Evans May Wealth
Growing Up with Merrill Lynch: A Next-Gen Breakaway Story
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Evans’ father was a 45-year veteran at Merrill Lynch—and built a practice that was literally a big part of Lizzie’s childhood. She later joined the “family business,” working at Merrill for 7-1/2 years with her father and now partner, Brooke May.
Over time, the “family feeling” at the firm started to disappear and the team became increasingly frustrated by limitations on what they could do to serve their clients and grow their business.
And since her father had signed on to Merrill’s Client Transition Program (CTP), the firm’s retire-in-place agreement, she found herself at a crossroads: Stay with Merrill, consider a transition deal from another brokerage firm or make the leap to independence.
- What senior advisors and next gen inheritors need to ask themselves when confronted with a sunset package—and how, as Lizzie shares, next gen advisors need to realize they are agreeing to “buy something they will ultimately not own.”
- What the real drivers were behind their decision to leave Merrill—and why they opted for independence instead of a recruiting deal at another firm, particularly at such a young age.
- What Evans May Wealth can do now that they could not do as employees of Merrill—and how that’s been a real gamechanger for their business.
- And more…
Founder & CEO
Interchange Capital Partners
6 Months Later: Why a Former UBS Lifer Considers Independence His “Do Over”
Ahmie Baum was perfectly comfortable at UBS a decade ago, he started to see things a bit differently when his son Brian joined the business.
It was an awakening that made him dig deep and evaluate everything to create a clean slate. For the first time in decades, Ahmie started asking himself if UBS was indeed the right partner for the future of the business—a legacy that he and Brian would build upon and Brian would someday take over.
With $420mm under management, Ahmie felt confident in their growth and gained a new sense of courage to “do it all over again.”
Ahmie talks about:
- The events that precipitated his change of heart after 4 decades in the wirehouse world—and what helped him to build his “confidence” in the independent space.
- The other options he and his team considered—and how it was the voices of frustration with the wirehouses from millennial team members whom he heard most clearly.
- The limitations Ahmie faced at UBS—and how independence allowed him the ability to execute upon strategic growth initiatives in ways he could not have in the wirehouse.
- The role of legacy—and how it became clear that once his son joined the firm, it was time to consider other options.
- And much more…
TriaGen Wealth Management
Solving for Freedom, Control & Succession: How the Next Gen of a $330mm UBS Team Forged a Path to Independence
As a child, Bryan Garris played in the Dean Witter office where his grandfather once worked, and his father Nick Garris and partner Orlo Elfes started building their practice. So, just out of college, Bryan joined Nick and Orlo at Morgan Stanley and in 2008 the team moved to UBS.
A decade or so later, Bryan started listening to this podcast, as well as those of Michael Kitces and others, and began questioning the value they were receiving from UBS—something he characterizes as a “misalignment” of the bank’s priorities with their own.
Bryan wanted what he was finding other independent advisors had: The freedom and control to serve clients and not have to worry about selling products or obligations to the bank. He wanted true open architecture and the ability to market and build their brand.
But with two partners who had far less of a runway meant getting them on board with the vision he saw for their business as an independent firm. And it was a far easier sell than he expected.
- The conversations he had with his senior partners about their future—and how going independent could impact each member of this multi-generational team.
- The decision to pass on UBS’s ALFA program—and how they solved for Nick and Orlo’s ability to monetize their life’s work upon retirement.
- The challenges a next gen advisor faces when trying to establish their role in the business—and what Bryan did to ensure he was “carving his own path.”
- And much more…
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