The Clash famously asked “Should I stay or should I go?” and there’s little doubt that most of us have asked that question about any number of situations in our lives. However, it’s not until verse three that we get to the heart of the matter and to the questions and concerns that many financial advisors find themselves asking about their careers. If the indecision is bugging you, and you’ve found yourself wondering exactly who you’re supposed to be and those questions are borne of your position at a wirehouse firm, it may be time to revisit the pros and cons of sticking with your wirehouse.
In the financial services industry, terminology is often interchangeable and some of it is based on systems or technology that existed as the industry took shape. Wirehouse is one of these terms. It refers to a time when financial brokers and dealers were all interconnected via the same “wire” so all members of a brokerage had access to financial information at the same time.
Now, more often, we call wirehouses captive broker-dealers which is limited to a small handful of these firms still in business due to consolidation or closure. A wirehouse advisor, therefore, refers to an investment or financial advisor who works for a broker-dealer.
What Options Does a Breakaway Advisor Have?
Breakaway advisors are, for one reason or another, looking to leave their wirehouse or broker-dealer and explore their other options. So what are the other options available to them?
Breakaway advisors can:
While many expected wirehouses to be struggling to find advisors, this hasn’t exactly come to fruition. Clearly, this means there are still benefits for advisors to leverage from the more traditional route and relationship. Wirehouses, given the longevity of many of them, still provide some benefits to financial advisors and wealth managers.
Choosing to stay with a wirehouse clearly has its advantages, so why are so many financial advisors seeking out and investigating the other options and opportunities available to them?
Given all those benefits and significant support, financial advisors are still leaving wirehouses regularly to pursue their own dreams, their own RIAs, and more. While many have individual career goals and personal pursuits that breaking away can open up, there are significant advantages as well, including some that are simply reflective of how a wirehouse can box a financial advisor in. Advisors leave for a variety of reasons, but some of the more common causes include:
Some advisors leave for one reason, others for more, but there’s no shortage of opportunities and avenues to explore once they find themselves free of some of the restrictions and prepared investment solutions for clients.
It’s easy to spend time daydreaming about how you might do everything differently, and it’s probably just as easy to get caught up in the overwhelming openness of all of it. Whether you’re looking at the cloud or the silver lining, you’ll need to do some thinking about what you want, what’s right for you, and what’s right for your clients. That’s a pretty good place to start when it comes to what you need to ask yourself if you’re thinking of leaving your wirehouse.
We could likely keep going, but that’s why, if you’re thinking about leaving your wirehouse, we’d love to talk to you!
We were financial advisors first. That means we understand your position and we understand the value of listening. You want flexibility to meet your clients' needs and we want the flexibility to deliver the same, so we’re prepared to help. We’re also experienced recruiters, and that means we’re prepared with networks and connections to leverage in your favor.
From the start of your journey, as you answer the questions above, we’re prepared to help you until we find the solution that best works for you, and your clients, whether that’s finding another wirehouse, joining an existing RIA, or starting your own. We believe the best solution is one that’s tailored to your needs and your goals. We help you strategize to get there and find the people who can help you do it.
If you’re ready to talk about how we can help you find solutions to your current challenges and strategize your career to build in a direction that drives you, get in touch with our team today!