Exploring the Independent Broker Dealer Space
A Conversation with Andrew Daniels, Managing Principal of Business Development of Commonwealth Financial Network
In 1979, Joe Deitch set out to build what he described as an “open and supportive environment where advisors could be true to themselves and to their clients, follow their dreams, and grow to their hearts’ content.”
Back then, Deitch’s vision was unique amongst what was a much more limited number of independent broker dealers than there are today. Yet he persisted, and 4 decades later, Commonwealth Financial Network has grown to become the nation’s largest privately held independent RIA and broker dealer.
What is it that’s made Commonwealth so successful in such a crowded and competitive marketplace?
Andrew Daniels, the firm’s Managing Principal of Business Development, joins this episode to answer that question and more, including:
- How Commonwealth differentiates itself from other IBDs—and how their value proposition continues to align with Deitch’s original vision.
- How IBDs differ from RIAs—and what attracts advisors to the independent broker dealer model.
- What types of advisors are best suited for Commonwealth—and how shifts in the industry have impacted their advisor population.
- What options exist for long-term value (LTV) creation within the IBD space—and how Commonwealth as a firm addresses those advisors who make LTV a priority.
- Why technology has become a key draw in independence—and how Commonwealth has continued to make big investments in integration and infrastructure.
- How Commonwealth has evolved over the past 4 decades—and what they foresee as the “next big thing” for the firm and the industry at large.
Andrew describes Commonwealth as a “massive RIA, with a built-in broker dealer” designed for “those who want to be in the money and wealth management business, not in the infrastructure management business.” It’s a great conversation about a business model 40 years in the making, and well-poised for success for many more years to come.
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Andrew joined Commonwealth in 1998 as director of account services, where he worked with his team to develop process improvements; implement new, uniform training procedures; and instill a greater focus on indispensable service. In 1999, Andrew joined the Field Development team, blending his enthusiasm for Commonwealth with his outgoing personality to share the uniqueness of each corner of the firm with prospective advisors. Today, Andrew oversees the Field Development and Transition teams, as well as the firm’s Marketing organization, helping to ensure seamless integration between how the firm communicates its brand promise and how it delivers on it for all who become part of the Commonwealth community.
A former deck officer on two ocean-going tall ships, Andrew’s passions are surfing and family.
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