Louis Diamond Quoted
November 10, 2022
By Victoria Zhuang
Financial advisors looking to go independent usually spend anywhere from a few months to a year planning their move. For one father-son team leaving UBS, it’s been a nearly decade-long process.
Roy David Gutierrez and his son David Hale Gutierrez announced Nov. 7 the launch of their new registered investment advisor firm, Gutierrez Wealth Advisory of Little Rock, Arkansas. They were joined from UBS by director of client relations Leighann Arthur and client relations associate Hillary Canterbury. The team has a total of almost $1 billion in client assets, including $330 million in assets under management and another $625 million of retirement plan assets under advisement.
SEC records show that the firm was active as of Oct. 21. In addition to Arkansas, it is also licensed in Texas and Florida — the same markets that their old employer UBS intends to target as more wealthy families settle in the South, according to a news report by Reuters last week.
Deferring a higher payload
The father-son dynamic of the advisor team was important in motivating the move, Diamond said, because the father, contemplating succession, had ambitions for better, long-term growth outside the confines of an employer brokerage.
“Instead of just saying, ‘Hey, UBS is fine. It’s not the best, but I can just take the retirement plan,’ he was thinking much broader about what’s going to be best for the business for many years to come, and what’s best for his son,” Diamond said of father Roy Gutierrez’s thinking, adding that it was not uncommon for father-son moves to happen this way. David, the son, took “the lead role” in coordinating the move, but he “obviously needed his dad’s energy and support, enthusiasm,” Diamond said.
With bidding wars for talent raging much of this past year across the wealth management industry, the Gutierrez team avoided a temptation: a fat upfront paycheck at another firm.
“If this team, instead of going independent, went to Morgan Stanley, it would have gotten a 300% plus recruiting deal and been able to monetize the business upfront,” Diamond said. But such loans often need to be paid off over years and company benefits can vest slowly, keeping many advisors locked in place. Asked about whether this was the case for them, the Gutierrez firm declined through a representative to respond.
“They didn’t get paid a dollar to make the move,” Diamond said. “And if there is a monetization event, it won’t be until they sell the business many, many years from now.”
The wait could mean a higher payout from selling the practice years down the line, though.
“Typically you need a longer term time horizon before the economics make sense” to leave, Diamond said.