Advisor Group’s acquisition of American Portfolios Financial Services reminds independent reps whose broker dealer recently sold that whether content or not with your firm, the news is unsettling. So what does an IBD advisor do next? Here are 4 things that can help you to regain control of your business life.
News of major acquisitions of broker dealers is nothing new—particularly in recent years.
In 2017, the headline was LPL’s purchase of 4 NPH firms. In 2021, Cetera Financial Group acquired Voya Financial Advisors. And many more in between.
Today, it’s Advisor Group’s acquisition of American Portfolios Financial Services, the Holbrook, NY-based broker dealer with some $40B in assets under management and 850 advisors spread across 400 branches throughout the country.
As an independent rep whose BD was just sold, whether you’ve been content or not with your firm, there’s no doubt that the announcement is unsettling. Someone just threw a grenade in the room and changed all that you built your life’s work upon. No one asked you if you wanted things to change; it just happened. It’s as though you’ve lost all power over your business life.
Of course, there will be changes to processes and culture—that’s just what happens when there is new ownership, despite promises to the contrary. So it’s absolutely natural for one’s initial response to be a mix of excitement, deep concern, and in some cases, outright panic.
What we tell advisors who are confronted with a situation like this is the following: Stop and take a deep breath—and, most importantly, use this as an “opportunity” to get your power back. Consider these 4 items as your “next steps”:
- Define your goals and agenda. Without knowing what it is you are looking for, it’s impossible to weigh your options. Now is the time to dig deep and determine what it is that you really feel would be best for your clients and your business life.
- Start the process of fully vetting the acquiring firm’s offerings, platform, and retention package. Many advisors find that the grass is actually greener with the new firm and this purchase may be exactly what your business needs to take things to the next level.
- Get educated on the landscape. Things have changed a lot, even in just the past year. There are a lot of high-quality broker dealers offering significant transition dollars, and, in many cases, superior client service, technology, and support.
- Connect with trusted support. Contact an objective and experienced recruiter to identify the right opportunities that would help you achieve your goals. It is important to streamline what can be an arduous process, and remain focused on your clients.
Any time a firm is sold, advisors owe it to themselves – and, as fiduciaries, their clients – to make sure that where they will land is, in fact, the very best choice. After your own due diligence, you may find that the new BD is actually the right one for you. Or you may find that better opportunities actually exist elsewhere.
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to be proactive in the role you play in your own future. So start now on your way to regaining the power you have in order to forge the path to your best business life.
Some helpful links for IBD Advisors:
Going Independent with an RIA vs. IBD: A Comparison Fact Sheet
When it comes to freedom and control, there are key differences between the independent broker dealer (IBD) and registered investment advisor (RIA) spaces that every advisor should be aware of. Download it ->
The Independent Advisor’s “Gut Check”
Many advisors affiliated with broker dealers find themselves at a point in their careers when they question whether where they are is indeed the right place to best serve their clients. It’s at that same point when you realize that what got you “here” may not get you “there”. That’s why we created the “Gut Check for Advisors at Independent Broker Dealers”—to provide you with benchmarks to evaluate your current broker dealer, as well as any others you may consider. Download it ->
Updated June 23, 2022