SOURCE: The Alliance for RIAs (aRIA)

FiComm Partners

November 05, 2014 11:00 ET

The Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) Presents Independent Financial Advisers With Detailed Outline to Reach and Surpass $1 Billion in Assets Under Management

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - November 05, 2014) -

  • New whitepaper examines six key areas of focus and presents the specific approach each aRIA member and their firm took to address them
  • Common success actions undertaken by all six aRIA members to break through the billion-dollar barrier are highlighted
  • Top 10 list of things advisers must be "best in class" at, in order to achieve the correct growth trajectory, is provided in summary

The Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) announced the release of its fifth whitepaper, titled "6x6 = $1 Billion: Six RIAs Share Six Secrets to Achieve Scale". The paper taps the real-world experience of each of the six aRIA members, among the top independent RIAs in the United States, in outlining how they "broke through" the growth plateau, reached and then exceeded the billion-dollar mile-stone. The whitepaper will be available for free via the aRIA website in addition to previous thought leadership pieces published by the group, all designed to help fuel the growth of the independent financial advisory movement. 

In 2009, there were 300 $1 Billion AUM independent advisory firms -- the number today is past 700, and this trend appears to be accelerating. Yet independent firms that have been successful may be under new pressure from large firms with sophisticated capabilities. Advisors are challenged to either invest in their business, accept the "status quo" with the potential to be marginalized by larger players, or seek alternatives to their current state, including joining forces with other advisory firms.

The six areas of focus in the whitepaper:

  • The necessary evolution of the owner's role within the firm
  • Developing the right ownership structure for your firm
  • Designing growth oriented compensation plans
  • Investing in organizational talent
  • Developing a "best in class" growth engine: your unique value proposition for the market
  • Becoming a superior financial manager

Each of the six critical areas of focus is explained in detail, and then discussed in the context of how the firm in question successfully approached them. 

"This is our most deep-drill whitepaper to date," says John Furey, principal at Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC and Managing Member of aRIA. "It is effectively a blue-print for getting to and growing beyond the billion-dollar plateau. With checklists, best practices lists and real-world examples presented by the best of the best independent advisory firms, anyone interested in growing their firm and taking it to the next level will find this useful, to say the least."

aRIA group members include Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital; John Burns, Principal at Exencial Wealth Management; Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group; Jeff Concepcion, CEO of Stratos Wealth Planning; Matt Cooper, President of Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors; and Neal Simon, CEO of Highline Wealth Management.

In examining the evolving role of the owner, Brodeski examines the movement from "player" to "player/coach" to "coach" to professional manager and lastly to "strategic owner." Carson explores ownership structure, finding that: "A striking commonality among all aRIA firms is that they all have built ownership structures that have not only helped them achieve their growth objectives, but they have set their firms up for even more meaningful growth in the future." A 9-step best practices guide for expanding equity ownership within a firm is provided.

On the topic of executive compensation, Burns believes that: "Creating a growth oriented compensation plan is a key element to drive incremental results." The paper then outlines six potential incentive plans as well as seven steps to improving current compensation systems to drive growth. Discussing organizational talent and culture, the paper draws the comparison between the average independent advisory practice, which typically has a staff of about 5.5, and the $1 billion-plus firms, which average 23.1 staff per firm. Concepcion stresses that: "Building a team that has a strong culture and resonates with the founder's philosophy is a critical step, but more is needed. Teams must be held accountable for their individual and firm goals."

Cooper believes that the hardest question to answer as pertains to building value is: "Does a unique proposition exist in my firm that can be the growth engine to propel the firm to the billion-dollar level? If not, can it be created? If it cannot be created, is the current state acceptable? Are there other alternatives that should be considered?" Tip: a good starting point is understanding what the owners do well, and how that applies to the market they are trying to reach.

Simon expands on proactive P&L management, breaking down the most critical components an advisor must master, into a template. He advises: "Owners who determine they want to grow a firm up into a billion-dollar firm will use a P&L structure to perform targeting and to achieve certain business metrics/results."

The paper concludes with a 10-point list of commonalities that all of the aRIA firms share, and which they view as critical components and truths in the quest to achieve scale, break through growth barriers, and join the ranks of the elite independent advisers in the industry. It also acknowledges that not all firms may desire to become billion-dollar firms. The whitepaper is designed as a useful tool for those that do.

Download the full, free copy of this whitepaper, and all of aRIA's thought leadership, at:

About aRIA

aRIA Group, the alliance for RIAs, is a "think-tank" study group comprised of six elite RIA firms that collectively manage more than $20 billion in client assets. The group, conceptualized by John Furey of Advisor Growth Strategies, offers insight for advisors considering ways to enhance their firms' enterprise value. Members include Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital; John Burns, Principal at Burns Advisory Group; Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group; Jeff Concepcion, CEO of Stratos Wealth Planning; Matt Cooper, President of Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors; and Neal Simon, CEO of Highline Wealth Management. The group meets regularly, releasing thought leadership pieces of interest to both independent and wire-house advisors interested in exploring long-term growth strategies. On the web at:

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