Leaving a wire: Question from other thread

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Oct 22, 2009 10:24 am

I figured I would start a new topic because my question was not on topic of the original thread.



Northfield stated,



"Also, if your ultimate goal is to be an independent RIA, there is, in my opinion, no faster route to building the critical mass needed to launch on your own than by starting at a wire."



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That is something I have been wondering about. I see that many RIA's did at one point start at a wire. What I am wondering is, how hard is it to take your book with you when you leave a wire? After training you and giving you a starting salary, the benefit of the huge brand name, I would think they would fight tooth and nail to not let you do this.   How does it really work or happen? Am i misunderstanding something?

Oct 22, 2009 10:49 am

The following website had an excellent 3 part article on a huge ML (I think) team that left to go independent.  I couldn't find it within 2 mintues, so here is relevant article:

 
http://www.riabiz.com/a/44432
 
edit: Here it is: http://www.riabiz.com/a/30235
Oct 22, 2009 2:31 pm

I've seen the article.  They are a $2B team (with a "B"), so keep their experience in perspective.

Oct 22, 2009 8:24 pm
ns101:

I figured I would start a new topic because my question was not on topic of the original thread.



Northfield stated,



"Also, if your ultimate goal is to be an independent RIA, there is, in my opinion, no faster route to building the critical mass needed to launch on your own than by starting at a wire."



------------

That is something I have been wondering about. I see that many RIA's did at one point start at a wire. What I am wondering is, how hard is it to take your book with you when you leave a wire? After training you and giving you a starting salary, the benefit of the huge brand name, I would think they would fight tooth and nail to not let you do this.   How does it really work or happen? Am i misunderstanding something?




It depends on how the clients became yours and how strong your relationships are with them.  If you originated all of your client relationships (meaning you brought the clients into the firm), chances are they will go with you (if you've done right by them) since you were their entree into the wirehouse.  If the bulk of your accounts are inherited (passed along to you from the branch manager), chances are those clients will likely stay at the firm once you decide to leave, since they clearly didn't follow the advisor who originated the relationship. 

The wires will generally try to retain your clients after you leave, but I believe the battle is won or lost long before you jump ship.  Your clients will be called and FAs who were formerly your buddies will say some nasty things to try to convince your clients to stay, but it all comes down to how loyal they are to you.  If your relationship is strong, they will follow you and ignore the firm's/ new fa's overtures.  If your relationship is weak, then the client will likely entertain the new FA's pitch and you're in for a battle, and will likely lose.

Bottom line is, originate your own business, treat your clients like gold and they will follow you to the ends of the earth.



Oct 23, 2009 12:11 pm

I started at a large bank and built my business primarily through the bank referral system instead of doorknocking, cold calling..etc.   Back when that referral program worked well, I was able to build a nice book of clients within a few years.  I also had some inherited clients that were given to me.  Some worked out nicely, most were garbage.






 
I always sold myself, not the firm.  I also serviced and treated my clients like gold.
 
Now that I've gone Indy, most of my clients are coming with me.  Even some of the inherited clients are moving over which I did not count on.  The common theme is that they have always been happy with the "service" and "trust" me. 
 
To echo georgia, it's all about relationships, not wheter or not you are with this firm or wirehouse/bank...whatever.  
 
For me, the bank referral program which no longer exists was ideal for me since I hated cold calls, doorknocking.  I commend those that have the balls to pound the pavement or hit the phones.  It wasn't for me though.