Andy Schwartz is a partner at Bleakley Financial Group, a hybrid advisory firm based out of New Jersey that nearly tripled in size to over $9-billion in assets after breaking away from a major insurance company. Andy and his partners have built their firm into a platform that allows advisors the opportunity to leverage centralized large firm support services while maintaining the freedom and flexibility to run their own investment book of business.
Listen in as Andy shares how he and his partners have structured their firm as a cooperative with advisors sharing resources and services, and provide advisors with the space, capacity, and flexibility to grow and scale their own practices. We also discuss why they choose to reinvest money generated by the firm back into the business to provide more services that advisors can then leverage, why Andy walked away from a 30-year career with a large insurance broker dealer and a $3-billion practice to start his own firm, and why he believes that the combination of building credibility and having financial resources are the keys to truly make an impact as a financial advisor.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/284
Seth Streeter is the Founder and CIO of Mission Wealth, an independent RIA based out of Santa Barbara that oversees nearly $5-billion in AUM for over 2,000 client households. Seth has uniquely grown Mission Wealth through mergers and acquisitions, essentially hiring by acquisition as a means of acquiring the talent needed to scale the firm.
Listen in as Seth shares how he uses a “Mergers and Integrations” approach to acquire top talent and how he leverages Diamond Teams, dedicated departments, internal succession plans, and partnership equity opportunities to attract entrepreneurial talent into employee roles. We also discuss how the firm uses an 11-dimension happiness framework to guide more holistic wealth discussions with clients, why they segmented their clients into four tiers and vary the services offered to each, and why Seth believes that forming referral partnerships is the key for advisors to scale their firm.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/283
Allison Felix is a managing partner and COO for Cassaday & Company, a hybrid advisory firm based in McLean, Virginia that oversees more than $4 billion in assets for nearly 2,500 client households. Allison has a unique story in that she has made the journey from executive assistant all the way to COO, helping the firm scale to 3X its size over the past decade alone. Today she joins the show to discuss the restructuring of the firm that ultimately pushed Allison to be chosen as the COO and the events leading up to this switch in the firm’s succession plan.
Listen in as Allison shares how Cassaday & Company developed its unique compensation structure, as well as how her firm has propelled its growth with weekly seminars that were honed by hiring coaches to give constructive criticism. You will learn why her firm has been expanding its service offerings, why she believes it’s important for future generations (especially young women) to understand the wealth of opportunities in financial planning, and why she feels that stepping into the role of COO was pivotal to create representation for women at her firm and in the financial industry.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/282
Duncan Kelm is a managing partner for Arrow Point Wealth Management, a hybrid advisory firm based in Santa Rosa, California that oversees $163 million in assets under management for 142 client households. Today Duncan joins the show to discuss how he leverages owning and operating his own tax firm, in addition to his advisory firm, to offer more integrated tax planning and wealth management services to his small business owner clientele.
Listen in as he shares how he leveraged his tax expertise and years as a business consultant to build his own tax firm to offer full suite tax and financial planning to his clients, as well as how he created what he calls “character insurance” with his clients to help them define who they are and document their ethos for future generations. You will learn how Duncan struggled to accept becoming his father's successor, what mental toughness means to him, and why he chooses to no longer be outcome-focused.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/281
Brian Carney is the co-founder of RiversEdge Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Delaware that oversees over $400 million in assets under management for 300 client households. Brian’s firm doubled in only 18 months, causing burnout, staff turnover, and the need to completely re-build their infrastructure to be able to sustainably scale to the next level, and he joins the podcast today to talk about how he was able to get the firm back on track to success.
Listen in as Brian shares how his firm’s massive growth actually turned out to be a nightmare in disguise, as well as how he was able to turn things around. You’ll learn how they have made operations a key focus of the firm and the lessons that Brian learned that will allow him to scale his firm to the next level in a sustainable and healthy way.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/280
Erika Karp is the Chief Impact Officer at Pathstone, an independent RIA based out of New Jersey that oversees $35 billion in assets under management for a few hundred ultra-high-net-worth client households. Erika has uniquely incorporated sustainable investing into her firm by utilizing an internal ESG analysis that aligns her clients’ sizeable capital with their own values.
