The Ten Tenets of Search

Tenet #1 Service isn’t something we offer in hope of selling you a product. Our product is service. We want you to judge us from the first phone call.

Tenet #2 Tomorrow’s heroes are sometimes one or two levels down on the org chart. Knowing who they are is the mark of a great search firm.

Tenet #3 Our service is an expense if you don’t put a premium on talent, and a value if you do.

Tenet #4 The market intelligence you receive from a quality search is sometimes as worthwhile as the ultimate hire.

Tenet #5 If you are committed to paying a recruiting fee, a retained search is almost always a better experience than a contingency effort.

Tenet #6 In the Financial Services industry, we don’t have factories, plants, and physical inventory; we have people, capital, ideas, systems, and our reputation. It makes good business sense to set the bar high on your people, because at the margin they have a huge impact.

Tenet #7 “Recruiting hard to manage easy” is a pretty shrewd management mantra. Recruiting is an art form but is born out of the science of research.

Tenet #8 As a search firm, we try to stay away from the expression “It’s a small world” as it leads to a lack of curiosity and research. If it’s a small world, you’d know everybody in it.

Tenet #9 Sometimes we wonder why companies spend millions on naming rights and advertising schemes, but choke on truly investing in their people, or paying to find the best possible talent. If you spend on both advertising and people, you’re bound to win. If you tilt toward the people side only, you’ll probably win also, except with much more profit.

Tenet #10 We are passionate about two things: having our clients respect us, and finding them valuable, productive people. The day we lose that passion is the day we should be fired, or quit.


Financial Services is a complex and nuanced business. We add value in several verticals:

  • Asset Management: Deep experience across all product structures and asset classes. Product exposure and expertise span Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs), Structured Products, REITs, BDCs, MLPs, Co-Mingled Funds and Collective Trusts. Asset class exposure spans Domestic and Global Equities, Domestic and Global Fixed Income, and all forms of Alternative Investment Strategies (Private Equity, Hedge, Managed Futures, Commodities, et al).
  • Insurance & Retirement: Life Insurance, Property & Casualty, Annuities, Insurance Sub-Advisory, Insurance General Account, Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution
  • Wealth Management: Expertise spanning national, regional, independent Broker Dealers,  various wealth platforms, and large independent RIA’s.
  • Asset Servicing/FinTech: Clearing, Custody, Trading, Technology, and Back Office solutions that Asset Managers, Wealth Managers, Broker Dealers, Banks, Insurance Companies, and multiple entities rely on.

Strategic Partners



DAkdirect has a unique solution to employers who don’t want to commit to a retained search, but haven’t found the right candidate through Job Boards, Links, and personal networking. DAKdirect is designed for a variety of users:

  • Small, closely held companies seeking a key hire.
  • Emerging growth companies in rapid expansion mode, with multiple needs.
  • Established mid & large cap organizations with Talent Acquisition departments who would like an additional, unique tool to aid in recruiting campaigns.


If you would like more information, please contact Michael DeBaecke at 610-834-1100, ext. 123 or


Gladstone Associates, LLC

DAK’s affiliated company, Gladstone provides comprehensive Transaction and Business Advisory services focused on the independent asset management and wealth management industry. Services include:

  • Buy-side Advisory
  • Sell-side Advisory
  • Succession Planning and Merger
  • Valuation Services
  • Strategic Business Advisory


If you would like more information, please contact Daniel Kreuter at 610-834-1100, ext. 101 or



Envestnet Institute on Campus

Envestnet Institute on Campus is a program that is designed to show young men and women on college campuses the incredible career path opportunities that exist within Financial Services, and in the process help to drive and develop the next generation of industry professionals and leaders. The program is the culmination of efforts stemming from leading industry organizations including Wheelhouse Analytics, Envestnet, The Money Management Institute (MMI), and FiServ. EIOC is now available at 17 major universities, and provides curriculum created and approved by the MMI.


If you would like more information, please contact Jordyn Rosen at 610-834-1100, ext. 121 or


Convergence LLC

Convergence advises alternative and traditional asset managers in achieving optimal performance across the infrastructure platform. They use proprietary Benchmarking Data at the FTE, Functional and Activity level and analytical tools and staffing models to deliver and implement a variety of tactical and strategic actions that reduce Management Company and Fund expenses without increasing operating risk.


Current social trends indicate that by the year 2042, Americans who identify themselves as a minority – that is, Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander – will outnumber whites. An ever-growing multi-cultural population calls for an equally diverse workforce. Even so, representation for minorities in the financial services industry falls short.

While the industry has made great organic strides in the last ten years, there are still fewer minorities employed in exempt positions in financial services than in the general population, particularly in the executive suite.  We offer a unique and effective approach to Diversity hiring including a Diversity Mapping solution unique to the industry.


Board Registry

Tap into our expertise. With over a quarter century of retained search success in the global Financial Services markets, DAK Associates has had a number of requests from our clients seeking accomplished executives to join their boards, for Mutual Fund firms as well as corporations both large and small, in and outside the Financial Services industry. To meet this demand, we have established a registry of outstanding Financial Services executives who are willing to serve.

The DAK Board Registry is unique in that it is comprised solely of Financial Services executives, although the firms we serve may be outside the industry. Independent board directors must be accomplished, highly ethical business executives with the experience, common sense, and insight to help companies deal more effectively with today’s issues while fulfilling their role of representing shareholder interests.

If you have a board opening or are interested in serving (or have a colleague you would like to refer), please contact Lynn Thompson at 610-834-1100, ext. 113 or