By Mindy Diamond – Advisor movement amongst top-producers in the industry – that is, those from traditional brokerage firms and banks who are managing a billion dollars or more in client assets – is on the rise, with over a dozen of these uber-teams having moved since the start of the year (including a $7mm Merrill team managing $1B in assets that jumped ship just last week to set up their own RIA). And while the biggest of the wealth management world seek greener pastures to grow their businesses, there’s much the rest of the industry can learn from this wave of movement.
Our weekly insights for advisors: Articles authored by our team designed to broaden your perspective and arm you with knowledge—because knowledge is power.
By Barbara Herman – Whenever an advisor contemplates a move – regardless of the destination being a wirehouse, boutique, regional or independence – it’s important to assess the portability of the business. That is, identifying if the assets can be moved, and whether or not your clients will follow. Only when you have worked through this thought process can you really determine if a move makes sense.
By Mindy Diamond – “I heard Bob blew up his business—none of his clients followed him to the new firm.”That was the buzz around the water cooler a few weeks after a top-producing advisor left the wirehouse he once called home to go elsewhere. It’s all too common for a “false narrative” (as it’s come to be called) like this to spread like wildfire—thick with perceived truth yet without any regard for source or facts.
By Howard Diamond – Many tenured advisors possess a similar trait: They view the past through a strong pair of “rose-colored glasses.” When they think about their current firm, or potentially a new one, there is an expression of longing for “what was”—essentially, a place that no longer exists. Storied names of Wall Street past – such as E.F. Hutton, PaineWebber, A.G. Edwards, Advest, Lehman Brothers, Piper Jaffray, and Salomon Brothers, just to name a few – typically elicit nostalgic smiles and reminiscences of “the good old days.”
By Mindy Diamond – “My firm continues to frustrate me, and I am reasonably certain that it isn’t the best place to serve my clients for the long haul. But, I am making a good living, I haven’t lost a client, and I am reluctant to go through the hassle of a move.”
By Deborah Aronson – It’s natural to begin an exploration process with preconceived notions, guided by confirmation bias; that is, the desire to “prove” our thoughts are well-aligned with reality. Yet, as the due diligence process unfolds, you may find yourself more confused than when you started—maybe even losing sight of what prompted you to explore in the first place.
By Mindy Diamond – There are many times in life when we find ourselves in a position where we need to make a life-altering decision. Whether you consider yourself pragmatic or not, it can be hard to remain focused on what really matters most.
By Mindy Diamond – With wirehouse advisor discontent at an all-time high, the waterfall of alternative options robust, and free agency for many advisors only months away, we are on the verge of another wave of significant movement. But this time, if advisors choose to go, where they will wind up will look very different than it did years ago—making the landscape even more fractured than it is now.
By Barbara Herman and Allison Brunwasser – We’re accustomed to having advisors speak candidly and confidentially to us, sharing the things that annoy or disappoint them most about their firms, the industry and about being an advisor. But over the past 6 to 12 months, advisors have become more vocal about areas of discontent. That is, more seem to openly admit that they’re not happy with their firm.
By Louis Diamond – While the financial advisory profession is still largely a meritocracy, your production and book of business no longer solely dictate how attractive you are to prospective employers. As wirehouses have scaled back on hiring advisors (not entirely by choice), regional firms, boutiques and independent platforms now control the recruiting market. The result? Cultural fit and likeability can make or break a deal.
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