Listen in as she shares what inspired her to start her own firm, as well as how she put up her own capital to launch and reached $25 million in AUM within 90 days to receive SEC approval. You'll learn how she overcame the struggle of wanting to be known as a trusted advisor while also having to get comfortable selling herself and her services, why she believes that it is most important for advisors to focus on work that brings them joy, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/279
Derek Gregoire is a co-owner of SHP Financial, an independent RIA based in Plymouth, Massachusetts that oversees nearly $1.2 billion of total assets for over 1,200 clients. Derek and his firm have centralized the execution of multiple marketing strategies to increase the amount of prospective client leads the firm provides to its advisors, so they in turn can concentrate more on developing client relationships, rather than chasing prospects. Today Derek joins the show to discuss how his firm has built a combination of radio programming, short interview-style television ads, seminars, and digital marketing to bring in prospects.
Listen in as we talk in-depth about the simplified three-meeting sales process his firm developed that aims to avoid overwhelming prospects with choices and how his decision to centralize marketing has ultimately freed up the budget to maintain a larger service staff to ensure a more personal experience for his clients. You will learn the hard lesson Derek and his partners learned after almost reaching burnout and how he got his firm back on track for long-term growth.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/278
Lauren Oschman is the CEO of Vestia Personal Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Nashville that oversees $600 million in assets for nearly 500 households. Lauren has epitomized what it means to niche down by not only serving a unique niche of physicians, but also serving niches within their client base and providing hyper-specialized services that allow them to truly differentiate.
Listen in as Lauren shares how her firm has developed niches within their client base to better serve them, including advising on salary contract negotiations, mortgages, and disability insurance for variable incomes. You'll learn how the adversity Lauren faced in her career has shaped how she has built her firm to make a bigger impact, as well as why she believes that learning to communicate and cultivate human connections with clients is just as important as learning how to build a financial plan.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/277
John Hagensen is the founder of Keystone Wealth Partners, an independent RIA based out of Arizona and North Dakota that oversees $650 million of assets under management for 1000 households. John is one of the first non-lawyer financial advisors in the nation who built, owns, and operates a law firm which he then leverages with his own tax firm to create an entirely one-stop shop for affluent clients.
Listen in as John shares how he grew his firm to nearly 1,000 clients in a decade by leveraging his one-stop shop approach to gain more referrals from his affluent clients, as well as how he uses what some would consider “old school” marketing techniques to grow his reach and authority. We also talk about the mindset shift that happened as John’s firm scaled, why he firmly believes that the key to happiness and success is helping to uplift those around us, and how a trip to Ethiopia changed his perspective on his purpose in life and the impact his money can have.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/276
Michael Chasnoff is the founder and CEO of Truepoint Wealth Counsel, an independent fee-only RIA based out of Cincinnati that oversees $4.5 billion in assets under management for 750 households. Michael has grown his firm completely organically by focusing on working with business owners and executives—and scaling his team by offering a distributed ownership structure with a broad equity participation plan.
Listen in as we explore the unique structure that he has built his firm around, becoming a one-stop shop for clients offering both financial planning and in-house tax and estate planning advice. You'll learn how he sells off his own founder shares to select team members to buy into company equity, as well as how he grew his firm entirely organically by focusing on working with business owners and executives with an average of $6 million in AUM, leveraging his expertise, establishing relationships with centers of influence, and becoming an active participant in industry organizations.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/275
Maria King is the President and Co-Founder of Transcend Practice Management, a practice management coaching and consulting firm based in Concord, Massachusetts. Maria helps advisors with hiring and compensation plans for next-generation advisors, and goes one step further by creating legacy plans to outline an arrangement for succession. In this episode, she joins the show to discuss how she helps advisors focus on their firm's values—including business, culture, and client experience—to ensure that they choose a well-aligned successor.
