Six $1 billion-plus independent RIA firms recently formed a group called aRIA (The Alliance for RIAs) to discuss and disseminate best-practice growth strategies for advisors. The group, which collectively advises on $18 billion of client assets, hopes its periodic, free-wheeling bull sessions will not only benefit their own companies, but more importantly, provide strategic insights to advisory firms seeking to grow their firms.

Group members comprise 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 Advisors; and Neal Simon, CEO of Highline Wealth Management.

John Furey, principal at Advisor Growth Strategies, a Phoenix-based consulting firm, conceived aRIA and is the group's facilitator. He says he organized this amalgamation as a way to share best practices among advisory firms and to broadcast those ideas across the industry. He contacted these particular firms because he says they're all very successful and they all bring something different to the table.

"When we decided to form this group we wanted to have diversity in terms of both geography and business models," Furey says. "All of these firms have a unique proposition for clients and financial advisors."

The group's first meeting took place last month in Phoenix. Going forward, aRIA plans to conduct periodic conference calls and to meet twice a year in a study group format. Between confabs, aRIA plans to publish a series of white papers on industry-related topics.

Furey notes the group's first white paper, slated to come out in the third quarter, will discuss value creation options for financial advisors. "The white papers will be a big deliverable, and my company will take the lead on that," Furey says. "I think content will come from all places, and we'll doing other things like blog posts and articles."

He adds that a website for aRIA will be created "sooner than later."

A big thrust for the group is to provide advisors with options to boost their firm's enterprise value beyond going it alone or joining a roll-up/consolidator operation. They have nothing against consolidators per se, insists Cooper, president of Beacon Pointe Advisors. Rather, he and other group members say they want to share ideas that can help an industry where individual independent firms often operate with blinders on.

"It's kind of lonely out there on our own because there really isn't a model any of us are following," says Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital.

The notion of idea sharing among peers was appealing to aRIA members. "Since we launched our own firmĀ  36 months ago I've learned you operate in a vacuum," says Concepcion, CEO of Stratos Wealth Partners. "You know your model, but you might have less familiarity with how others approach the business. To sit in a room without ego and constraints and to share ideas and nuances about other business models--with the sole intent of just trying to help others be more successful at what we're doing--was very intriguing to me.

First « 1 2 » Next
To read more stories , click here