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An Advisor Walks into an RIA

The flow of Wealth Management Advisors moving from large financial institutions and wirehouses to RIAs continues and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. This move is attractive to the Advisor for a variety of reasons, including an increased level of independence and the ability to focus more on their clients’ best interests and not just the source of greatest commissions. Often they find greater satisfaction in the relationships they’re able to build in this new environment.

The RIA gains more than just a book of business when the new Advisor joins the firm. A new Advisor fuels growth by bringing some of the business development ideas that have brought them previous success and allow them to continue cultivating and refining their client roster to capitalize on the firm’s strengths.

RIAs are positioning themselves to attract talent from these channels by expanding their service offerings and developing new business models that offer a customizable approach to Advisors seeking a more entrepreneurial environment. Identifying Advisors that fit well with the culture and values of the firm is important.

“We’re seeing very lengthy interview processes that span several months,” notes Jai Maw of The Judson Group. “This gives both the firm and the Advisor ample time to understand the personality and culture fit and to craft the right role that meets the needs of both parties.”

Despite the lengthy exploration and interview process, the transition can still be difficult both for the Advisor and the current team at the firm. RIAs operate quite differently than the larger institutions and wirehouses. While Advisors are attracted by the independence, they’re sometimes put off by the established systems and processes.  To best ensure a smooth transition, the RIA must enter the relationship with an open mind and be willing to make some changes. After all, they’re bringing in someone with outside experience and fresh ideas for a reason. Additionally, the Advisor must exercise patience to understand that change can be challenging for an organization of any size.

“The key is to maintain open communication,” adds Hunter Judson, Jr. of The Judson Group. “In the past some of my clients and candidates have worked through me to facilitate the conversation and best understand each party’s point of view.” The negotiation doesn’t end with offer acceptance, rather it continues through onboarding and is an essential part of acclimating a new Advisor into the firm.

For additional discussion on this topic, please reach out to Hunter Judson, Jr. or Jai Maw.

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