Listen in as we talk in-depth about how Maria utilizes the four pillars of consulting, coaching, human resources, and internal firm growth to create bespoke legacy plans for her clients. You'll learn how she helps advisors understand why it’s important to recognize that their business succession decisions have a ripple effect that impacts family, staff, colleagues, and (of course) clients.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/274
Penny Phillips is the President and Co-Founder of Journey Strategic Wealth, an independent RIA platform for advisors to outsource their back-office compliance and operations management. Through the firms they work with, Journey Strategic Wealth oversees $3 billion in assets and offers their advisors the ability to lean into already-built processes so they can scale their own time and productivity in order to focus on the client work they enjoy.
Listen in as Penny shares her journey through the advisor industry, from coaching advisors who were transitioning from insurance to financial advice, to launching her advisor platform in the middle of a pandemic. We also discuss the challenges that firms face building structures and centralizing operations (even with all the technology advancements in the industry), how Journey Strategic Wealth gives advisors the flexibility to choose how much plug-and-play support they need, and why making unpopular decisions often comes with the territory when leading a growing business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/273
Kate Guillen is the founder of Simplicity Operations Management, a consulting firm based out of San Diego that specializes in helping advisory firms get the most out of their Customer Relationship Management systems and streamline their internal operations. Kate uses the advisors' CRM system as the central hub for the entire business and builds out workflows from the CRM to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Listen in as she explains how realizing that most firms are underutilizing their CRM systems inspired her to launch Simplicity Operations, what it was like launching at the beginning of the pandemic, and how she soon realized that her consulting services were needed now more than ever as firms went remote. Kate also shares why she sees the CRM system as the hub around which advisory firms should be built, the key to building solid workflows from that hub, and how firms can streamline their operations significantly by systematizing key repeatable steps of their business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/272
Cady North is the founder of North Financial Advisors, a boutique fee-only financial planning firm that focuses on serving female business owners. Based out of San Diego and Washington, North Financial oversees more than $24-million in assets for 30 households, and purposefully maintains a limited number of clients to create high income without the risk of burnout.
Listen in as Cady shares why she built a firm around helping a younger clientele of female entrepreneurs, how she helps them balance their money goals and use their capital in the best way possible, and why she intentionally downsized to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to her clients. We also discuss how she has been able to maintain a solo advisor practice by systematizing and automating processes, why she took a 6-month sabbatical to examine what was truly important for her, and why she let go of the to-do lists to focus on feeling fulfilled both mentally and financially.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/271
Kyra Morris is the founder of Morris Financial Concepts, one of the oldest independent fee-only RIAs in the country. Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Morris Financial oversees $350 million of assets under management for 250 clients—a size that Kyra has taken care to scale to by focusing on finding and retaining top talent, as well as letting go of hires who don’t meet the firm’s high standards.
Listen in as Kyra shares how she balances her firm’s growth trajectory carefully by growing fast enough to allow for her team to have new opportunities, but not so quickly that she can’t find and hire the necessary talent. We also discuss how she retains top talent once she finds them, how she manages stress and finds work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur, and why she gives back to her community by creating mixed-use development that enables minority-run local businesses to flourish.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/270
Michael Hartman is the founder of Hyperion Financial, an independent RIA based out of Pennsylvania that oversees nearly $60 million in assets under management for 75 households. What's unique about Michael is the way he fast-tracked his fee-only RIA through the acquisition of a commission-based book of clients that he then converted to fee-only.
Listen in as he shares how he got started in the financial planning industry after being in the insurance world, as well as the realization he had that led him to become an independent firm owner to serve clients the way he wanted to and achieve his own personal business aspirations. You'll hear about the challenges Michael went through while transitioning his insurance firm to financial planning, why sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to truly make your business what you know it can be, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/269
Patti Brennan is the CEO of Key Financial, an independent RIA based out of the Greater Philadelphia area that oversees more than $2-billion in assets under management for 800 client households. Patti has managed to scale her firm by centralizing departments into a unique team structure and systematizing processes to create a high-touch experience for clients.
Listen in as we dive into how Key Financial uses customizable templates to create individual plans for each client and why Patti created a unique concierge-style client services department to help her clients feel truly valued. Patti also shares why letting go of fear and learning to trust her team was key to being able to scale her business, why she believes it’s important for leaders to be able to show vulnerability, and how she optimizes her team’s individual talents to create a well-oiled organization.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/268
Jared Siegel is a Partner at Delap Wealth Advisory, a fee-only RIA based out of Portland that oversees nearly $260 million of assets under management for over 70 client households. Jared has created a high-quality and high-touch experience for his clients by outsourcing operations, which has also allowed him to focus on the parts of his business that he loves rather than the everyday back-office minutiae.
