Want to know what keeps the CEO of the No. 1 firm on this year’s list of the country’s top RIAs awake at night? Romancing six to eight planners a week in a never-ending quest for the right talent. It takes anywhere from 20 to 30 meetings to produce just two to three hires a year for Oxford Financial Group, the Midwestern firm based in Carmel, Ind., with nearly $14 billion in assets under management.

And sometimes even that isn’t enough. “There was one guy who I extended an offer to who said yes, and the next day he went to work at a family office,” says Oxford’s CEO, Jeffrey Thomasson, who founded the firm more than 30 years ago. “I had been doing the romance with him for six months. Everything was going pretty cool and it was just like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ ”

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