Is the “Rep as PM” Model Dead?

Wealth Management’s Future Includes Much More Holistic Planning and Life Coaching, But ‘Rep as PM’ Continues to Have Adherents Across the Industry

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

To My Fellow WSR Community Members:

Here is one of the most frequently recurring themes about the transformation of the independent financial advisor profession over the past decade:  The idea that the ‘Rep as PM’ model – in which the advisor focuses primarily on directly managing client assets – is inexorably bound for extinction. 

So the thinking goes, the proliferation of third-party investment solutions providers, combined with the continued rise in life complexity for clients, means financial advisors should outsource or delegate investment management to dedicated pros, while stepping up as “ringmasters” in managing the various aspects of a client’s broader financial life.

Proponents of this approach say the financial advisors who will be most successful in winning, retaining and growing client relationships will be the professionals who spend the vast majority of their time on planning and coaching individuals and families through various life inflection points.

Somebody help me with this life complexity!

But is this really the case?  When we canvassed WSR readers on this issue, we received a much more diverse set of reactions than we anticipated, together with multiple requests to do a focused issue on holistic planning and life coaching versus the “Rep as PM” model.

And the WSR team was excited to oblige!  Here’s what’s on tap in this week’s issue:

  • In Words in Edgewise, Cecile Muñoz of US Executive Search & Consulting chairs this month’s Human Capital Corner.  She discusses with experts from Financial Advocates (which is affiliated LPL Financial) and Facet Wealth how wealth management firms can more effectively attract, retain and develop talent that is more aligned with increased client demand for life coaching and holistic planning services.
  • While you might envision most adherents of the Rep as PM model to be on the older side of the age spectrum, our latest Investment Solutions & Gatekeepers section shows this isn’t true.  Thirty-something brothers, Lorne and Doug Bycoff of The Bycoff Group, have parlayed their hedge fund and asset management experience into a fledgling wealth management business that leads with homegrown portfolio construction and investing for clients.
  • Meanwhile, as underscored in this week’s Upmarket section, some of the fastest-growing independent wealth managers are the ones who have effectively integrated sophisticated investment management solutions with best-in-class holistic planning and life coaching.  An excellent example of this can be found with San Diego-based Brown Wealth Management, founded and led by Jeff Brown, who previously worked with Wells Fargo Advisors.
  • Finally, and also in our Upmarket section, we are running our latest Ask The Experts Panel, where seasoned leaders from Perigon Wealth Management, The AmeriFlex Group and Stifel Independent Advisors (part of Stifel Financial Corp.), address an independent financial advisor who is choosing how he wants to spend the final 15 years of his career:  As a dual registrant with a broker-dealer / RIA, as an affiliate with a hybrid RIA / Super-OSJ group, or simply sell part or all of his business to a larger RIA firm?
Last 15 years of your Financial Advisor career? Start making better choices!

As always, please share stories that resonate with you via social media – especially LinkedIn – with your industry colleagues, friends and other contacts.

And equally important, continue to share your feedback on each issue with all of us on the WSR team!

I’m proud that we are building each issue on the basis of what the members of our WSR community have told us they want more information about, and doing so in a way that keeps us true to our mission of delivering actionable insights and analysis from wealth management industry leaders, for wealth management industry participants.

Thank you for your continued support of WSR!


Larry Roth, CEO

Wealth Solutions Report

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