By Janee Law
When John Dragotta, president and CEO of Melville-based financial firm Sovereign Global Advisors, wanted to open up his own branch at age 25, he ran into a little trouble. He said people thought he was too young.
“Nobody would let me open up a branch and then finally I convinced a firm to give me an opportunity to be a branch,” said Dragotta, of Dix Hills, now 41.
Two years later, the branch was the company’s biggest producer, he said.
By 2008, the firm was officially named Sovereign Global Advisors and continued to grow, becoming its own broker dealer and then an investment advisory firm.
The financial services organization, located at 68 South Service Road in Melville, provides a wide range of investments, securities, execution, and wealth management services to an established and diversified client base, including corporations and high net worth families.
“For almost 20 years that I’ve been in the industry, we only worked with high net-worth cliental and businesses and business owners,” Dragotta said. “Within the last year, we decided we just want to help everybody. There’s no minimum, if someone needs our help, we’re going to give to them.”
Dragotta graduated from St. Anthony’s High School and went on to attend Hofstra University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1997. He said he chose his career path because it came naturally to him.
By 1997, he landed his first job at a large firm.
“Wow, I’m very lucky to be surrounded by so many smart and successful people,” he said to himself.
“It wasn’t only about what I could bring to them, but it was also about what I could learn from them. It was something that worked very well.”
Now the head of his own firm, Dragotta said, he wants to help make a difference with his clients and the community.
“I feel like there’s a constant staircase that we have to climb and build,” he said. “It just gives us more tools and more of an ability to help our clients, and from that creates revenue that we can in turn help out more in our community.”
With that, the firm has worked with a variety of different charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Safe Center, The International Rescue Committee and more. Dragotta continues to expand the philanthropy work by reaching out to local charities.
He also wants to expand the firm’s reach within the Town of Huntington.
“I truly would like to be known as the good guys,” he said. “I feel like brokers have bad reputations and it’d be nice if we can lead in the charge of changing that view. We truly want to be helpful to people and help them maintain their goals.”