Durango financial firm to start mutual fund

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Durango financial firm to start mutual fund

In downturn, Swan Wealth Advisors finds way to keep money flowing
Jim Pitchard is the director of sales and marketing at Swan Wealth Advisors. The company started in Durango in 1997 and manages $150 million for clients across the country.
Silverton lures adviser from S.C.

While Durango might be a surprising location for a mutual-fund manager, Helen “Cokie” Berenyi has proved that the rugged San Juan Mountains also can be home to sophisticated money-management firms.
Berenyi moved to Silverton last year and brought her two wealth-management businesses with her. She was visiting Silverton for a few months a year since 2006 and moved permanently so her children could grow up there.
Berenyi is the owner and chief executive officer of Red Triangle and its subsidiary Alphavest.com. She manages both ventures out of downtown Silverton, though the companies’ main offices continue to operate from Berenyi’s hometown of Charleston, S.C.
Her move was made sweeter this month when Berenyi was named the Most Influential CEO Woman in Business for 2012 by the Charleston Regional Business Journal.
“To get this award in the year in which I chose family first is amazing,” she said.
Berenyi’s newest venture, Alphavest.com, was a response to big brokerage firms’ poor treatment of small- and medium-sized investors, especially during the recession, she said.
The firm, which operates entirely online with personnel support, aims to treat all accounts the same and provide an investment option free of conflicts of interest.
“We’re not giving preferential treatment to bigger accounts. That’s the ultimate goal,” Berenyi said. The online format also allows a level of anonymity for people too intimidated or embarrassed to visit an adviser in person, she said.
Though the firm hasn’t had a large media introduction, it already has 87 clients and about $9 million under management, Berenyi said.
Her other firm, Red Triangle, has 18 clients and manages $46 million.
Thanks to the information age, “it’s been quite easy to work from Silverton,” she said.
ecowan@durangoherald.com

Durango financial firm to start mutual fund

Jim Pitchard is the director of sales and marketing at Swan Wealth Advisors. The company started in Durango in 1997 and manages $150 million for clients across the country.
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