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Mindy Diamond on Independence: Why a 25-Year Merrill Vet Managing $450M Opted to Break Away

On his 25th anniversary with Merrill Lynch, Craig Robson resigned to launch RIA Regent Peak Wealth in Atlanta. It was a bold move designed to “liberate and empower” him and his team to serve their clients completely and with objectivity. Craig shares the drivers that led to his decision to leave and launch an independent firm, instead of opting for a transition to another firm.


It was May 1994 when Craig Robson decided engineering wasn’t for him and accepted an offer to join Merrill Lynch to start a career in wealth management.

And it proved to be both a bold and smart move, because over two-and-a-half decades, Craig built a business managing $450 million in assets for high net worth clients.

It was an experience that Craig credits as framing his business life—one that would set the stage for yet another bold move: Handing in his resignation on his 25th anniversary with Merrill to launch RIA Regent Peak Wealth in Atlanta, Georgia with Dynasty Financial Partners.

And just 3 years later, Regent Peak is managing some $570 million assets.

So what was it that motivated Craig to leave the firm he grew up with? In this episode, Craig walks Mindy Diamond through his journey from Merrill to independence, including:

  • The key moments that motivated him to explore his options—and why he headed for independence when he could have accepted a transition deal from another firm.
  • The real value he is experiencing in independence—and how his growth trajectory has changed since making the leap.
  • The role of objectivity as a financial advisor—and what Craig and his team can do differently in independence that allows them to be true fiduciaries.
  • The ability to creatively market their services—and how the freedom to brand and create personalized messaging and videos was a real gamechanger for him and his team.

As Craig put it, breaking away was about “liberating and empowering” him and his team in how they could manage and grow the business, while providing greater optionality and choice when it comes to the products and services they can offer their clients.

No doubt that making the leap to independence – like any move – comes with some “professional risk,” as Craig put it, but he sees it as a risk worth taking—and after you hear his story, you’re likely to agree.

Download: The Decision-Methodology Infographic – Strategic Exploration and the Road to Taking Control of Your Professional Destiny

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