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Mindy Diamond on Independence: From Merrill Resident Director to Breakaway

Amir Monsefi, the co-founder and CEO of AIRE Advisors, describes “conflicts of interest” with the ability to serve clients and grow the business at Merrill. The former resident director shares how building their own RIA allowed them the freedom to innovate and remove conflicts.

Many advisors in the brokerage world often come to a point where they start to question their ability to serve clients.

Certainly, things may be “good enough” until there’s a desire to offer clients different services or to change the way they are charged.

Even a Merrill Resident Director, who serves as a producing manager at the firm and may have a wider perspective of what can and can’t be done as an employee of the wirehouse, can arrive at the same conclusion.

That is, there may be a better way to serve clients and grow the business.

This episode’s podcast guest, Amir Monsefi, a Merrill Resident Director with nearly three decades in the business, came to that crossroads.

He and partner Sharon Nassir started to feel conflicted: They wanted to be able to offer their clients more – from investments to advice to education – but were limited by what the firm allowed.

This “conflict of interest,” as Amir describes it, became too much to ignore. So much so that he and Sharon decided to make the leap to independence and do it their way, launching AIRE Advisors in 2020, an RIA they built on their own with Fidelity as their custodian.

And that choice led them to achieve all they wanted and then some—plus doubling their assets under management in the process.

Amir joins Mindy Diamond to discuss his journey from Merrill to co-founder and CEO of the RIA, including:

  • The point of view as a Merrill Resident Director—and how that perspective motivated them to consider change.
  • The pulls toward independence—and what changes he saw at Merrill that served as pushes.
  • The decision to build their firm on their own—and why they didn’t opt for another wirehouse or supported independence.
  • The choice to self-finance their transition—and what start-up costs really look like.
  • The foundation for their growth as an independent firm—and what they are doing differently in the way of marketing and service.

For Amir and his partner Sharon, the freedom to innovate was a powerful motivator—one that ultimately benefited both the clients and the business.

Amir shares a thoughtful perspective on considering change—making this a powerful episode for any advisors who find themselves wondering what potential exists beyond their current firm.

Download a transcript of this episode…

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