How do we find candidates to hire that are able to bring portable assets with them?

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Most firms have strong non-solicits in place these days, especially large ones such as UBS and Wells Fargo Advisors. If this is the case, then why do we hear daily about advisors that bring over assets in the form of a “portable” book of business?

To begin, you should become familiar with the Broker Protocol that wealth and investment management firms have signed up to. This Protocol states that if you’re signed up, you’re able to hire an advisor from another protocol firm and have them openly solicit their clientele. At the same time, though, you’re required as well to allow your advisors to leave your firm if they should wish and to freely solicit clients despite the non-solicit that’s in place. If you are part of the Protocol, you’re putting all your clients at risk of leaving if your relationship managers leave.

This isn’t a very wise choice for most RIAs and multi-family offices, which is why most don’t join. Yet this leaves them unable to recruit from the other firms that are part of the Protocol. Therefore, most lead advisors in the marketplace, when considering an RIA, will have to consider a 6-month, 12-month, 18-month, or 2-year non-solicit in place that prevents them from soliciting their clients.

Joining the Protocol isn’t a very wise choice for most RIAs and multi-family offices, and so they are unable to recruit from the other firms that have joined.


So, how did we recently source advisors who brought in $45 million, $20 million, and $60 million, respectively, into three of our last placements? There are four factors that need to be considered to determine if a candidate has a high likelihood of bringing over clients despite a non-solicit:

1. How deep is the relationship? How long have they had that relationship? Do the candidate and the client have each other’s cell phone numbers? Does the client know where the candidate lives, and is the candidate considered the main advisor for the client? All of these questions will give you a better understanding of the depth of the relationship between the candidate and the client.

2. Is it the right fit for the potentially portable client? Do the clients need a trust company as an ancillary offering? Will the clients need an in-house tax compliance team similar to where they’re coming from? The client’s investment philosophy needs to be a strong fit for them to be a fit as well.

3. Ensure they’re entrepreneurial.  It is critical that they have sourced some of these clients themselves. Have they developed their own outside centers of influence, such as attorneys, CPAs, bankers or venture capitalists? Have they put on events or given seminars? This shows that the candidate is proactive, and will do whatever it takes to bring over their current book within the legal means, and most importantly that they will continue to build a book of business.

4. Look at the overall size. If you’re looking at $300 million, $500 million, or even $1 billion, this indicates that they’ll bring over $30 million, $50, or $100 million. Remember that with non-solicits, advisors are waiting for the clients to call them, so ultimately a much smaller portion of their clients will follow. However, this may be fine with what they’re looking to do at an independent RIA or multi-family office and how the compensation is structured.

In our next video we will look at how to attract lead wealth advisors and what you can do to ensure you have the right offering to attract the entrepreneurial person with deep relationships and large books of potentially portable business.

If you would like to learn more about our firm and our ability to quickly and efficiently recruit wealth and investment advisory talent, please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation or reach out to us by phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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