Wealth Management

New York)

Yesterday we ran a piece explaining the level of AUM advisors need to successfully breakaway (cheat sheet: $50m-$100m). Today, we wanted to hit on another key topic: what percentage of clients typically come with an advisor when they break away? Now, this obviously varies a great deal based on particular circumstances, but according to Kestra, the typical rate is 80% in their experience.

FINSUM: This is useful, but only to a point because many advisors will have a great deal of their assets concentrated in a small group of clients, meaning it is a fairly tight number of make or break accounts.

(New York)

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.

(New York)

There is a little known stimulus behind the current trend of advisors breaking away from wirehouses. While many cite freedom of operations and compensation as key reasons for leaving wirehouses, one of the big driving forces is much less appreciated: the requests of clients themselves. According to Shirl Penney, CEO of RIA network Dynasty Financial Partners, “Clients are not simply following their advisors, but sometimes giving them the idea to break free … That’s the dirty little secret that not a lot have been talking about”. High net worth clients increasingly want their advice separated from the manufacturers of the products they buy, which means going independent makes sense for advisors. “So if you’re a million-dollar client of one of our advisors, you now can get independent advice, separate and safe custody and products from around the street the same way that may have been reserved for a billionaire 20 years ago”, according to Penney.

FINSUM: This topic is quite poorly discussed, but seems very salient. We would welcome any emails/opinions from advisors about the extent to which they hear this from clients. Reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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