Slideshow 5 Ideal Options for Breakaway Brokers

  • June 14 2012, 2:30pm EDT

5 Ideal Options for Breakaway Brokers

Today’s independent business owners are focused on growth in order to remain competitive. As such, they are looking to:

*Access the most robust products, resources, technology, and thought leadership

*Enhance efficiency and profitability

*Respond to a changing regulatory environment

*Fulfill ongoing capital needs

*Address succession planning objectives

With so many demands, advisors are questioning the wisdom of continuing to go it alone. The good news? Legitimate options exist that solve for these and other key issues. Here's a countdown of five of the best options, each carefully assessed and broken down by Mindy Diamond, the president and CEO of Diamond Consultants, one of the industry's top financial advisor recruiting firm.

<a href=></a>Concert Advisor Services</a>

Concert Advisor Services is a platform and technology provider offering a turnkey solution - including finding, leasing and building out office locations - for independent Advisors who want to retain 100% ownership of their businesses while using Concert's multi-custodial corporate RIA. Concert becomes the Advisor’s middle and back office, and their Web-based technology gives Advisors a tightly integrated view of their clients’ accounts across all custodians.

Diamond Key Takeaways:

Concert is an ideal model for the “breakaway Advisor” who seeks independence but wants to outsource 100% of his or her ongoing administrative and operational responsibilities.

Established independent practices with less than $100 million in AUM who are increasingly burdened by the changing regulatory environment and shrinking margins also find Concert an ideal solution.

Content Continues Below

<a href=></a>Dynasty Financial Partners</a><br>

Dynasty Financial Partners is a leading wealth management platform firm designed for the top 2-3% of independent advisors working with high net worth clients. With over $12B in assets on its platform from 13 advisory network firms, Dynasty offers a customized open-architecture platform that integrates technology, reporting, custody, investment management, and alternative strategies. The firm is committed to crafting customized solutions that allow investment advisors to act as true fiduciaries to their clients. Dynasty also works as consultant to advisors who would like to sell a piece, or all of their firm to PE firms or strategic acquirer. In those cases advisors often times can maintain control of their firm, get liquidity via partial sale, and have Dynasty’s best in class platform behind them.

Diamond Key Takeaways:

Dynasty supports fully independent firms and does not take an equity stake, allowing advisors complete control over their businesses.

Dynasty provides on-going advisory services and mentoring for advisors leveraging the firm’s veteran management team, board members, and industry connectivity.

Dynasty provides financing to those teams who would like capital as they go independent and to already independent firms looking to add tuck-ins. Dynasty can help facilitate both an equity and debt solution to liquidity needs of advisor partners.

<a href=></a>Focus Financial Partners</a><br>

Focus Financial Partners is the largest investor in the independent wealth management space with 24 partner firms today who collectively manage over $50B in client assets. 15 of their partner firms manage in excess of $1 billion each. The essence of a transaction with Focus is that firms sell a portion of equity in their RIA without giving up control, and in return receive long term capital gains treated consideration. Focus provides value-add through tactical operational and strategic support. “Take care of your clients and we’ll take care of the rest,” is their motto.

Diamond Key Takeaways:

Focus has tremendous access to capital including a $320M credit facility for acquisitions. Further partner firms can access this capital to expand through sub acquisitions.

Focus is a pure investor – they take no spread on products and have no revenue share agreements of any kind.

<a href=></a>HighTower</a><br>

HighTower is the first national, advisor-owned, multi-custodial/multi-clearing financial services company serving high-net-worth and institutional clients. HighTower advisors are seasoned and experienced investment professionals with large established practices. As a dually-registered firm, HighTower provides advisors access to sophisticated investment solutions through a unique online platform, and advanced infrastructure support with a conflict free structure supporting autonomy and independence. The company is headquartered in Chicago and maintains corporate centers in New York and San Francisco and over 20 offices across the country. The company has grown 300% since its launch in 2007.

Diamond Key Takeaways:
HighTower’s advisors join the firm as partners and owners. The firm provides upfront monetization in addition to equity in the company.

HighTower is an ideal model for advisors who are entrepreneurs and want greater independence, without the risk of going fully independent and dealing with the complexities that come along with finding office space, setting up technology, managing compliance, or handling legalities.

HighTower’s partners have a direct impact on the strategic direction of the firm and the firm’s culture.

Content Continues Below

<a href=></a>United Capital<a><br>

United Capital and its affiliates, advising on over $14 Billion in assets, selectively partners with the top 5% of advisory firms and individual advisors coming from Independent Broker/Dealers, RIAs and Wirehouses. After a transaction, principals continue to run their practice but have a wide array of tools, resources and coaching at their disposal to: improve the client experience, meaningfully grow organically and inorganically (recruit/sub-acquisitions), centralize operations, improve profitability and access planning and non-proprietary investment resources. Depending on a practice’s size and United Capital’s existing market footprint, new firms can open up brand new markets or combine with an existing United Capital practice. The majority of United Capital’s Partner firms grow on average 40% in the first 2 years.

Diamond Key Takeaways:

United Capital is ideal for advisors laser focused on their clients’ well being and desirous to grow under one vision, one brand, and one financial planning delivery model.

As fellow shareholders of the company, all partner advisors participate directly in equity value creation.