The Silicon Review
Roberts & Ryan was founded in 1987 as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned full-service broker dealer. In April 2018, a group of military Veterans and patriotic investors acquired, recapitalized, and prepared Roberts & Ryan to employ military Veterans and create a financial engine to donate money back to Veteran causes supporting the health and wellness, education, and career transition of our nation’s Veteran community. Roberts & Ryan has a culture of giving with extreme generosity. With over $1.5 million in committed donations to Veteran’s causes, Roberts & Ryan passionately supports those who have fought to protect our freedoms.
Roberts & Ryan actively engages with numerous charities and foundations that serve Veterans and their families, such as the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Children of Fallen Patriots, Boulder Crest, the Robert Irvine Foundation, and many other world-class organizations. Programs focused on issues arising from PTSD, providing funding for Veterans who have lost their mobility, and offering scholarships for children who have lost an active-duty parent are among the ongoing causes Roberts & Ryan fervently supports.
In conversation with Brian Rathjen, President of Roberts & Ryan Investments
Q. Can you explain your services in brief?
As a full-service broker dealer, Roberts & Ryan has three main lines of business: Debt Capital Markets, Equity Capital Markets and secondary equity and fixed income trading. Our clients are Fortune 1000 corporations, Private Equity Firms, private companies that are going public, and institutional money managers who trade both equity and fixed income.
Q. Since you are a Veteran-owned firm, what qualities of your service have helped you run a successful broker-dealer firm?
Roberts & Ryan has a culture of service. Our team is comprised of military Veterans, military reservists and patriotic citizens with extensive Wall Street experience. Additionally, we have both a training program and a robust internship program that helps military Veterans and college students transition their careers into the financial services sector. Our team’s military background fosters a goal-oriented, client-first mindset. Many of the lessons learned during military service translate extremely well in this business sector. In the military you learn to analyze, adapt, and overcome obstacles to achieve success. Team above self, or as we say in the Navy, “Ship, Shipmates, Self.” We are very client-focused and always put our clients’ needs and wants first, with zero expectation of anything in return. By driving revenue, we can augment our donations to those who have served. We discuss and plan our level of charitable giving before we ever discuss profits.
Q. I see that one of your core missions is to help young adults in various spheres of their lives. Could you please elaborate on this and what are the firm’s contributions to this effect?
In addition to helping Veterans, Roberts & Ryan has donated time and money to support organizations that support the youths of disadvantaged and at-risk communities. Ironbound Boxing in Newark New Jersey, founded by Mike Steadman - a combat Marine - is one such organization. Another great program that Roberts & Ryan supports is Year Up, which provides life skills training and meaningful internships to disadvantaged youths. Roberts & Ryan has made significant donations to Children of Fallen Patriots, an organization that funds college scholarships for children who lost a parent during military operations.
Q. What technology does your firm rely on to keep up with the dynamic financial markets?
Roberts & Ryan uses Virtu Financial’s Triton Valor execution platform for access to equity markets to execute stock transactions on our client’s behalf. We use Bloomberg technology for market data, news, and information. Bloomberg also acts as a conduit in the stock execution process as it functions as a funnel of data into the Triton platform. We use TRAFiX technology as our Order Management System (OMS), and we also utilize TheFly.com for information on the equity capital markets.
Q. Could you please elaborate on the “low-touch” execution services provided by your firm?
Roberts & Ryan offers a “low-touch” platform for stock execution which is white-labeled via Virtu Financial. Equity managers have access to all the algorithmic trading mechanisms that Triton offers as a white-labeled product through Roberts & Ryan. The entire suite of algorithms can also be customized for stock execution to client specifications.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
Our goal at Roberts & Ryan is to continue to grow our client base and our revenues to the point where we can donate $5 million a year to charitable organizations. If we continue to demonstrate to our clients the added value of being in partnership with Roberts & Ryan, we will collectively give more back to the men and women who have served our great nation, and Roberts & Ryan will succeed in its mission.
Meet the leaders behind the success of Roberts & Ryan Investments
Roberts & Ryan’s Chief Executive Officer Edward D’Alessandro and President Brian Rathjen served in the Navy together in the early 1990’s. After leaving the service both Brian and Ed pursued careers on Wall Street, rising through the ranks at firms like Prudential Securities and Bear Stearns. In those intervening years they developed a strong friendship based on mutual respect that continues to this day. Both Brian and Ed are accomplished financial services industry entrepreneurs who share a great admiration for our men and women in uniform, and came together for the purpose of creating a financial engine to support our country’s military Veterans. They hope to harness the goodwill that has been generated for firms like Roberts & Ryan over the last few years to create a lasting impact in the lives of those who have given so much to our country.