After decades working mostly for big firms, two local investment advisors have struck out on their own and lured over some extra talent to join them.
Preston Dillard and Scott Storey recently launched 3Chopt Investment Partners, based in the West End.
The UVA grads each took different routes through the industry ahead of launching their own firm.
Dillard, 49, spent 17 years at Thompson Siegel & Walmsley, before the local investment management giant, also known as TSW, was acquired by Pendal Group for $320 million last year. Dillard was with Bank of America’s private banking division prior to that.
Storey, 48, was a managing director with BB&T Capital Markets, before most recently working for a family office in South Carolina.
With some years under their belts, the longtime friends began to ponder taking a leap.
“If you were going to start over and you had a blank piece of paper and a fresh start, how would you build it?” Dillard said. “We’re at a point in our career where we could think about it that way.”
Added Storey, “We wanted to be independent. We wanted a high-touch model.”
They took comfort in having grown up together in Richmond and going through UVA at the same time, while thinking through whether two old pals would make for good business partners.
“We did ask, can two good friends manage all the things that come professionally?” Storey said.
Dillard said the answer became clear. “When you think about working with someone, you work with people you admire, people that are really smart, people that are driven and people you can trust,” he said.
Since launching as a duo in April, 3Chopt has since brought on three additional hires, all of whom followed Dillard over from TSW.
Will Thomas joined last month as director of operations, as did Elizabeth Ware as the firm’s director of wealth management, and Cindy Cogbill as director of client relations.
They operate out of an office just west of Willow Lawn at 1801 Libbie Ave.
Storey and Dillard said one of the most difficult parts of the launch was picking a name for the firm.
“It’s really hard to find a name,” Storey said.
Dillard ultimately stumbled upon their moniker close to home.
“I live on Three Chopt Road and was just kind of looking out my window thinking ‘that would be kind of interesting,’” Dillard said.
The 3Chopt group is now looking to win the business of managing investments and wealth for individuals, business owners, families, and select non-profit institutions.
While they’ll target clients mostly around the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, part of their leap includes building a new book of business from the ground up, while relying on their experience and connections.
“We’re very much from scratch,” Storey said. “We are banging on doors.”