Unlocking Real Value Blog

Wirehouses Lure Back Some Indie Brokers

Wirehouses Lure Back Some Indie Brokers is the title of an interesting piece in today’s FundFire. The article highlights the story of a few advisors that have gone back to wirehouses after testing the waters as an independent – in some cases for many years. The reasons given for the moves back to wirehouses range from having to spend too much time running the business – thus reducing client-facing time – to the attractive and often times new banking offerings of some of the wirehouses (given mergers over the past few years).

Do these examples signal a reverse of the trend that we have seen over the past few years? I don’t believe so. I think that this article illustrates what we have been saying for some time – going independent is not for everyone. The reasons cited for returning to wirehouses are the very reasons that some wirehouse advisors will – or should – never go independent in the first place.

Independents run their own businesses. They go very quickly from advisors with a book of clients to business owners with drastically increased responsibilities. For some advisors, the move is a good one; for others, it’s not. This article could have just as easily focused on a few examples of independents that decided to join wirehouses and then regretted the decision.

The important lesson here for all advisors is that making any move is important enough that it should not be done without extensive research and introspection. There is no right or wrong answer – some people thrive at wirehouses while others thrive as independents. But it’s very difficult to ask clients to move more than once – so my advice is to take your time making the decision – over-analyze if necessary – because making two moves is more than twice as hard as making one move.

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