Going independent

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Apr 15, 2013 12:03 am


I'll start by saying I am currently an FA with one of the big wirehouses but have contemplated going independent for a few months now. I'm at the point where I know this is what I plan to do and intend to execute that plan in the next 3-4 months.



I have been an FA for a little under 2 years now and my AUM are in the 6-7mm range (family and close friends). While i do enjoy my job and want to make a lifetime career out of this, I know I do not want to do it in the program i'm in now. I also know my family and friends will come with me (at least 5mm of it).  In it's current form, 90% of it is fee-based, when I make the transition, 100% of it will be (probably at 1.25%). I am young (20s) and have very few expenses, I can live off little for the next year or two. I am also quite experienced in portfolio management, performance is one of my lesser worries.  I have a large contact base of very high net worth individuals but I've decided to wait til I'm independent before actively pursuing the rest of those prospects -- it'll be cleaner that way especially with my planned departure date being in a few months. 



My point in writing this is to consult those of you who have made the switch before. My biggest question is the process of moving these clients (there are only a few and they are 100% loyal to me vs my current firm). I want to be completely legal about the process so i'm trying to do my homework.  I have been told in passing by other FAs in my firm that anyone who leaves to go to another firm can't actively solicit their client's for 30 days, but I also read in my agreement that there is a 180-day non-solicitation clause.  To get around that, i have been told as long as my clients ask me where i'm going (and it's not intiated by me), then i can tell them, and as long as they request to move, it's 100% legal. Basically they have to make the effort, it can't be from me.



Have any of you run into such issues when going from a big firm to your own RIA? Keep in mind this is family and very close family friends, they will want to move to me, no questions asked. Is it pretty straight forward: once I leave the firm, i establish my RIA/Register, and then begin the transfer process -- and i shouldn't be receiving any nasty legal letters from my prior employer? I know that's an oversimplification but am I missing anything, how do I cover my ass? 



Any help would be great, thanks. 



Apr 20, 2013 1:19 pm

I have no experience with this, but I read somewhere that they cannot go after you for taking family with you. And your close friends should be bale to work around it, tell them to move themselves to your new bd without you as the account rep first?

Are you going to use your 66 and 7? I am contemplating the same, but just sticking with my 66. Not to hijack your thread, but does anyone know where we park our licenses? The B/d or our new llc?