Then & Now: Koontz’s career hits a ‘Pinnacle’ in Rogers

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 816 views 

Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the Aug. 29 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.

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Randy Koontz has spent the past 32 years working in the financial services industry.

In 1990, he started as a financial adviser for A.G. Edwards & Sons in Bella Vista. He worked there for 12 years before he joined Morgan Stanley in Bentonville.

He was first vice president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named him to the Forty Under 40 class in 2005.

The following year, he and Scott Shepherd established Pinnacle Wealth Management in Rogers. The firm is independent of Raymond James but continues offering investment advisory services. Initially, they were employees of Raymond James, but in 2018, they became self-employed.

Koontz, 55, is co-owner of Pinnacle Wealth Management. He said Shepherd had hired him to work at Morgan Stanley.

“We founded Pinnacle Wealth Management because we saw a need for independent wealth management and financial planning away from the Wall Street firm influence,” Koontz said. “In ’06, whenever we opened the first Raymond James office in Arkansas here in Rogers, the term ‘too big to fail’ didn’t come along until 2008-09 with the global financial crisis. But frankly, it didn’t surprise us much that several of the big Wall Street investment firms and banks either went bankrupt or ended up being bailed out.”

Koontz said Raymond James is not a Wall Street firm and didn’t need any financial assistance during the Great Recession. He expects Pinnacle Wealth Management to remain affiliated with Raymond James until he retires.

“We work with retirees, high-net-worth families, professionals in Northwest Arkansas” and have accounts with clients in about 30 states, he said. “We hang our hat on our proprietary wealth management portfolios that we run ourselves that we developed after the global financial crisis. They’re called Market Adaptive.”

He said that Market Adaptive Portfolios is a product offering of Pinnacle Wealth Management exclusively.

“We manage money for our clients, and then we manage money for other Raymond James independent advisers’ clients,” he said.

Since starting Pinnacle Wealth Management in 2006, he said one of the most significant changes has been the in-house management of client portfolios instead of using third parties to manage money for clients.

“We’re doing business with some of the third and fourth generations of our clients from the ‘90s,” he said. “We do a little bit of institutional, but 98% of our clients are families and individuals.”

He said that his career highlights include enduring in a “stressful and challenging industry” and developing and implementing proprietary portfolio management. Before creating a suite of portfolios, he said he would recommend other portfolios to clients. In 2015, the firm started managing its own portfolios after spending several years developing them and learning to implement them in-house.

“The technology has gotten to a point where we can do it in-house,” he said.

Goals include continuing to serve existing clients and growing the Market Adaptive Portfolios business to a much more significant amount of assets under management. About 80% of the firm’s business comprises managing its own portfolios.

The firm has two full-time employees and a junior partner, a financial adviser.

While he’s originally from Charleston, Koontz considers Rogers his hometown. He’s lived in Rogers for about 30 years. He initially moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1986 to attend the University of Arkansas. He was previously a linebacker for the University of Central Arkansas and was a member of the 1984 football team that won the NAIA national championship.

Recently, he was selected as the recipient of the 2022 Bill Fleeman Gentleman of Distinction Award. The award will be presented on Sept. 16 at the 19th annual Bill Fleeman Gentlemen of Distinction Gala, a fundraiser for Hope Cancer Resources. Koontz had been on the organization’s board for about 20 years, including as chairman. The organization was Northwest Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute before merging with Hope Inc. to become Hope Cancer Resources in 2009.

Also, for about a decade, he was on the board for the Arkansas chapter of the National Football Foundation.

He and his wife, Deanna, have four grown children. He enjoys playing golf, attending Razorback games and pheasant hunting.