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Mindy Diamond on Independence: How Ross Gerber’s $2.2B Firm Found Its Voice in Independence

The co-founder of Gerber Kawasaki weighs in on everything from what it takes to build a $2.2 billion RIA and the power of freedom in the independent space, to crypto, digitization, ETFs and Elon Musk and Tesla.

The name Ross Gerber has become a familiar one in the wealth management industry.

No doubt, his popularity was fueled by his direct and outspoken nature once he began to publicly challenge the thoughts around everything from crypto to digitization to Elon Musk and Tesla.

Yet Ross first established his place in the industry as the co-founder of the $2.2 billion RIA Gerber Kawasaki—a firm that he and partner Danilo Kawasaki started with $50 million in client assets just over a dozen years ago.

Ross got his start in wealth management at Sun America, which was acquired by AIG. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit—and he and Danilo said, “We have to start our own firm.”

In a conversation with Mark Casady, the CEO of LPL Financial at the time, they shared their vision of a firm that would leverage marketing, media and technology in a way that no one else was currently doing.

It was 2010, and as Casady saw it, they were the future.

They “negotiated their freedom,” as Ross put it, and spun out of AIG (which later became SagePoint) to LPL’s broker/dealer model.

Things really took off when independence bestowed Ross with the freedom to share his thoughts in the major media, including CNN, CNBC, Fox, Reuters, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.

Yet it’s his deep-rooted investment knowledge and business strategy that helped propel the growth of Gerber Kawasaki—innovative thinking that continues to drive the success of the firm.

In this special episode, Ross discusses his extraordinary journey with Louis Diamond, including:

  • Making their way through the 2008 crisis—and how he and Danilo ultimately built a $2.2 billion mega-firm.
  • The freedom to innovate—and why building their own RIA was the best option to achieve their goals.
  • Thinking differently—and how creating a truly unique value proposition was a game-changer for Gerber Kawasaki.
  • Collaboration and idea creation—and why Ross feels getting people together in the office is critical.
  • Ross’s thoughts on crypto—and why working in “both financial systems” is smart for the firm.
  • Starting an ETF—and what they learned in the process.
  • Building a media presence—and what it really takes to become a public figure.
  • The cost of advertising—and why social media and video proved more effective for their firm.
  • Plus, what drove his public discourse with Elon Musk—and why he recommends buying Tesla stock today.

Through independence, Gerber Kawasaki found the freedom to market and innovate their way to better serve their clients and become a $2.2B enterprise. In this episode, Ross outlines their process and offers sound ideas to help advisors re-think their business processes and goals.

Download a transcript of this episode…

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