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Thrive Awards

Editor's Letter: April 2019

Get Ready to Thrive

The last thing the financial industry needs is another conference, right? And we certainly don’t need another list of “best” advisors, do we?

I think we do, and I’ll explain why. This month, we at are announcing the “Thrive” awards—and an event—for financial advisors and firms. I don’t think there is anything else like it out there. If you are a financial advisor or firm on a trajectory of growth, this one is for you. We are looking to recognize the fastest growing advisors in the U.S. - and do it based on revenue growth, not assets under management.


The goal here is not to recognize the “top” advisors; there are already plenty of lists out there of top advisors some with conferences attached. The names are usually familiar—large, brand-name firms, selected via some deliberately opaque methodology at best or a pay-for-play consideration at worst.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are great events for advisors who gather around industry personalities, often via social media, educational alliances or practice management affiliations. In my experience, often these advisors have relatively small lifestyle practices. Who has the time to monitor social media all day? The custodial conferences too bring great content, but they have specific agendas. Investment conferences for advisors are helpful as well - if you are looking to squeeze a couple of extra basis points out of a portfolio via, say, the latest flavor of factor tilts. If that's the focus of your advisory practice, great. But most advisors in growth mode are playing a different game.

Our focus is different. Our model, created with the help of our partners, including Snappy Kraken’s founder Robert Sofia, is the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. We want to recognize—and help make sure the wider world recognizes—financial advisors and firms that may not make a “top” advisor list but are on the way up. They have proven themselves capable and ambitious by dint of their growth metrics. These advisors in growth mode clearly provide value to their clients. The Thrive award will be a publicly visible testament to that fact. We hope earning that award will help you on your trajectory.

The methodology will be transparent. Just like the Inc. 500 awards, we’ll ask for verified top-line revenue numbers (which will be kept confidential, of course. Only growth on a percentage basis will be used in creating the list.) We do envision giving these awards in stratified groups based on firm size—a, say, 100 percent growth rate in a firm with $100 to $200 million in assets under management is a different accomplishment than a 50 percent growth rate at a firm with $1 billion in AUM. All, however, are worthy of recognition.

And yes, we’ll hand out these awards at a swanky dinner at the Wynn in Las Vegas; in addition to the celebration, we’ll take the opportunity to bring in speakers and panelists curated specifically for advisors who share challenges unique to advisory firms growing fast. We think getting these advisors in one place to share their war stories, ask each other questions and learn new solutions from each other will be time well spent. Our goal is not to make the flashiest, most hyped conference of the year. But for those who are there, we promise to try our best to make it the most helpful for you, your staff and your clients.

Stay tuned for more details, coming soon. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out, about this or any other matter: [email protected].

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David Armstrong


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