The independent RIA life: Unscripted
What's going independent really like?
Two advisors discuss what kept them up at night.
Morgan Rosel Wealth Management
ERIC ROSEL: So, obviously, when you… thinking about doing this move versus actually, ‘Okay this is going to happen.' Talk to me about the fears that you had. I mean, going… I know I had some very specific fears and… but what were yours? What was going through your mind?
Sarah Keys, J.D.
Cardan Capital Partners
SARAH KEYS: Yeah, I'll be curious to hear about yours. But, I mean, I think like a lot of advisors that have been at a particular place for a very long time and had clients… some of your clients have obviously been there the entire time you've been there… it was fear that they weren't going to want to come with us, that their allegiance was maybe to the firm rather than to us. So that became the overwhelming fear. I was more concerned about what clients were going to think about why we were going independent and, you know, were their assets going to be safe, was there some way for us to make our own statements and fudge our performance or, you know, somehow mess with their financial documents, and trying to reassure them of those really kind of more basic things.
SARAH: And that turned out not to be anything that we needed to worry about. I mean, we brought… virtually all of the clients that we asked to come came with us. And they were excited and enthusiastic and supportive, and to a degree that I would never have guessed. So… and I had kind of heard that, but it really actually played out that way.
So… and what about you? What were you afraid of?
ERIC: I mean, the number one thing on everybody's mind is going to be, ‘Look, are my clients going to come with me?' Without clients, we don't have a business…
SARAH: A business.
ERIC: …we don't have a career, right? So that's the number one concern. But it became very obvious, right? You resign, you're making the phone calls through the evening hour, and the response, as you mentioned, is just… was just incredible. It was… you know, we develop respect and trust with a client over a long period of time, maybe even a decade-plus, and those bonds don't get broken…
ERIC: … just because you decide to leave one firm. And certainly if you're starting your own, it's almost a… a lot of my clients, you know, I think a few of them said, ‘Well, it's about time.'
ERIC: I think that was…
ERIC: …a very common response.
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Will you be able to access the same products and technology if you leave your current firm? Both Eric Rosel and Sarah Keys found greater access—and affordable options—by launching independent RIA firms.