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RIA Edge Podcast

RIA Edge Podcast: Alison Burkett on Snowden Lane's Boutique Culture for Growth

Snowden Lane Partners: A calibrated blend of autonomy and support.

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In this episode, David Armstrong, managing director of editorial and content strategies for the Wealth Management Group at Informa, talks with Alison Burkett, head of enterprise development at Snowden Lane Partners, about the firm’s approach to growth: A carefully calibrated blend of autonomy and support. Targets for acquisition are largely experienced advisors with more sophisticated client relationships, eager to continue their trajectory but at a point where they are too large to run the business independently. Burkett says despite the slowdown in the economy, the pace of partnerships at Snowden Lane will continue, and the firm continues to find some of its best candidates coming out of captured environments at the wirehouses, even as there are increasingly suitable prospects in the independent space.

Specifically, David and Alison discuss:

  • Why Snowden Lane’s investment solutions platform is key to attracting advisors with more sophisticated clients and portfolios, giving them access to the same kinds of portfolios, alternatives, and lending options that traditionally were only possible in the larger wirehouses, but without the inherent conflicts in that channel.
  • Why a large part of her job is managing for future growth, in that the firm needs to ensure the internal structure and staff are in place to accommodate growth six months before it occurs to avoid logjams that would slow down the trajectory.  
  • How the firm still sees the wirehouses as the most fertile ground for bringing in new advisors, and why Snowden Lane executives increasingly eye teams with broader tenures and more complex books of business, and is starting to eye more family office, private banking components to its mix of services. 
  • How Snowden Lane’s compensation structure is unique, allowing each team to participate in their own P&L as well as benefit from broader firm equity.
  • Why Burkett thinks Snowden Lane is still far away from not being considered a boutique investment advisory firm, and how the firm can likely grow three-fold while keeping the same culture intact. 


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Connect With Alison Burkett:

About Our Guest: 

Alison is a founding team member of Snowden Lane. She ensures that Snowden Lane clients and advisors have a superior experience through consistent service, dynamic technology, and custom investment solutions. As Head of Enterprise Development, she is responsible for the Snowden Lane’s operating platform, human resources, advisor transition, and for driving enterprise innovation.

Alison leads efforts to develop next-generation advisor tools and client service models incorporating leading-edge technology. In addition, she plays a central role in the recruitment and transition of advisory teams to Snowden Lane. She brings extensive experience working with ‘advisors in transition’, integrating custodial technology and service offerings to support their client and business needs in an independent business model. Previously, Alison held business development and client service positions at Clearbrook Global Advisors. She received her BA in Political Science from Princeton University, and studied finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Alison holds Series 7, 66, 24, and 79 registrations. Alison and her husband, Erik, have two children and reside in San Diego, CA.

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