By Mindy Diamond, WealthManagement.com – Some of the wirehouses’ most-coveted advisors have caught the industry’s attention by making the leap to independence over the last few years, causing many to question the wirehouse model. After all, RIAs are expected to grow faster than wirehouse advisors this year, increasing their client base by 12 percent versus 7 percent for wirehouse FAs, according to Aite Group. Last year, RIA firms’ assets grew by 18 percent, versus wirehouse firms by 8.2 percent.
Merrill Lynch team breaks away from Bank of America (yes, ironically) to get better access to bankers
Mindy Diamond Quoted – By Brooke Southall, RIABiz – The Maher Group – the former Merrill Lynch team – had eight individuals, some with legal or accounting degrees or CFA credentials. Better yet, it had established a niche over the past decade of serving business owners with $5 million to $250 million of revenue — many of whom have or will soon be seeking specialized knowledge and connections to liquidate their holdings.
By Mindy Diamond, WealthManagement.com – There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how the industry has changed—particularly in regards to the breakaway broker trend and the move toward independence. Every industry survey from the likes of Aite Group, Cerulli or Tiburon seems to reinforce the idea the breakaway trend is picking up steam. Tiburon recently found that “fee-based financial advisors have $2 trillion assets under management, up nearly 40 percent since 2005.”
By Mindy Diamond, WealthManagement.com – Mitch, a 25-year wirehouse veteran with $500 million in client assets in the Midwest, began considering his options for a move in 2008. He was tired of the bad press about his firm and other wirehouses and decided he was financially prepared to forgo a 300 percent incentive check; he liked the idea of independence. On his own, Mitch began doing due diligence with several custodians to explore partnering with one of their existing RIAs. He had no interest in being distracted from his clients to set up his own firm; he wanted to stay focused on growth. But because of differences over economics, infrastructure, culture, or business mix, none of the firms he talked to seemed the right fit. He also realized he preferred to create his own brand. He then started talking about creating his own firm, but outsourcing the back- and middle- office work like technology, compliance and other operational functions to a third-party platform or service provider.
Mindy Diamond Quoted – By Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes – A seven-person advisory team managing $550 million broke away from Merrill Lynch in Portland, Maine, to join HighTower Advisors on Friday. The team, Simmons Wilkes Investment Advisors, extends HighTower’s reach to the largest city Down East. The advisors declined to be interviewed. HighTower says they are too busy setting up shop to take phone calls.
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