April 27, 2020
By Jeff Berman
As if breaking away from established banks and wirehouses didn’t already present challenges for advisors, Chris Freimuth and Jim Perkins told ThinkAdvisor they had to overcome additional obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to launch their own RIA firms in March.
One of the downsides was the “uncertainty” that a crisis like the current one “brings to investors’ minds in general,” according to Freimuth, who left Bank of Oklahoma, where he worked for the past 18 years — the past two as managing director and, before that, as president and chief investment officer of its parent company — to start Elk River Wealth Management in Denver.
Meanwhile, the “biggest challenge” that Perkins faced while leaving UBS to start the boutique hybrid RIA firm Quantum Private Wealth in Lake Forest, Illinois, was “not having actual people on site to assist with the paperwork,” he told ThinkAdvisor.
“The process is paper intensive … because the majority of our clients have layered entities,” he explained, adding: “There is printing, marking where to sign, overnighting, collecting and scanning. All take time. And you do not want to make mistakes [and] have to go back to the client twice.”