Wire to Indy in this environment

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Mar 24, 2009 10:48 pm

Considering going indy but concerned its too tough an environment to move.  The indy firm is a national firm but not recognizable in my region and I'm worried clients may balk b/c never heard of the firm.  Any feedback of recent moves from wire to indy in the past few months are welcome.

Mar 25, 2009 8:40 am

As many have posted in the past, you are the product.  The b/d you choose to hire for necessary services is not material.  The name on your paycheck should only ensure that you follow industry rules (compliance) and only dictate to you the days of the month you get the paycheck.  Brand imaging only applies to a naive consumer.  Every big corporate brand in our industry is on the take from the Gov't.  They have proven, just like congress, that they cannot effectively manage the situation.  Your clients call YOU with questions, not the 800 number of the BRAND to speak with a $7.25 hourly employee. 

 
If your clients are with you, they are with you.  If not, and they are lost during your transition, so be it.  Do what makes you successful and press forward.  Be an advocate for your client, not a slave to brand awareness.
Mar 25, 2009 8:48 am

We made the move in late November of last year - amid the Wall St. turmoil, bailouts, reserve fund debacle, etc.

 
Really didn't have a problem.
Mar 25, 2009 10:31 am

After 2.5 years as an Indy with LPL, the "what ifs" that ran through my head before making the jump, proved to be non issues.  Make the committment, move forward and know that from day one, you will be building your own business. 



Keep expenses low, keep prospecting and work like heck.  You will be successful.
Mar 25, 2009 1:11 pm

In a down market, the worst thing one can do is take no action.  Your clients will respect that you are making a difficult decision at this time.  A few things to consider.  Make sure the firm you choose carries accounts at a recognizable clearing firm.  People want to know their money is safe and clients make the checks payable to the clearing firm that carries their brokerage accounts.  As for your fear about name recognition, it is more important that they recognize who holds onto their assets than the name of your broker/dealer.  Most of the independents have reps that use a DBA name, so name recognition is not the critical factor.  You are.  LPL is the biggest independent out there, yet what does the average person know about LPL?  When you do move, make sure you can tell your clients why this change is good for them. 

 
If you have not been servicing your accounts, you are right, they may not move with you.   Service the @#$% out of your accounts for 90 days before making any move. 
 
Good Luck. 
Mar 25, 2009 1:43 pm

I made a move a few years back to a privately held, self clearing BD that's over 100 years old. It was a great decision. Payout is great, access to many different managed platforms and selling agreements with just about every fund company or insurance carrier you can think of. Let me know if you would like to know more about the firm.

Mar 27, 2009 9:49 am
sickowire:

Considering going indy but concerned its too tough an environment to move.  The indy firm is a national firm but not recognizable in my region and I'm worried clients may balk b/c never heard of the firm.  Any feedback of recent moves from wire to indy in the past few months are welcome.



I went to a conference a few months back where a servey was performed asking 6000 clients with $1-$25 in assets if they were looking to leave the wirehouse firm for a independent advisor.  80% said yes.  Even if half were lying, that is still a lot of people. 

I think this is one of the best times to think about indepdence.  The big firms have ruined thier barnd and the adviosor now owns thier trust.  Clents will get it as long as you position your reasons correctly.

Consider opening your own RIA.  The clinets are leaving with you, not the firm you are joining. It is easier than you think.  We help advisors do just that.  We are not recruiters!!  If you want to learn more, please give me a call.

ash
cell: 609-462-5756
www.FAfreedom.com

Mar 27, 2009 12:43 pm

I left Smith Barney 2 months ago to join a growing Indy B/D who clears through Pershing.  I haven't had any pushback from clients.  The wirehouse firms have laid a yellow brick road to leave.  Some of the key things I focused on for my clients was a TRUE open architecture platform, no tiered money market rates and lower account fees.  Personally, the story is even easier to tell with Pershing b/c they are the #1 clearing firm on the street and owned by Bank of NY Mellon, who is primarily a custodial bank and trust company.  THey immediately gave back their TARP money and have made it through this whole banking crisis relatively unscathed.

SickofWire, if you would like to learn about my B/D, send me a personal message and we can talk.  We have a great platform and are definitely worth considering.

Mar 27, 2009 10:55 pm

I just left a month ago to go Indy from ML. The response has been fantastic. I had people that were a lot angrier at ML than I had ever imagined. Of my top 30 households only a couple even asked much about the new company, they were just glad that I was out of ML.

Mar 29, 2009 8:51 am

I am thinking about leaving Smith Barney and would like more information about your B/D. The new grid is killing me and their arrogance is pissing me off. I have a great manager and would really like to see the entire office make a move but I think that is wishful thinking.

Thanks,
Skip
Mar 29, 2009 11:36 am
Delmarva:

I am thinking about leaving Smith Barney and would like more information about your B/D. The new grid is killing me and their arrogance is pissing me off. I have a great manager and would really like to see the entire office make a move but I think that is wishful thinking.

Thanks,
Skip



Delmarva:

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I have been hearing a lot of the same comments lately.  The one item
that I think most advisor's do not get is that there are two parts to the
advisor's world:  One is RIA and the other is BD.  Most advisors will
look for a BD to affiliate with and think that is going independent.  I
think that avenue is a hit or miss.  My first three clients asked me get
them out of their indy BD situation after a year.  One was the largest ML
producer in Arizona. 
Opening up you own RIA firm is fairly straight forward and you can do that with
ZERO assets.  BD is a different situation.  BDs are harder to
setup.  For adivisors that want a BD relationship I have a series of BDs
that I will refer clients.  The mistake most make in this model is the
advisor will create a relationship with a BD and the BD wants a percentage of
the RIA business.  So now as an advisor you are thinking, what is the
point why don't I just join an indy BD.  Well I have relationships where
the BD does NOT take a percentage of the RIA business.  So now you as the
adivisor own your own firm making a 100% of the revenue (no markups on the
products) and about 80-90% on the BD business.  And you NEVER have to ask
your clients to sign another account transfer form!!! 

As far as lifting your whole office, I am working with a EJ manager to
potentially do the same thing.  At the end of it the manager will act as
manager of the new independent firm that is owned by the advisors as
partners.  If you think this is a good model, please give me a call and we
can talk further.  At least having all the information will help you make
a good decision.



Good Luck.

ash
www.FAfreedom.com
609-945-7100 x 101