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Mindy Diamond on Independence: Lessons from the Life of Serial Entrepreneur Steve Lockshin

Steve Lockshin, founder of AdvicePeriod, Vanilla, and others, offers a unique perspective on how an advisor’s entrepreneurial DNA can drive their ability to serve clients and grow untethered, particularly in the independent space.

Many advisors often face an unfortunate truth: The decision-makers at a firm often know very little about being an actual financial advisor. Steve Lockshin has sat on both sides of the proverbial table, and he shares two unique vantage points: The perspective of an advisor who recognizes the limitations at his current firm and the entrepreneur and problem solver who fills those gaps with new solutions.

Steve first realized his love for the wealth management industry as an unpaid college intern at Legg Mason, later shifting his skills to broker and then on to financial advisor. Yet he gained more recognition as he flexed his entrepreneurial muscles, launching some of the industry’s largest independent wealth management and fintech firms, including: Convergent Wealth Advisors, a company he founded in 1994 and later sold to City National Bank; the consolidated performance reporting platform Fortigent, which sold to LPL; and more recently, wealth management firm AdvicePeriod, which merged with Marty Bicknell’s Mariner Wealth in the summer of 2021 in a blockbuster transaction.

Featured several times in Barron’s Top Advisors and even landing the number one spot in the country, Steve’s accolades demonstrate his stature in the advisory space.

Yet it’s Steve’s prescience that’s the real story here: He seems to have the natural ability to see – and create – the next big thing in wealth management. It’s the notion of working outside the lines to create unique solutions that drive business growth and enterprise value.

In this episode, Steve discusses his extraordinary journey and shares advice with Louis Diamond, including:

  • The difference between traditional and independent firms—and how independence offers the ability to better fulfill clients’ unique needs.
  • Being in charge of one’s destiny—and how the inspiration he derives from working with others drives him.
  • Updates on his latest endeavor, Vanilla—and what motivated him to build a fintech platform that simplifies and standardizes the estate planning process.
  • The reality of AI—and what role he sees it will have in wealth management.
  • Plus, Steve shares what it’s like to be Michael Jordan’s financial advisor—and much more.

It’s an episode with extraordinary value for advisors, business owners, and everyone in between—because even if you’re building your business in a wirehouse, there’s plenty to learn from an industry powerhouse who has found pathways to channel his entrepreneurial spirit toward success.

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