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Mindy Diamond on Independence: An Independent Advisor’s 3x Revenue Growth Story

Matt Blocki left the insurance broker/dealer world to build Equilibrium Wealth, allowing him to step away from being “product-driven” and focus instead on being “client-driven.”

It’s amazing how many of the industry’s top advisors got their start building a book of business from scratch with one of the major insurance-based brokerages. Similar to wirehouse training programs, there may be no better place to learn the ropes of the profession—including critical sales and technical skills.

But in many cases, those who have their sights on the longer term and building a business with a lasting legacy and maximum enterprise value, often find themselves limited in the environment—especially those who morph their business beyond life insurance to a focus on investments and comprehensive wealth management.

That was the case for Matt Blocki, who started at Northwestern Mutual more than a dozen years ago and built the practice to $120 million of assets under management.

After getting educated on the industry landscape, he realized he could build the business beyond where it was and have greater freedom to market and introduce new services to his clients.

That is, to step away from being “product-driven” and focus instead on being “client-driven.” And in Matt’s mind, the only way to do that was to go fully independent—without a service provider, but rather build an RIA firm himself.

And so he did—and amid a pandemic to boot.

In June 2020, he launched RIA Equilibrium Wealth with Fidelity as custodian—a move that resulted in tripling his revenue to $3 million and more than doubling his assets under management.

In this episode, Matt shares his story with Mindy Diamond, including:

  • Opting to build an RIA from scratch—and why that path was chosen over supported independence and other models;
  • The key things he could do outside of the insurance broker/dealer model—and how each helped to foster Equilibrium’s growth;
  • The “head trash” that held Matt back—and how he was able to move beyond it; and
  • The “product-driven” environment of the b/d—and why he felt it was incongruent with his goal to be client-driven.

Listen in as Matt shares a relatable journey for any advisor considering their business life—whether to make the leap to independence or to bolster growth for their business.

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