Help a newbie IAR seeking to join reputable RIA

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Oct 16, 2013 4:02 pm


Hi.  I’m a tax professional business owner with a Series 65 looking to join a reputable RIA, with a client service focus , not a sales mentality.  I have a few  financial planning clients that could be brought on board as investment clients.  Who might I contact who ‘d be willing to take on someone like me with $0 AUM to start?



 Truly, I wanted to start my own RIA, but my state won’t allow me without 3 years as an IAR.  Also, would like to keep my own company name, website and brand and not be seen by current clients as “working for someone else”.  I thank you for any suggestions in advance!

Nov 12, 2013 8:33 pm

In my opinion it presents a conflict of interest for a CPA to also act as an IAR with a client... I tell my clients they need to have a CPA to help them with how to best manage the current year's tax strategy, a financial advisor to help plan for the long term, and an estate attorney to make sure what they want to happen happens after they're gone... Think Checks & Balances. Think Madoff. At my firm Transamerica Financial Advisors, CPA's who are series 65 licensed can be appointed with the firm for compensation & split commissions with the referring CPA. I think that's the best for the client. TFA reps can also offer life insurance or annuities and clients have optional money managers for their assets under management.

Dec 26, 2013 2:44 am

I agree completely. A CPA who receives compensation on as a IAR whether he is actively managing the money or not is clearly a conflict of interest. Second if you are a CPA you aren't going to have time to do a good job of managing clients money. Your best bet would be to find a RIA that would pay you some basis points for referring the business (dont expect more than 25) and you could add to your income stream that way.

Dec 30, 2013 3:01 pm

I completely disagree with the comments above. I am a CPA and have a successful RIA with $35MM in fee only advisement. I don't know what state you are in, but I will DM you the details of my firm and we might be able to help you.

Dec 31, 2013 10:06 pm

Why don't you want a "sales focus?" How do you think things get done? Don't you think RIA's still have to build a case for ACAT'ing money in and then putting it to work?

If you aren't willing to set your direction into becoming a rain maker you won't get any farther than a senior associate.

Most RIA's I know run like law firms and mid/large CPA firms: If you want to make partner you better be able to bring in new accounts and new money.

That by definition is sales.