Displaying items by tag: IBD
Breaking away is a tense process for advisors. Not only is there the emotional “fear gap” about venturing into the unknown, but even considering the move is difficult. One of the major reasons why is that it is hard to know how much your comp might increase or what kind of deal you might get for moving. Advisors often ask themselves “what does my business need to look like in order to make a successful move?”. Well, here is some insight. Larger firms, say with $5m+ plus in revenue can easily afford to make the transition and hire all the consultants necessary to make a successful switch. However, the less known reality is that even solo advisors with between $50m to $100m in AUM can be very successful in moving. Payouts for such advisors can approach 80%, meaning those bringing in $500k of revenue can reasonably hope to keep $400k of it. As a rule of thumb, advisors’ take-home pay usually jumps 10-15 percentage points when breaking away from a wirehouse.
FINSUM: This is very useful information. We drew it from a number of sources, including Kitces.
One of the ways that wirehouses have been trying to make their brokers (and their brokers’ clients) more sticky is by pushing loans. Brokers are encouraged to get clients to borrow money. These loans have the effect of binding clients to firms for long periods, and correspondingly, it makes it harder for brokers to breakaway because clients are more likely to stay put. However, some RIAs are combatting the trend by offering to replace client loans during the transition period when brokers are joining their firms. Perhaps even more interestingly, custodians are getting into the game too, with Schwab announcing recently that they would be increasing lending products available to advisors to help them transition clients away from wirehouses. The loans provided often have lower interest rates than what the wires offer, so the success rate in migrating clients has been quite high.
FINSUM: The loan game has been the domain of the wirehouses for years, but with the big custodians getting involved, this is another important structure that will make breaking away easier.
If you are considering going independent, Charles Schwab has an interesting new survey for you. Thousands of advisors have been flowing out of wirehouses and large regional brokerages over the last few years. They have either gone completely independent or joined independent broker-dealers. In either case, a new survey from Charles Schwab shows that such advisors are very happy. In fact, 90% of advisors who have gone independent report that they have no regrets about their choice to go it alone.
FINSUM: The reality is that most advisors say that whether you become an RIA or go to an IBD, you can serve clients better and make more money at the same time. The general opinion is that with an RIA you lose a lot of structural support, but you keep everything for yourself; while with an IBD you keep more structural support and still get much higher payouts than at a wire.
After rumors circulating for weeks, Ladenburg and Advisor Group have jointly announced that they plan to merge. The new company will operate under the Advisor Group name and have over 11,000 advisors. None of the two companies nine broker-dealer subsidiaries will be merged, and advisors will continue their multi-party custody and clearing set up. The deal valued Ladenburg at $1.3 bn. One senior industry commentator said “It’s a very bold transaction that could create a major new player overnight that can go toe to toe with the other biggest firms in the independent space in terms of scale and resources”.
FINSUM: With margins so low across the IBD industry, scale is the only way to improve profitability. We expect the wave of deals to continue.
Independent or wirehouse? It is a big decision, especially because it not only means moving firms, but going from being an employee to running one’s own business. Well, to fill the void between those two possibilities, LPL has just launched a new program designed to let advisors half-breakaway. The program lets advisors be independent, but also employees. The new new offering is short on details but follows in the footsteps of Raymond James and Wells Fargo, both of whom have similar opportunities.
FINSUM: This seems like a good option if you are an advisor that wants more flexibility, but does not want the difficulty associated with running your own firm.