In September, Advisor Group, one of the largest networks of independent broker/dealers with 10,500 affiliated advisors, announced it would merge its multibrand network into a single entity with a new name, Osaic. The firm says the strategy is resonating with advisors, driving a 240% increase in its recruited assets in the third quarter over the prior year quarter.
The revenue associated with those assets is up 100% from the third quarter 2022, said Kristen Kimmell, executive vice president, business development at Osaic, in an exclusive interview. The record results follow a consecutive increase in recruited assets quarter over quarter this year.
“That has been something that has really resonated with the advisors, and help them, as part of that brand, truly understand the size and scale of the organization, which wasn’t always as visible when you were talking about individual firms at a time,” she said.
About half of the b/d network’s advisors have now transitioned into the Osaic brand, including advisors affiliated with Royal Alliance, SagePoint and FSC. New recruits are being brought into Osaic’s wealth management firm.
“What it does is, it allows us to have that story and be able to talk as a unified group on who is Osaic and what are the strengths of Osaic, whether it’s size, whether it’s scale, whether it’s the communities we create,” Kimmell said. “Sometimes we ran into, they didn’t know the names of the individual firms that we were talking about before. But when we talk about Osaic, we can talk about the size and the scale of Osaic, with Osaic being nearly 11,000 advisors across the U.S. with $500 billion-plus of AUA.
“It really then brings a whole new perspective to what they’re looking at," Kimmell said. "There’s 2,500-plus home office employees that will be supporting them.”
The increase in recruiting is coming from the revenue size of the advisors the firm is bringing on, not necessarily on the number of them. And the firm is seeing an increase across its channels, including traditional independent advisors, institutions and the RIA solutions channel.
In June, Osaic hired former Dynasty Financial Partners Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Ed Swenson as president of its RIA Solutions. Swenson has been tasked with creating and managing the firm’s RIA-only and hybrid channel strategy, along with developing a corporate RIA platform for fee-based advisors. In 2023, the firm grew recruiting into the RIA channel by 178% versus 2022. The average revenue per advisor recruited into this channel in 2023 is up 60% from 2022.
Traditionally, the firm has had limited capabilities in the RIA space, but Swenson is currently assessing areas where it can enhance the offering. There’s already some clarity on the different affiliation models it has, whether that’s a W2 employee model, a fee-only option or fee-based model. Advisors can choose to come under Osaic’s corporate RIA or operate their own RIA.
In recruiting discussions, the firm can now take a more consultative approach to finding the best option for a prospective advisor. The expanded options also hopefully make the relationship stickier.
“If their practice fits into one of the affiliation choices today but they grow through acquisition or they grow through a major change in their practice, we have that ability to continue to support them as they grow and/or change their business,” Kimmell said.