Listen in as we dive into how Jared has re-focused his firm to allow him to do the client-facing work that he really enjoys and the lessons that motivated him to spend more time in his zone of genius. Jared also shares how he develops deeper and more meaningful relationships with clients by focusing on non-financial conversations, as well as how he eventually became comfortable with adversity and can now appreciate how his early life failures have shaped him for the better.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/267
Jim Gold is the CEO and co-founder of Steward Partners Global Advisory, an independent advisory firm with multiple locations across the country that serves nearly 10,000 client households. Managing $16 billion of AUM under 180 financial advisors, the firm is unique in that it is attempting to recreate the wirehouse model of old by merging the “large firm” infrastructure with an employee-owner partnership model.
Listen in as we dive into the "why" behind the formation of Steward Partners Global Advisory, including how Jim’s firsthand experience at a wirehouse led him to build his dream business model with all the benefits of a large firm—and none of the corporate scandal or compliance issues that usually follow old-school wirehouses. Jim also shares the details of his firm’s partnership model that allows for advisors to have greater career flexibility while also having a stake in the company, as well as the personal challenges he faced along the path to building the firm he had always dreamt of.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/266
Amy Castoro is the President and CEO of the Williams Group, a coaching and consulting firm based out of California that helps financial advisors engage with more than 800 high-net-worth families to help them develop solid foundations in heir preparedness. Amy’s coaching style is unique in that she approaches families from the perspective of encouraging effective communication as wealth is inherited, rather than focusing on the tax distribution of family assets to preserve wealth.
Listen in as Amy shares how she helps ultra-high-net-worth families keep their wealth past the typical three-generation cycle by encouraging communication and trust-building among family members, which is especially important given that 85% of multi-generational wealth loss is due to trust breakdown or lack of preparedness. We also talk about the 10 questions that Amy and her firm use to help not only raise awareness about the strength of a family’s relationships, but also to gauge family readiness for passing on wealth from one generation to the next.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/265
Dan Callahan is the Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Capasso Planning Partners, an independent RIA based out of South Carolina that oversees $250 million of assets under management for 300 households. Dan and his firm began with zero clients but were able to grow substantially in only 3 years through client acquisitions by outsourcing lead generation to online third-party platforms.
Listen in as Dan shares how he grew his firm virtually, the challenges and triumphs he experienced starting from zero, and how he has been able to keep pace with larger firms in terms of client outreach efforts. We also dive into how Dan uses third-party platforms to maximize his reach beyond South Carolina and how he justifies the revenue-sharing and substantial marketing costs it takes to buy leads.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/264
Joyce Franklin is the founder of JL Franklin Wealth Planning, an independent RIA based out of San Francisco that oversees $200 million of assets for 40 families. Joyce built a true boutique financial advisory firm by serving as a personal CFO for high-profile tech executives and positioning herself as a steward of their wealth.
Listen in as we dive into how Joyce started out preparing tax returns during the tech bubble of the 1990s, as well as how she turned her tax prep side business into a boutique independent advisory firm. Joyce also shares how she has intentionally maintained a smaller client base that averages around 71 hours of work per client every year, how she became the go-to expert for entrepreneurs and executives building wealth in startups, and why she is now turning her sights to building her staff to create a future succession plan.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/263
Melanie Milam is an advisor with Gateway Financial Partners, a super-OSJ affiliated with LPL Financial located in Texas, where she oversees $150M of assets under management for her 110 client households. Melanie has a truly unique approach to connecting with clients by using a tried-and-true list of 34 questions that creates a deeper, longer-lasting relationship with clients.
Listen in as Melanie shares how she leveraged her knowledge as a CPA, as well as her husband’s managerial experience and personal connections, to launch her firm - all while homeschooling her six children. We also dive into how Melanie weaves her faith into her financial work, how she builds deep and long-lasting relationships with clients, and why she believes that women can have it all (just not all at the same time).
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/262