SOURCE: The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors (aRIA)

FiComm Partners

March 19, 2014 08:00 ET

The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors (aRIA) Releases Final Two Case Studies on Member Advisory Firms, of a Six Part Series

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - March 19, 2014) -

  • Highline Wealth Management demonstrates why wirehouses need more educating in the cultural and financial possibilities present at top RIAs, without all of the bashing and pontificating
  • Stratos Wealth Partners demonstrates how RIAs can turn a "practice" into a "business" and reap the rewards for their clients and themselves
  • All 6 case studies designed to help fellow RIAs grow and thrive are available free of charge at

The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors (aRIA), a think-tank comprised of six elite RIA firms that collectively manage more than $20 billion in client assets, today released the final two case studies of a six part series on their member RIA firms. Entitled "The Grass Is Only Greener If They See It: Helping Wirehouse Firms To View Your Firm As A Destination" and "Turning Your Practice Into A Business: Creating Profitable, Manageable & Sustainable Enterprise Value" these latest case studies are designed to offer RIAs, wirehouse reps and everyone in between, actionable inspiration with regard to their existing and future businesses. The studies come from Highline Wealth Management, and Stratos Wealth Partners, respectively.

In the Highline study, CEO Neal Simon reviews the case of former Merrill Lynch Advisor Bill Schwartz, now a Highline partner, using it as an example of how an appealing path to true independence can and has been built by pure RIAs themselves. Simon argues that an adversarial approach between RIAs and wirehouse advisors is fruitless -- effectively implying that convincing clients will happen as a function of convincing more and more advisors that the grass really is greener on the RIA side.

Highline offers RIAs who would seek to attract a wirehouse advisor to their firm 18 questions that they must expect asked -- and that they in turn must be able to answer compellingly.

Simon advises: "Education is your greatest challenge. You can't overemphasize the differences and benefits of your service model and compensation structure. There should be a mass exodus of wirehouse advisors moving from their current firm to establish a new RIA or join an existing one -- our challenge is in convincing them of the compelling benefits."

In the Stratos study, Founder and CEO Jeff Concepcion offers the reader insight into the challenges faced by a $200M RIA who had hit a growth plateau, and how this advisor then solved for stagnation, infusing his business with new scale and ultimately more value. Best practices include how to treat the business like an actual business, retaining key employees and creating repeatable systems and processes -- with details on implementing each concept.

Stratos focuses on the three drivers of enterprise value and demonstrates how creating enterprise value is a process, not an event.

"Far too many advisors focus entirely on their own compensation," says Concepcion. "And sadly, what we as advisors often fail to realize before it's too late is that your payoff would be much larger down the road if you had only concentrated your precious time in the right areas."

Over the last eight years, the number of advisors in the RIA channel has increased by 25%, compared to a decrease in wirehouse advisors by 21% over the same span. Both case studies aim to propel this trend by providing blueprints for more RIAs to succeed in their own right as exceptional businesses.

"The initial 6 studies may be finished but aRIA is just hitting its stride," said John Furey, aRIA Founder. "The appetite for the thought leadership these phenomenal RIAs have put on display has been voracious. And we're excited to continue to creatively offer up actionable intelligence to the advisory community as a whole."

aRIA continues to meet and discuss ways to share each other's experiences openly with each other, and with all advisors, so that it might fuel the growth of the RIA channel.

All published case studies are available for free to advisors and journalists, at:

About aRIA

aRIA, the alliance for RIAs, is a think tank study group composed of six elite RIA firms that collectively manage more than $20 billion in client assets, and Advisor Growth Strategies, a leading consulting firm serving the wealth management industry. The group offers insight for advisors considering ways to enhance their firms' enterprise value.

Members include Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital; John Burns, Principal at Exencial Wealth Advisors; Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group; Jeff Concepcion, CEO of Stratos Wealth Partners; Matt Cooper, President of Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors; Neal Simon, CEO of Highline Wealth Management; and John Furey, Principal of Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC. The group meets regularly, releasing thought leadership pieces of interest to both independent and wirehouse advisors interested in exploring long-term growth strategies. For more information please visit

About Highline Wealth Management

Highline Wealth Management, a wealth management company located in Rockville, MD, was founded on the principles of independent, unbiased investing and a portfolio of diversified, non-correlated investments. Since its founding in 2002, Highline has grown every year, and currently manages about $1.3 billion for 200 client relationships.

To learn more about Highline Wealth Management, visit or call Aisling Carroll at 301-339-6099.

About Stratos Wealth Partners

Stratos Wealth Partners is a full-service wealth and financial services firm headquartered in Solon, Ohio, with 170 wealth advisors nationwide. Stratos Wealth Partners is 100% advisor owned which means everyone has a stake, and everyone has the opportunity to earn Partner status. Decisions are made collaboratively by all Partners, stakeholders and employees.

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