We’ve seen a major shift in the financial advice industry in the last decade, as more advisors opt out of the traditional brokerage model and dive into the independent RIA space. The leap is a significant one, with the potential to propel growth and revamp an entire career trajectory. When we speak with advisors considering making the move to an independent RIA, many of the same concerns rise to the surface: Do I have what it takes to succeed? Will my clients come with me? Where will I find the right operational support?
These concerns are not unfounded but the advisors who have successfully transitioned to independence with GVA will tell aspiring-independent advisors a different story — one of perseverance and ultimate success as a result of finding the right partner.
It’s helpful to hear directly from advisors who have already been successful in transitioning their practices. Here at GVA, we have a network of 75 advisors who broke away and are now running independent practices. We tapped four of those advisors to learn why they took the leap and aren’t looking back.
In Their Words: The Benefits of Going Independent
Defining your own success. Financial advisors are inherently success-driven when working to achieve clients’ goals and objectives. But when it comes to your own practice, operating as an independent advisor is one of the best ways to define your distinctive measures of success. Entrepreneurship comes with its own challenges, but our team has the firsthand knowledge and experience to create a clear pathway to success. We customize transition plans, help review contracts, offer marketing support and provide resources to transition old clients and onboard new ones. Once your business is established, we also offer operational and compliance support so you can focus on what’s most important — your clients.
Enhancing your clients’ experience. One thing we hear loud and clear from all our advisors is the importance of adding value for your clients. GVA advisors want to make a profound impact on their clients’ lives by designing solutions that help them meet their goals. The traditional broker setting requires advisors to sell specific products that may or may not meet client objectives. In the independent setting, however, advisors no longer need to mold themselves to a certain style or feel constrained by a limited list of potentially ill-fitting products. This liberating flexibility provides unparalleled benefits for clients, while better positioning you to design plans that meet and even exceed their expectations. GVA has a suite of proprietary investment strategies, all managed in-house, that our advisors can implement for their clients.
Realizing your true earning potential. Opening an independent shop requires an initial financial commitment, but the potential is great for higher and more consistent income streams throughout the life of your business. It’s important to be strategic when vetting firms to partner with as you establish your RIA, specifically understanding what their compensation package covers and what your true take-home pay would look like. GVA offers transparent fees and a clear picture of advisor compensation so you can better envision your earning potential. One of our core offerings, AdvisorBOB, helps facilitate this clarity across the network by providing a complete billing and compensation solution for RIAs. Such financial support ensures a strong foundation on which to grow your practice.
Accelerating your growth by leveraging the right resources. A high priority as advisors transition to independent is growing the business in asset size and headcount. In order to achieve this scale, advisors need access to the right resources. GVA provides a framework to facilitate such growth, enabling smaller shops to leverage premium tools commonly associated with larger firms. One of the highlights is the GVA technology stack, which features some of the top technology providers in the industry, including Orion, Smarsh and PandaDoc. Aligning with GVA provides access to these programs as well as the support and structure to implement them properly, freeing up your time and resources for pipeline-building.
Advice From Our Advisors
With the right support, shifting to an independent model is not only doable, but presents an exciting range of new opportunities for your business and clients. Furthermore, the path to this ideal destination doesn’t have to be intimidating. At GVA, we strive to make the transition as seamless as possible, supporting our advisors as much (or as little!) as they would like.