privately-owned food distribution company in New England. “I started working there when I was twelve years old, [doing everything] from sweeping the floors to building inventory to stocking the warehouses to doing deliveries. Anything and everything in that industry, I’ve touched.” Manny didn’t necessarily know he’d go into finance, but he was interested in it. “ I was born very competitive. Through playing sports in high school and college, I knew that finance was something that could [continue to] drive me.”

While Manny was in college, he interned at Morgan Stanley. His father asked him to take a look at the 401(k) statements for his company’s retirement plan to look for anything unusual and provide input. “I looked over the stuff, and, honestly, they were getting obliterated by fees and I was like, why are you invested in these assets?,” remembers Manny. In the process of helping his father make improvements that benefited both his company and his employees, Manny realized he wanted to help other business owners do the same. “As soon as I went to Morgan Stanley full-time, I started doing research on that,” he states.
Manny Frangiadakis regularly appears as a guest host on Radio Entrepreneurs, focusing on financial issues that affect business owners and high-net worth individuals. Tune in monthly here.

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