Get To Know:
Dave Reynolds, Spearhead Administrative Services

November, 2023
Dave Reynolds

This month, our “get to know” series has a little twist.  Rather than talk to someone within IPL, we interviewed someone at another company with whom IPL works very closely - Dave Reynolds, the Chief Marketing Officer at Spearhead Administrative Services.  

Read on to learn more about Dave and Spearhead Administrative Services, including how they work with IPL, how Dave got to his current position and what he enjoys doing in his free time (including how he got into improv).

Spearhead Administrative Services (“SAS”) is in the administration business.  What does that mean, exactly?

Dave: At a high level, we help RIAs and investment managers to “lift up” how they manage custom portfolios and fund strategies for clients on a traditional taxable basis, and “drop” that same approach within tax-advantaged asset locations…or more specifically, Private Placement Life Insurance (“PPLI”) and Private Placement Annuity (“PPVA”) contracts.

Our job is to make that process as simple and efficient as possible, so that the solution the investment manager ultimately delivers to their client looks and feels similar to more traditional fund structures and separate managed accounts that they oversee.

At SAS we leverage our experience, procedures, and technology in this marketplace to create a turnkey process for RIAs and asset managers. We help equip them to manage assets within this space, as well as offer these solutions more broadly to their clients.

Dave Reynolds
How does SAS work with a private placement carrier like IPL?

Dave: Investment solutions within the PPLI and PPVA marketplace are typically custom-tailored to the specific needs of investment managers and their clients. That can involve a lot of nuances depending on the investment strategy employed, which is something that insurance carriers like IPL often do not have the bandwidth to efficiently handle themselves.

Hence, our job is to work with the investment manager to build that solution, “package it up” into a format that IPL understands and expects, and deliver it to the carrier in a timely and repeatable format.

Ultimately, we streamline the process for investment managers to create new solutions for their clients in this space. In doing so, we also free up IPL’s time so they can focus on what they do best – including underwriting and issuing new policies, reporting, and educating the marketplace about the insurance products they provide.

What do you find fascinating about PPLI & PPVA?

Dave: PPLI & PPVA is a juxtaposition of different disciplines. Technically speaking, these are variable life insurance and annuity products. That said, they are used by many advisors (and their wealthy clients) as a tax and asset management tool. Further, the applications for these products extend into estate planning, income tax planning, and charitable giving strategies, depending on a client’s circumstances.

Suffice to say, there is always more to learn in this space. Finance has a lot of cool niches, and I just happened to go down this path specifically. If you are intellectually curious and like to solve problems, this is a unique space to work in.

Dave Reynolds
What do you wish more people knew about PPLI & PPVA?

Dave: Over the past decade, we have witnessed tremendous growth in the alternative investments space. Hedge funds, private credit, private equity, and similar asset classes have exploded in popularity – especially amongst UHNW, Family Office, and Institutional investors.

Solutions like PPLI & PPVA can potentially enable investors to access these asset classes much more tax-efficiently, just by altering the asset location through which they invest. Most investors have some semblance of “what” they want to invest in, and PPLI & PPVA helps them focus on the “how.” Through the latter approach, often you can improve net-of-tax outcomes in a meaningful way for a wide variety of clients.

Turning from SAS to you personally, what was the career path that led you to your current position?

Dave: I’ve always been interested in finance and investing. I grew up in Madison, WI, and graduated college through UW-Madison’s Personal Finance Program.

I started working in the hedge funds space post-college, and I was introduced to the Co-Founders of SAS’s predecessor firm a little over a decade ago. Over time, I have worked across a variety of disciplines – including wealth advisory, asset management, life insurance structuring, and now investment structuring and administration.

Ultimately, I like to solve problems, as well as meet and work with interesting people. Fortunately, that is something I get to do every day.

We have a feeling the answer to this is going to be good.  What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?

Dave: Living in South Florida for 14 years, I like to swim and golf. Both activities get me out of the office, and fortunately are accessible 12 months a year!

Further, several years ago I started performing standup comedy. I did it initially to practice my public speaking. Over time, it became something I genuinely enjoy.

Post Covid, I’ve been performing as a cast member at a local Miami improv theatre called Just the Funny. The thrill of creating a scene with a team onstage - in front of a room full of strangers - is hard to describe.

There’s a famous quote from the former UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” Improv and standup comedy teach you that it’s OK to fail and to be vulnerable. It’s how you get better. I think that’s a great skill to learn, no matter what you do in life.

Dave Reynolds on Stage

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