A conversation with Amir Monsefi, Co-Founder and CEO of AIRE Advisors
Amir Monsefi describes “conflicts of interest” with the ability to serve clients and grow the business at Merrill. The former RD shares how building their own RIA allowed them the freedom to innovate and remove conflicts.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed by the guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Diamond Consultants. Neither Diamond Consultants nor the guests on this podcast are compensated in any way for their participation.
About this episode…
Many advisors in the brokerage world often come to a point where they start to question their ability to serve clients.
Certainly, things may be “good enough” until there’s a desire to offer clients different services or to change the way they are charged.
Even a Merrill Resident Director, who serves as a producing manager at the firm and may have a wider perspective of what can and can’t be done as an employee of the wirehouse, can arrive at the same conclusion.
That is, there may be a better way to serve clients and grow the business.
This episode’s podcast guest, Amir Monsefi, a Merrill Resident Director with nearly three decades in the business, came to that crossroads.
He and partner Sharon Nassir started to feel conflicted: They wanted to be able to offer their clients more – from investments to advice to education – but were limited by what the firm allowed.
This “conflict of interest,” as Amir describes it, became too much to ignore. So much so that he and Sharon decided to make the leap to independence and do it their way, launching AIRE Advisors in 2020, an RIA they built on their own with Fidelity as their custodian.
And that choice led them to achieve all they wanted and then some—plus doubling their assets under management in the process.
Amir joins Mindy Diamond to discuss his journey from Merrill to co-founder and CEO of the RIA, including:
- The point of view as a Merrill Resident Director—and how that perspective motivated them to consider change.
- The pulls toward independence—and what changes he saw at Merrill that served as pushes.
- The decision to build their firm on their own—and why they didn’t opt for another wirehouse or supported independence.
- The choice to self-finance their transition—and what start-up costs really look like.
- The foundation for their growth as an independent firm—and what they are doing differently in the way of marketing and service.
For Amir and his partner Sharon, the freedom to innovate was a powerful motivator—one that ultimately benefited both the clients and the business.
Amir shares a thoughtful perspective on considering change—making this a powerful episode for any advisors who find themselves wondering what potential exists beyond their current firm.
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AMIR MONSEFI, CEPA, CPFA, AWMA®, CPWA®
As CEO of AIRE Advisors, Amir brings 30 years of industry experience as a financial advisor, including more than 20 years in management, to AIRE, where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm and growth of the business. He serves as a Wealth Advisor and as Chief Investment Officer, creating and managing investment portfolios. One of his most rewarding roles is developing and coaching financial advisors.
Before founding AIRE, Amir was the Senior Resident Director at Merrill Lynch’s prominent Century City, California office, where he oversaw more than 55 financial advisors. During his leadership tenure, Amir worked closely with hundreds of financial advisors and, in the process, gained exposure to the best practices of the best in the business. He has frequently traveled throughout the country and presented to financial advisors on optimizing the client experience. Before Merrill, he was a Sales Manager and a Wealth Advisor with UBS as well as a Regional Sales Manager and a Financial Advisor with TD Ameritrade. A graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in psychology, Amir received his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship. He holds a multitude of industry licenses and the following designations: Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), Sports & Entertainment Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM (AWMA®) and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA).
An avid traveler, Amir has visited all 50 states and, so far, five of the seven continents. He is fluent in English and Farsi, and proficient in French. He is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community: in addition to donating his time and energy to charitable causes throughout the year, he served on the Board of Directors for the Mar Vista Family Center. Outside the office, Amir enjoys water skiing, golf, tennis, pickleball, fencing, ice hockey, poker and spending time with his wife, Melissa, and children, Kameron, Chloe and Kylie.