Jim Gold first visited our show back in March 2019. At the time, Steward Partners was just over five years old and already considered a success with 104 advisors in 17 offices and $10.9 billion under management while still operating under the Raymond James Independent Contractor Platform.
Today, just three-and-a-half years later and with less than a decade under its belt, Steward is managing some $27 billion in assets with 350 partners, 200 of which are financial advisors, in 30 locations throughout the United States.
Plus, Steward has expanded its custodial options—making headlines as one of the first to sign on to the Goldman Sachs custodial platform —and the firm now offers a 1099 option as well as its original W-2 path.
In this episode, Jim discusses the evolution of Steward Partners with Louis Diamond, including:
- The gap in the landscape that Steward first sought to fill—and how the firm’s goals and value proposition have grown over time.
- The choice to move off the Raymond James Independent Contractor Platform—and how that impacted its ability to expand options for advisors.
- Breaking new ground with the Goldman Sachs custody platform—and how Steward’s custody options have made the firm more attractive to a broader swath of advisors.
- The factors around the firm’s extraordinary growth—and how the firm gained incredible traction over recent years.
- The value of equity vs. cash—and what advisors considering Steward need to know about the economics.
- Plus, Jim shares his thoughts on a very evolved independent space—and what advisors associated with Steward can do that they could not under a wirehouse umbrella.
Just as the wealth management landscape has evolved, so have relatively young firms like Steward Partners. Less than a decade ago, it created a firm that took a “common sense” approach, as Jim put it, to offer advisors a blend of what worked in the large firms and those things advisors lacked, adding in greater freedom and control. And Steward’s growth over the years is a testament to the formula’s success.
It’s an episode that demonstrates the evolution of the independent space—offering an insider’s perspective on change in the landscape at large.