Jeffrey A. Dunham

jeffrey_dunhamJeffrey Dunham founded Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc. (DAIC) in 1985 with the uncommon idea at that time, that the fees his clients pay should be tied in some way to the performance of the funds they own. Initially focusing on Del Mar, La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe regions of San Diego, he built his reputation and a successful investment advisory firm on performance, with over $100 million in assets in 10 short years.

Naturally, as Jeffrey’s approach proved successful and the firm grew, the industry began to take notice. By the mid-1990’s, Jeffrey was approached by other advisors wanting to offer his performance based funds. This marked a watershed moment for DAIC, soon proving that distribution through other advisers and broker/dealers was a great way to build a business far beyond the scope of an individual practice.

By 1999, DAIC had grown to manage over $200 million in assets through its Sub-Advisers and added sales professionals throughout the U.S. to market to other advisors. Even during the bull market of the late 90s, investors were drawn to the idea of aligning Sub-Adviser compensation to the performance of their investments. Financial advisors learned that offering a performance-based alternative typically led to deeper relationships, more quality referrals, and the doors began opening to handle wealth management needs beyond just investments.

As client demands increased, DAIC’s services grew to include investments management services, fixed income and cash management, asset protection and ultimately wealth transfer strategies; leading to the birth of Dunham Trust Company (DTC)* in 1999. Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, DTC was built to help clients grow, protect and transfer wealth; and establish a lasting legacy for future generations.

When the market turned bearish at the startof the 21st century and many investors wondered what they were paying investment managers for in the face of significant losses, the appeal of performance based funds really piqued the interest of savvy investors. This continued to fuel the growth of DAIC to roughly $300 million in assets by the end of 2002.

In December 2004, DAIC launched publicmutual funds based on tried and true performance fee incentives similar to its private funds. These institutional sub-advised funds also operate on performance fees, commonly known as Fulcrum Fees.** True to the principle on which Jeffrey founded DAIC, when a Sub-Adviser outperforms the applicable benchmark, compensation increases – if they underperform, they get less. Today, DAIC manages over $600 million in assets through its Sub-Advisers funds and has scaled the company to manage billions.

Much of the DAIC success story can be attributed to Jeffrey’s determination to stand firm by the niche he’s created. His willingness to introduce performance based fees and compensation as an integral component of helping align the interests of all parties has resulted in establishing client and advisor relationships that span generations. DAIC is built on leadership, not following the crowd or latest trends. Jeffrey did not build DAIC to be a commodity business and has never tried to be all things to all people.

As DAIC strives toward its goal of $5 billion in assets under management and beyond, Jeffrey remains true to the tenet on which he founded his company: Performance Counts. Wherever possible, DAIC ties the compensation of our Sub-Advisers to the performance of your portfolio. With the company’s track record, extensive range of investments and services, Sub-Adviser relationships and the like-minded industry leaders he’s assembled to work with him, we believe DAIC is well on its way toward its goal of becoming the best, most trusted and admired wealth management firm in the industry.