After defecting from Schwab a year ago, Mike Golaszewski departs Pershing

The techie helped develop strategies and websites for both companies

Sunday 11.27.11 by Brooke Southall

After leaving Schwab Advisor Services to join Pershing LLC just a year ago, Mike Golaszewski has left the company and has headed back to the Bay Area.

He joined Jersey City, N.J.-based Pershing in 2010, moving from San Francisco to New York to take on a role within its technology products and services group. See: A key Schwab web manager jumps cross country to Pershing.

Golaszewski’s departure comes on the heels of the (unrelated) departure of Natalie Wolfsen, who also recently left Pershing recently after being lured away from Schwab about two and a half years ago. Wolfsen, a vice president of products at Schwab Advisor Services, became head of all new products for Pershing in July 2009 and now is working for First Eagle Investment Management. (We will report more details if we get them.)

As a Pershing director, Golaszewski helped determine strategy for the firm’s NetX360 platform and also served as the chief technology officer for Pershing Advisor Solutions, the RIA unit of the company.

Prior to joining Pershing, he served as the managing director of Schwab Advisor Services’ web-based technology platform, where he was instrumental in some of the overhauls that were made to that system. See: Schwab’s big effort yields big improvements.

Thanks for the memories

Golaszewski wouldn’t comment directly on his departure, other than to thank Pershing for giving him the opportunity to explore Manhattan while also wishing his former colleagues the best of fortunes. Golaszewski is exploring opportunities on both the East and West coasts but says that he believes that the “epicenter” of the RIA industry is in San Francisco because of the presence of firms like Schwab, Advent Software, Junxure, and many large RIA practices.

Golaszewski is currently living in San Francisco.

Tim Welsh, president of Nexus Strategy in Larkspur, Calif., is not surprised that ex-Schwab employees don’t seem to last long at Pershing. Welsh says he saw similar scenarios play out with former colleagues. Paul Wichman, a Schwab Western territory sales chief, left Pershing in February 2009 after heading its sales effort for four years and T.J. Gilsenan, who worked in separate accounts at Schwab, left Pershing at about the same time.

Both went to Pershing and then left after relatively short tenures. “You underestimate the value of a culture. When you go from San Francisco to Jersey City, the changes are dramatic,” Welsh says.

He adds: “And Pershing is an old-line clearing company that traces its roots back to dusty, low margins. That’s about as unsexy as it gets. Building from that — and everyone would like to work for Mark [Tibergien] — that’s difficult.”

When contacted, Pershing declined to comment for this article citing its policy of not commenting on the departures of employees.

Back to Schwab?

Asked whether he could potentially end up back at Schwab, Golaszewski said: “They haven’t asked, but I’d probably consider it for the right opportunity. Schwab has always been a great place to work, especially if you get excited about this industry….While I’m really interested in returning to the Bay Area, I’m also passionate about serving the RIA community and so I’m looking at a host of opportunities…I absolutely intend to stay connected to this industry.”

Ideally, Golaszewski is looking for a berth where he can “continue to lead in the development of technology-related products and services to help simplify and drive efficiencies within advisors’ front- and back-offices. I’m a strategist and product guy at heart, in addition to being a technologist.”

Of course, life is never that simple. Golaszewski originally made the leap cross country partially in support of his partner, Melissa, who is a production manager for a major U.S. apparel retailer. She still lives in New York.

Mike Golaszewski | Tim Welsh

Schwab | Pershing | Advent | Junxure | Nexus Strategy