A conversation with Rob Nelson, CEO and Founding Partner of NorthRock Partners
While it often seems that the typical road to independence starts in the brokerage world, there are plenty of advisors who’ve taken a different path.
Rob Nelson, Founding Partner and CEO of Minneapolis-based NorthRock Partners, joins the show to share his unique journey, which started at an independent broker dealer—a model which he outgrew, leading him to the RIA space.
And as an RIA, extraordinary growth followed with the ability to do so much more than he could under an independent broker dealer umbrella.
In this episode, Rob shares how his business serving high net worth clients – many of whom are professional athletes – has evolved over the years and continues to do so at an amazing pace.
The firm made news back in April of 2019 when they took on a capital partner: New York Private Bank and Trust’s Emigrant Partners. Then they made even bigger headlines in June when they recruited NBA All-Star Tony Parker, who recently retired from the San Antonio Spurs.
And shortly after we recorded this interview, NorthRock announced that they expanded their footprint into Chicago in a partnership with a team that shares their passion and commitment to the client experience. All that translates into incredible, fast-paced growth, pushing NorthRock’s assets under management to nearly $4.0 billion.
In this show, Rob and Mindy discuss:
- What propelled him to leave independent broker dealer Ameriprise—and what he can do as an independent firm owner that he could not within the IBD space.
- His firm’s unique client base and niche—and how his value proposition was designed to resonate with this high net worth and ultra-high net worth group of athletes.
- The ability to offer true Family Office services—and why that’s such an important component of his business offering.
- Why he chose to take on a capital partner—and how the infusion of capital will impact the firm’s growth.
- The role of inorganic growth in his firm’s business plan—and his expectations of a capital partner like New York Private Bank and Trust’s Emigrant Partners in fulfilling their goals.
Rob shares that his decision to start an RIA firm came down to choosing between the comfort and familiarity of the status quo or responding to the evolving needs of his clients. And clearly the latter has paid off many times over.
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Rob Nelson is Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of NorthRock Partners. Bringing more than 25 years of industry leadership and executive management experience to his role with the company, Rob manages corporate direction and strategy at NorthRock Partners. Throughout his career, Rob has built a reputation for integrating non-industry client services within traditional financial and lifestyle advice to create a front-leading business model.
With a focus on driving a Personal Office™ experience for every client, Rob continues to build a growing company that serves an exceptional client list of hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs, athletes, Fortune 500 corporate executives and multi-generational families from coast to coast. With a commitment to developing meaningful client relationships that transition into lifetime counsel and delivering a deep comprehensive service model, Rob continues to earn the distinct mark of a Top US Financial Advisor by Barron’s year after year.
Rob graduated from Bemidji State University in 1993, earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He proudly serves as Chairman of the Board for Ashby Legacy Fund, where his passion for igniting a belief that secondary education is attainable for every student is reinforced by a community-wide commitment to provide financial counseling and tuition support to high school graduates. Rob also serves as President of Arrow Giving Foundation, which aims to provide immediate financial support to those driving impact and influence in the world.
Rob and his wife, Lucinda, live in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Rob and Lucinda enjoy traveling with their son, Brady, and daughter-in-law, Tracy, who currently reside in Portland, Oregon.
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