November 6, 2015

At Vanderbilt Financial Group’s Impact 2015 Summit, Richard Feinberg was the recipient of the Golden Bridge Award for is 50 years in the business. Richard and his brother Alan founded the broker dealer Richardt-Alyn & Co. (CRD number 5953) 50 years ago, in September of 1965. In 2002, Steve Distante acquired Richardt-Alyn & Co. and created Vanderbilt Financial Group. While Alan Feinberg passed away in 2010, Richard continues to be a valued mentor, trusted registered representative, and integral part of the Vanderbilt Family.

The firm celebrated the 50 year anniversary along with Richard by applauding his achievements after his impassioned acceptance speech which detailed his experiences and accomplishments in this ever-changing industry.  Richard treated us to what he called a “narrative” of his life and experiences in the financial industry to which his fellow Vanderbilt Advisors listened intently as many did not know just how interesting Richard is.

Richard explained that he and his brother opened the broker dealer with an Entrepreneurial Spirit with $5,000 they received from graduation and birthday gifts in combination with $5,000 from their father.  With that, they formed the first Hedge Fund in the State of New York.  The Feinberg brothers always paid “strict attention to compliance” which positioned their business as a shinning sustainable example.

Richard had kind words for Steve Distante saying that he and Alan knew right away that he was the right man to take over their 37 year old business. Feinberg describes Steve as a “young, eager man” who was unique in his “devotion to compliance and doing things the right way”. Richard also complimented Vanderbilt’s Chief Compliance Officer, Barry Champney, saying that Barry “is by far, the finest CCO with whom I have worked in my fifty years.”

Congratulations to Richard and Vanderbilt Financial Group on their 50 years of success!

Here is a full copy of his speech:

“Where does one begin?  At the beginning.

Fifty years ago my brother Alan and I pooled $10,000 (Our birthday and graduation gift money plus $5000 from our father) and formed Richardt-Alyn & Co.

We were the first Hedge Fund in the State of New York.

Alan and I worked for a small market-making firm in New York City, Russell & Saxe and I had become a trader and market maker of penny stocks.  My brother and I had a clientele of about fifty customers that added to our market-making.  I was also the back office manager and we were charter members of the NSCC in 1967.  NSCC and Bradford Trust Company would become DTCC.

In 1971 Alan and I registered as a broker/dealer when Russell & Saxe terminated their business.  We were also charter members of NASDAQ.

We did it all.  We were full clearing members of NSCC and NASDAQ.  In order to service our clientele for listed securities we became members of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

We paid strict attention to compliance and maintained dual membership in the NASD and PHLX.

We were requested to open a specialist unit in Philadelphia in 1974 and we moved our offices to Philadelphia from Jersey City.

We participated in the growth of regional exchanges of the 1970s and 1980s.  Our unit at its largest was odd-lot dealer specialists in more than one hundred dual and primary listed securities in Philadelphia.

We were charter members of the Philadelphia Options Exchange in 1975 and were market-makers and floor brokers for ten New York based broker/dealers for more than twenty years.

It was at that time, 1981 when I was elected to the Board of Governors of PHLX and a director of the clearing corporation that interfaced with DTCC in New York.  I served as Chairman of the Business Conduct Committee for nine years and Vice Chairman for six years ending in 1997.  In all that time Richardt-Alyn & Co. was prominent in the growth of the equity as well as the option exchange and we became charter members of the MSRB for our municipal bond business.

In 1998 Alan and I saw and appreciated the changing landscape of the securities business and we realized that the auction system which ran the listed securities business was coming to an end.  So we moved across the Delaware to Cherry Hill, NJ.

What made Richardt-Alyn & Co. desirable as a broker/dealer was that it was registered before 1975 which grandfathered it into many advantages.  One of them being capital requirements, the other being that it had no Restriction Letter or Membership Agreement with the NASD.

That brings us to 2002.  After being pursued by various entities to take over Richardt-Alyn & Co. a young and eager man, Steve Distante crossed our threshold.  What made him unique was that he was devoted to compliance and doing things the right way.  Alan and I had to be careful as to whom would merge with us.  We had been approached by others who were only interested in dealing fast and loose with customers and dealing with risky and questionable products.  Not Steve.

Steve insisted that we speak to the regulators to accomplish the take over according to the rules, and only according to the rules.  He came down multiple times to accompany Alan and me to the NASD’s offices in Philadelphia and arrange the transfer from District 11 to District 10A.  He forthrightly and clearly stated the business model of fair dealing and rectitude of conduct with customers.

Alan and I were convinced that Steve was the right man for us to hand off a business of more than thirty years.

Since 2002 Steve and the people he has assembled have taken Vanderbilt Securities to new heights of success.  Not only did he take the business model of a small retail and trading firm but he added new dimensions to our, yes our, firm.

All of this has been done with the greatest attention to detail and compliance.  Barry is by far, the finest CCO with whom I have worked in fifty years.  Because of Steve’s selection we have an enviable relationship with regulators.  Vanderbilt completed its first Private Placement with Barry’s invaluable help.  Vanderbilt continues to develop its business model by selling products that meet the need of our customers.

This narrative is as prospective as much as retrospective.  Keep up the good work and prosper!”