Brenda Hiscock is a financial planner with Objective Financial Partners, an advice-only advisory firm based out of Ontario, Canada that works with clients on project-based financial plans while also offering outsourced preplanning to other Canadian advisory firms. Brenda's exceptional trait lies in the fact that she ventured into the financial services industry despite lacking any prior financial knowledge. After facing homelessness, bankruptcy, and alcoholism during her twenties, she uses her real-life experience to engage with clients on a deeper, more meaningful level.
Listen in as Brenda shares how her personal experiences have significantly influenced her career as a financial planner, how the hardships she faced shaped her perspective on financial planning and insurance, and why she prioritizes working from home with a flexible work schedule for her mental health. We also discuss how she found her way to financial planning after a stint in insurance, how being a financial planner has allowed her to have a more significant impact on her clients’ lives, and why she believes that new advisors should find mentors and proactively seek support to achieve their career goals.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/325
Nancy Knous is the CEO and Founder of Benchmark Wealth Management, an independent RIA affiliated with LPL Financial based in Memphis that oversees nearly $340 million in assets under management for nearly 1,000 client households. Despite facing a cash flow squeeze during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Nancy's experience led to significant changes in how she managed her firm's profit margins, enabling her to scale up her business to over 20 team members and avoid cash flow problems during the pandemic.
Listen in as Nancy shares her journey as a CFP professional, where she learned that a good income would not protect her from market drops, and how she transformed her money habits using Dave Ramsey's method and leveraged his SmartVestor program to grow her firm through referrals. We also discuss why she started an independent firm with LPL, how the decision ultimately shaped the way she treats her employees and led her to develop a 4-8 week in-depth hiring process to ensure each hire is a good fit, and why she believes in the importance of having employees who are not like her.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/324
Yonhee Choi Gordon is a Principal and the Chief Operating Officer of JMG Financial Group, an independent RIA based out of Chicago that oversees nearly $5 billion in assets under management for close to 1,500 households. What sets Yonhee apart is how, with her nearly four decades at JMG Financial Group, she has been instrumental in the company's succession plan and has personally recruited, trained, and retained the majority of the company's employees through a stringent hiring process to ensure alignment with the company's expectations and values.
Listen in as we delve into Yonhee’s career, including how she has been such an integral part of the hiring, training, and development systems, and how she evaluates potential candidates based on the actual tasks of the job, and how JMG structures its leadership roles and share of ownership. We also discuss why Yonhee believes that inconsistent definitions of advisor roles are contributing to the financial industry's rising level of M&A deals, why she teaches younger advisors to find their ideal role by first understanding their personal values and culture, and how her definition of success has evolved over time to focus on the impact and value she provides in the lives of the employees she leads.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/323
Kent Skornia is the Founder of Krilogy, an independent RIA based out of St. Louis that oversees nearly $2 billion in assets under management for 1,800 client households. Having created an internal training system at Krilogy that focuses on mentorship and education, Kent joins the show today to share his insights into recruiting and developing advisors in the financial planning industry.
Listen in as he discusses his creation of the Krilogy Advisor Development System (KADS) as a proprietary training system for newer advisors to gain deeper knowledge in financial planning and grow their own book of business. You'll learn why the firm offers liquidity options for senior advisors to sell their book of business to Krilogy while still serving as an advisor, why Kent focused on building a values-based approach in the firm, and why he believes that new advisors should interview other newer advisors at their prospective firms to ensure a good fit.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/322
Danqin Fang is a Lead Advisor for Austin Asset, an independent RIA based out of Austin, Texas, that oversees more than $1.3 billion in assets under management for nearly 400 client households. Danqin stands out for her intentional career path in the financial services industry that involved her leaving China, learning a new language and culture in the U.S., getting a Master's in Financial Planning, and creating opportunities for herself through industry associations and networking.
In this episode, she shares her journey to Lead Advisor, from connecting with the description of a CFP professional after a Google search to leaving China and immigrating to the U.S. to pursue her CFP marks and having the opportunity to follow a clear career path in finance. You'll hear about how she navigated the complexities of relocating to another country and leveraged cultural differences to better connect with clients, how she used networking opportunities to get connected with the right people in the industry (and ultimately find better jobs), and why it's important for newer and younger advisors to get clear on their vision of the future so they can work backward to figure out the next best step forward.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/321
Jim Dickson is the CEO and Founder of Sanctuary Wealth, an RIA platform with 80 partner firms in 29 states that collectively oversee nearly $25 billion in assets under management. Jim has successfully built an RIA platform in just 5 years through efficient management of hiring, staffing, and raising outside investor capital, while providing middle and back-office support for independent advisors and playing a unique role in helping them grow their businesses.
Listen in as Jim shares why he built the "Partnered Independence" platform to provide support systems for advisors who want to run their own practices, why he created a unique partnership structure where advisor practices are their own LLCs but are also IARs under the corporate RIA of Sanctuary Wealth, and why the firm has built a centralized data warehouse providing each advisor with their own level of business intelligence. We also discuss why Jim left the wirehouse world after 25 years and took a year-long trip around the world, how he's working through the challenges associated with rapid growth, and how the demand for independence among advisors surprised him despite his two decades in the wirehouse.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/320
Jim Niedzinski is the Co-Founder of Motive Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Detroit that oversees $250 million in assets under management for nearly 50 households. Jim and his partner have established a successful boutique firm that competes with larger firms to attract and retain ultra-high-net-worth families by implementing a unique client task management system beyond traditional CRM, ensuring their advice is followed by clients.
