W. Dean Karrash, CFP®, MBA, CPA
Principal, CFO & Financial Advisor
GET TO KNOW W. DEAN KARRASH, CFP®, MBA, CPA
- Name: Dean Karrash
- How long have you worked at BLB&B: I was very fortunate to sit next to Frank Burke at a business conference in 2002 when I was President of another company called Rutherford, Brown & Catherwood in downtown Philadelphia. Both of our firms used the same clearing partner (First Clearing, LLC) and we wound up getting to know each other at a conference in Toronto, Canada when we met during a group business session. We ended up having quite a bit in common – I would drive past the old office building in Spring House on the way to the Ambler train station for work, we lived a few miles away from each other near Chalfont and we both had an interest in old cars. We actually became friends and eventually he invited me to stop by the offices to get to know the other employees. One thing led to another, and several years later in 2004, I ended up joining the firm after we sold Rutherford, Brown to a large insurance company. For me, the transition to Burke, Lawton, Brewer & Burke seemed very natural from both a business and personal perspective. Over the course of 20 years, we have successfully evolved the company from a hybrid broker/dealer and investment advisor to the financial planning and investment firm it is today, BLB&B Advisors.
- Why did you decide to become a financial advisor: I have always wanted to be a financial advisor and have taken steps along the way to help prepare for a career in financial services ever since my first job. While I originally started out as a CPA working at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in the financial services industry, I was always exposed to some aspect of the investment advisory business while auditing many large and small broker/dealers and investment advisors. After leaving public accounting and joining a local investment firm running their accounting and finance departments, I was able to get my MBA and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations which helped with the transition. In addition to getting registered with FINRA, I started to work with clients. This experience helped in my transition to Burke, Lawton, Brewer & Burke and BLB&B Advisors and gave me the confidence I needed to make it a career.
- Name a fun fact about you that would surprise others? When I was in high school in the late 1970’s, I bought a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible for $900. After spending another $1,000 or so, my Dad and I restored it during the summer between my junior and senior year and I drove it throughout the remainder of high school and college. After graduating from college (and in need of a more practical car), I ended up selling it to a nice woman who wanted to use it as a prize for her church carnival. It must have been a pretty decent car because she ended up successfully selling $8,000 worth of raffle tickets using it as the grand prize. While I miss my Mustang, I still own an old car – a 1969 Corvette Convertible.
- What is your favorite vacation destination and why? While I have been fortunate to travel to many great places around the globe, Rome is a city that is always at the top of my list of favorite places. Aside from being home to some of the most amazing monuments, art, food, and architecture in the world, the history is so fascinating. Wherever you turn, from the Coliseum to the Vatican, there are incredible sites around every corner. While the Vatican and Michelangelo’s artwork are certainly breathtaking, I happen to be an even bigger fan of Bernini and the sculptures he created using marble. If you ever have a chance to travel to Rome, make it a point to visit the Borghese Gallery and marvel at the Apollo and Daphne sculpture. The lifelike motion and intricate detail he was able to carve from the marble is breathtaking!
- What do you like to do outside of the office? As you may have guessed from the answer above, my wife and family like to travel whenever we can. We have taken a number of cruises and trips to many fantastic locations around the world and these experiences have provided us with a lifetime of memories! Teaching our children how to ski when they were young has also provided many wonderful family adventures to amazingly beautiful locations. My wife and I have been incredibly fortunate to have raised two happy and healthy young adults who are now embarking on lives and careers of their own.