Too many wirehouse brokers considering going independent are led to believe that once they leave their bank-owned brokerage they will no longer have access to sophisticated lending tools to offer their clients, such as competitively priced margin loans or home loans.

The issue is becoming increasingly important as full balance sheet management has become table stakes for those who advise high-net-worth investors.

Bank-owned brokerages are aggressively promoting cross-selling products, such as margin loans, mortgages and non-purpose loans. As a result, wirehouse brokers now have a diverse product set across their book of business, which is enabling them to serve a broader set of needs for clients.

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To keep brokers from leaving, some wirehouse managers are asserting that they won’t have access to these lending products and rates as an independent adviser.

But the reality is quite the opposite.

LENDING SOLUTIONS FOR RIAs
Independent advisers now have more creative lending capabilities at their disposal than ever before. And with the added benefit of open architecture, they do not have to rely solely on one institution for lending needs – they can shop around to find the highest quality, lowest cost solutions in a fiduciary capacity.

When it comes to lending, RIAs can compete with wirehouse brokers, says Matt Sonnen.

For example, independent RIAs can turn to their custodian for competitively priced margin loans, to third-party banks for non-purpose loan solutions and to mortgage brokers for home loans.

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While it may not technically be one-stop shopping, advancements in technology make finding the best, tailored solution for their client’s unique lending needs easier than ever – with the added benefit that the independent adviser elevates his or her value in the eyes of the client as their trusted global adviser.

“The nature of HNW wealth requires that advisers expand their guidance beyond financial planning and asset management and work the liability side of the client balance sheet,” says Ben Harrison, managing director of Pershing Advisor Solutions.

CUSTODIANS CAN HELP
The first, and easiest solution to recreate loans that were established while employed by a wirehouse is directly with your RIA’s custodian. “We were shocked when we left Merrill Lynch that our custodian was able to recreate every single one of our client’s loans under margin,” says one breakaway adviser interviewed for our research in developing an industry white paper on this subject.

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“Financial institutions of all types are aggressively building and designing innovative lending solutions for advisers,” Matt Sonnen, CEO, PFI Advisors

For advisers seeking non-purpose loans, TriState Bank offers non-purpose lines of credit with both LIBOR-based variable rates, as well as fixed-rate options.

BNY Mellon’s Pershing Advisor Solutions offers its own securities-based line of credit, as well as multiple private banking solutions for assets held in existing investment or custody accounts. Jumbo mortgages, life insurance premium financing, commercial real estate financing, as well as escrow services can all be accessed through BNY Mellon.

RAY JAY AS LENDER
Raymond James Bank has consultants who can help clients with their mortgage lending solutions needs in all 50 states. In addition, Raymond James’ bank deposit program allows client funds to be swept into accounts at up to 12 different banks, providing up to $2.5 million of FDIC protection. Advisers can combine this program with the firm’s client interest program, where interest is paid on money waiting to be invested.

These are just a short list of the options available to independent advisers.

With a bit of research, advisers can easily find institutions with facilities and products that cannot only recreate what was offered within the wirehouses, but that can enhance that process with competitively-priced, unique solutions for their client base.

Lending may very well become the distinguishing attribute of a firm’s service offering that attracts both new clients and additional wallet share from existing clients as well.

Matt Sonnen

Matt Sonnen

Matt Sonnen is CEO and founder of PFI Advisers.