In this episode, Jim shares why he and his partner built their firm around Asana, a project management tool, instead of the traditional CRM system, as well as how he leveraged relationships with accountants, lawyers, and other professionals to gain a steady flow of referrals. He also talks about how they used those referrals to grow the firm from $0 in AUM to $250 million in less than 3 years and why he and his partner are intentional about serving only 25 clients each at a time.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/319
Ali Swart is a Partner and Managing Director for Waldron Private Wealth, a multi-family office based out of Pennsylvania that oversees nearly $3-billion in assets under management for 280 ultra-high-net-worth clients. Ali made a unique transition from a retail brokerage firm, where she served nearly 400 clients and was also responsible for acquiring more business, to a multi-family office where she works with specialized client relationship teams that limit the number of clients per advisor to no more than 10 at any given time.
Listen in as Ali discusses the "white glove" service offered by her firm, which serves ultra-high-net-worth families through specialized client relationship teams focusing on wealth planning, investing, and client service, and details the in-depth financial plan offering for prospects, which can take several weeks to months to develop and aims to foster strong relationships with clients. We also discuss Ali’s personal journey, including her decision to leave her previous firm and negotiate for a formal maternity leave policy, her goal to become a partner by age 40, and the importance of maintaining alignment with her core values of family, finance, and fitness.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/318
Jennifer Climo is the CEO and a Senior Advisor for Milestone Financial Planning, an independent RIA based out of New Hampshire that oversees $360-million in assets under management for 225 households. Despite already having a successful solo practice, Jennifer decided to merge with another solo practitioner when an opportunity presented itself during an unusual crisis, and she took on the challenge of managing the complex business dynamics that came with this decision in order to achieve her goal of expanding and growing her practice into a larger enterprise that would continue to thrive beyond her involvement.
Listen in as Jennifer shares why she merged her solo practice with another firm due to an opportunity that presented itself during an unusual crisis, how she created a unique succession plan that included a 15%-of-profits retirement payout, and how this succession plan ultimately led to a second merger that allowed Jennifer to continue growing and scaling her business. We also discuss why Jennifer created an operating agreement when she added a partner to her firm, how she used the challenges that arose during the mergers to improve efficiencies and increase profitability, and what has surprised her the most about running a multi-million revenue practice.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/317
Matt Sonnen is the founder and CEO of PFI Advisors, a consulting firm based out of Redondo Beach, California, that helps wirehouse advisors transition to independence and provides training and consulting services to the COOs of independent RIAs to help them develop and scale their advisory businesses. Matt and his wife have taken the knowledge and experience they gained from providing hands-on support to independent advisory firms to improve their operations, technology, and scalability, and turned it into a unique offering for Chief Operating Officers in the industry, dubbed the "COO Society.”
Listen in as Matt shares what it takes to establish an independent advisory firm when it breaks away from a wirehouse, how he developed his "stand-up-from-scratch" breakaway experience to help RIA owners understand their operational strengths and weaknesses, and how his unique “COO Society” helps COOs become more well-rounded in their roles. We also discuss how Matt got started in his advisory career as a 22-year-old college grad, what led him to ultimately launch PFI Advisors, and how the unexpected illness and untimely death of his daughter impacted him and his wife during the early stages of his firm’s launch.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/316
Lisa Brown is a Partner and Wealth Advisor for CI Brightworth, an RIA under the CI Financial umbrella with offices in Georgia and North Carolina that oversees nearly $5 billion in assets under management for over 1,500 households. By digging deeper into an existing firm niche focus of Coca-Cola employees within the organization, Lisa was able to write white papers for these employees that eventually built her expertise and client base within the company and led to referrals and growth from being so visible at the Coca-Cola offices.
Listen in as Lisa shares how she became known as a familiar and trusted financial expert in the Coca-Cola community, how she is now beginning to guide and train the next generation of advisors in the firm on how to become effective business developers, and how she was able to build her confidence and expertise as an advisor. We also discuss how she has been able to prioritize her work so she can regain more family time, as well as why she believes the key to her success now is measured by how much she can help younger advisors build their skills and confidence and find their own path to success.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/315
Sue Chesney is the owner of Delegated Planning, which offers virtual outsourced financial planning support to 55 advisory firms, and co-founder of Planning Zoo, an outsourced financial planning data entry business that helps current and recently graduated students from college CFP programs connect with advisory firms for paraplanner support. Through both of these firms Sue has pioneered one of the largest outsourced financial planning support firms in the country, and she shares her experience in witnessing how many advisory firms are scaling the delivery of their financial plans by separating the delivery of the plans from the creation of the plans.
Listen in as Sue shares why she launched Delegated Planning and Planning Zoo to help advisors find planning and data entry support, why she feels it is important to help new planners get real-world experience under their belts, and how advisors have been able to better align their fees with the financial planning offering by charging by the hour. We also discuss how she navigates cybersecurity and E&O risks of being an outsourced financial planning service provider, why she believes that newer advisors should consider the opportunity to start their own firm one day, and what she considers the key to her success.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/314