In two recently announced moves, Edward Jones advisors decamped for independence with Kestra PWS and Raymond James Financial Services.
Even though these were two separate transitions from Edward Jones, the advisors shared common motivations: To eliminate the constraints of the employee advisor model and build equity in an enterprise they would own.
It’s not unusual for us to hear common frustrations from the advisor-clients we work with—particularly those who work for the same firm.
That was the case with the advisors from these two recent moves from Edward Jones:
The red tape is overwhelming.
There are too many limitations that impede growth.
And the once-beloved culture has changed.
Mike Davis started his wealth management career at Edward Jones over two decades ago. The self-proclaimed “Jones Lifer” built his business the old-fashioned way—from scratch. As Mike started to look toward the later stage of his career, the desire to build a legacy he owned and could one day monetize grew stronger. Yet he felt limited in his ability to do so at Jones.
For Stephen Batts and JD Swart, with just less than a decade at Jones each, the notion of independence seemed to give them greater potential to do what they loved most. That is, working with clients and being the “financial quarterback” for the most critical decisions in their lives. In looking longer term, the idea of building a team and equity in an enterprise they owned was attractive—yet seemed impossible to achieve as employees of Edward Jones.
Each started to think about change on their own, especially after watching friends and colleagues leave the firm. However, they never took a strategic and process-oriented approach to due diligence—which made the exercise overwhelming and yielded little actionable results.
So, they contacted Diamond Consultants. After getting clarity on their goals and frustrations, we narrowed down the landscape to what best aligned with their objectives, introducing them to firms they might not have considered on their own.
Both looked at a broad spectrum of independent broker dealers and RIA platforms. Given their desire for greater freedom and attraction to independence, we eliminated employee models from the equation.
For Mike, the turnkey approach of Kestra PWS was the winner. As one of the most “white glove” versions of independence available, he felt confident that Kestra would support him from pre-transition through launch. Plus, there was a real community of advisors and thought leaders he could tap into along the way.
Stephen and JD chose independence with Raymond James Financial Services, valuing the strong brand name, support, technology, and streamlined transition process. Yet it was the large community of former Jones advisors and business-friendly culture that felt like “the Edward Jones of old” that gave Raymond James an advantage.
At the end of the day, each landed on the model that best matched what they were looking for. In addition to streamlining the arduous process of due diligence, we negotiated robust economic packages that prioritized the things that mattered most to them—and set them well on their way to achieving their best business lives.
Diamond Consultants is pleased to have represented these advisors and looks forward to hearing more about their success in the future.