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An Advisor's Perspective

 

The flow of Wealth Management Advisors moving from large financial institutions and wirehouses to RIAs continues and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. We checked back in with an Advisor we recently moved from the UHNW group of a super-regional bank to a large privately held RIA. After several months in the new environment, we asked him to reflect on the transition.

When you initially considered moving from the banking environment to the RIA space, what were your greatest concerns?
    My greatest concern was whether or not there would be a strong cultural fit. In making the decision to join my new firm, I wanted to ensure that the client service delivery model met with my expectations and was going to be even more beneficial for my clients, and the families that I serve.
    I also wanted to make sure that there would be a cultural fit [for me] with the personalities at the firm, and that we had a mutual like and respect for one another.

What steps did you take to determine if the new firm would be right for you?
    I spent a lot of time with the team over the course of several months. I didn’t want to rush into a decision. I met with people from operations to learn more about their systems and process. I met with leadership from the firm multiple times and had conversations about the future strategic direction of the firm.

What attracted you to the RIA space?
    I really liked the independence of the RIA space and the fact that the firm I chose is employee owned. When your duty is to your clients, rather than to public shareholders, it really changes the dynamic and puts the focus where it should be, squarely on the client. Everything we do at our firm is set up to benefit our clients’ best interests, because that is our duty and in the long run that is what will make our firm successful.

Were you surprised by anything after your move from the banking environment to the RIA?
    Honestly, the initial transition was quite surprising and there were a few struggles. Despite my best efforts over several months of interviews, there were still unanticipated issues. It was a pretty significant adjustment and I was impatient at first. But I worked through the challenges with the team here and relied on Hunter, who had a great relationship with the team here, to be a sounding board for my concerns and to talk through some of the perspectives I hadn’t considered. I expected that after I started with my new firm, I wouldn’t hear from him again, but that was definitely not the case. Hunter stayed involved to make sure the transition went well and when there were bumps he got more involved.

So you feel that working with Hunter had a positive effect on your transition?
    Hunter is a true professional. I have talked to a few recruiters in the past and I have never been able to get beyond the fact that their sole motivation is to place me to generate revenue for themselves and they have no regard whatsoever for my best interest. Working with Hunter, I never had that feeling. He worked hard to make sure that I had a great understanding of the role for which I was being considered. He highlighted the positives as well as the negatives of the role. He listened extremely well to my concerns and when we hit bumps in the road with my future employer, once again Hunter stepped in to be my advocate and help the firm to understand the situation better. Throughout the process, I felt that Hunter was focused on a relationship with me rather than just making a placement and had this opportunity not worked out, I would have felt very comfortable working with Hunter again.

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