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The Diamond Podcast for Financial Advisors: How Innovations in Investments, Training, and Client Service Built a $9.4B Business

What does it take to thrive in the ultra-competitive wealth management world? Gary Furukawa and Erik Morgan of Freestone Capital share how their success is driven by creating unique solutions around serving clients, training their team, building the business and managing investments.

We often speak about the competitive landscape as a positive providing maximum choice and optionality for advisors. But that also means maximum competition—and a much bigger stable of choice for clients.

For those who serve high net worth clients in particular, their success is often driven by innovation: thinking well outside the box to create unique solutions around how they serve clients, train their teams, build their businesses, and even manage investments.

Yet, the ability to think – and act ­– with this level of freedom isn’t necessarily possible for those building their businesses in the wirehouses.

For Gary Furukawa, the idea that clients could – and should – be first above all else came to him while at Smith Barney, yet it was an ethos not possible to realize within the construct of the brokerage world.

So in 1999, Gary launched Freestone Capital, a self-financed firm he built from the ground up (a much more complicated endeavor than he imagined). In 2000, Erik Morgan (from the Private Client Services group at Arthur Anderson) joined as President to lead the firm’s growth initiative.

And it proved to be a dynamic combination that propelled Freestone from $250 million in assets under management to over $9 billion today.

In this episode with Louis Diamond, you’ll learn:

  • Freestone’s innovative solutions around client service.
  • Why they focused on organic growth first before hiring experienced advisors.
  • Details about their unique, scalable training program for recent college grads.
  • Their novel approach to investing and why they opt to serve as a direct private equity investor.

And it’s the latter that you’ll find most interesting, as their roster of investments includes golf courses, real e

state, and even barrels of bourbon. But you’ll have to tune in to learn more about that!

The most successful advisors and firms recognize that growth and client service go hand-in-hand—so listen to this dynamic episode to learn how this team found innovative ways to marry the two.

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Listen to more episodes of Mindy Diamond on Independence: A Podcast for Financial Advisors Considering Change

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