Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the Jan. 4 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Rogers financial adviser Dustin Colebank has worked in Northwest Arkansas’ financial services sector for almost 25 years. Any sort of thought about early retirement is not on his mind.
Case in point: After spending his career working for two of the most recognizable investment firms in the country, Colebank and three other longtime business partners founded an independently owned firm in November 2019 called Hexagon Capital Partners, a registered investment adviser (RIA).
Colebank, Brent Henry, Mike Hudson and Josh McCaslin are the owners.
“When we started, some of my friends who’re executives in this market were teasing me about it,” Colebank said in a recent interview. “They were saying that they’re starting to think about retirement, and here you guys are trying to start [a new business] up.”
Colebank, 47, is part of a team of six individuals who’ve worked together for years as Hexagon Group, working as part of larger brokerage houses — rivals Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.
“We came to a point in our life where we wanted to own our firm and create something a little more tailored to our clients’ needs,” Colebank said about starting the new company. “But I was very fortunate to spend 22 years with two of the best investment firms out there.”
Hexagon uses an advisory-only business model to offer various services to individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and business entities. The services include financial planning, consulting and investment management for a limited number of high net worth clients.
As of June 11, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Hexagon had $416.6 million in assets under management (AUM), all of which was managed on a discretionary basis.
Colebank’s approach to being a successful financial adviser is to build strong relationships with clients. He said helping people understand their investments is the most enjoyable aspect of his work.
The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal recognized Colebank as a Forty Under 40 honoree in 2005. As a teenager, he got his first taste of money management from an uncle, who worked for Merrill Lynch in Texas.
“I opened my first brokerage account with him when I was 16,” he recalled. “I traded some stocks. Back then, you [read] the newspaper for the quotes.”
A Benton native in central Arkansas, Colebank bought and sold stocks while earning a zoology degree from the University of Arkansas in 1996. He interned with Morgan Stanley before joining the firm in 1997 as an assistant vice president and financial adviser. Merrill Lynch recruited Colebank to work in 2002, where he eventually joined Henry and formed Hexagon, a wealth management team within Merrill’s Rogers office.
“We’ve been together ever since,” Colebank said, referring to Henry. In June 2012, Hexagon changed brokerage houses again, establishing Benton County’s first Morgan Stanley Smith Barney office in Rogers.
In addition to the four partners, Pam Raben, portfolio manager, and Toni Peckenpaugh, client manager, round out Hexagon’s small and highly specialized team. Colebank said the continuity of their several years of working together is critical to the new firm’s success.
“You’ve got to have a team that gels well together,” he said. “We’re excited about what the future holds for our company. I attribute that to having a wonderful client base but also being in Northwest Arkansas. It’s a beacon of growth in the country, and there is an entrepreneurial spirit here. What better place to be and an exciting place to start a new investment firm.”
Colebank obtained his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania’s famed Wharton School of Business. When asked what advice he would give to someone aspiring to work as a financial planner, he mentioned the career commitment.
“It’s not a 9-to-5 job. It’s a 24-7 job,” he said. “It’s a high-stress level career, but to me, that is not a negative. It’s stimulating stress.”
Married with two teenagers, Colebank is a former board president of a local Ducks Unlimited chapter. He also supports various charitable organizations and was a Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter board member for six years (2013-2019).