Marcoms Roundtable: Recruiting Wirehouse Breakaways

Experts From JConnelly, FiComm And RFG Advisory Advise On Marcoms Strategies For Firms To Recruit Wirehouse Advisors Going Independent
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

As wealth management professionals know, a steady stream of wirehouse advisors constantly flows towards independence. A wide array of combinations and packages of services are available for them, but firms must first solve the issues of how to reach them and how to communicate the relevant information. Many wirehouse advisors do not know about available options or where to find information.

To learn how firms can address wirehouse advisors, we reached out to wealth management marcoms experts James Doyle, President of JConnelly; Mary Kate Gulick, CMO & EVP Marketing & PR Services at FiComm Partners; and Abby Salameh, Chief Growth Officer of RFG Advisory.

We asked each of them: What marcoms strategies should firms seeking to recruit wirehouse breakaways consider?

Their responses follow.

Abby Salameh, Chief Growth Officer, RFG Advisory

Abby Salameh, Chief Growth Officer, RFG Advisory
Abby Salameh, Chief Growth Officer, RFG Advisory

Reaching wirehouse advisors can be complicated if you are an RIA or custodian. There is a lot of red tape, set up from corporate home offices, which can make it incredibly challenging to directly communicate with advisor teams looking to break away. But, where there is a will, there is a way.

Here are four proven strategies to reach this audience:

LinkedIn. By feeding LinkedIn a specific set of criteria, you can quickly and efficiently design campaigns designed to appeal to that specific group. Whether it is a newsletter promotion, direct messaging or paid ads, this method has proven to be very effective.

Third-party email promotions and sponsored webinars. By leveraging media outlets that target these advisors, you can easily promote content, tools and/or your firm. This can be achieved by partnering with a trade publication to send sponsored emails or by hosting a webinar with the outlet focused on topics that would be relevant to breakaway advisors.

Industry events. These represent a wonderful and efficient way to meet wirehouse teams in person. Conferences that focus on this market have sponsorship opportunities that will position you on the main stage to help amplify your brand.

Promote the advantages of going independent. Create bespoke tools that can help a breakaway advisor envision and understand the many competitive advantages of going independent, including how the move will positively impact their compensation.

We have found that many breakaway teams enjoy “supported independence,” providing them with a foundation to confidently leave the wirehouse environment.

Mary Kate Gulick, CMO & EVP Marketing & PR Services, FiComm Partners

Mary Kate Gulick, CMO & EVP Marketing & PR Services, FiComm Partners
Mary Kate Gulick, CMO & EVP Marketing & PR Services, FiComm Partners

The truth is that most wirehouse advisors have no idea what else is available to them. Smart ones will work with a consultant or recruiter when they’re ready to break away, so ensuring that you’re known among that group is mandatory. Make your list of five to 10 recruiters and focus on getting on their consideration set.

With such a small number, just reach out manually for a meeting and make sure you have clear materials that outline your affiliation models and offerings. Follow up the meeting with a personalized gift and reach out quarterly to update them on any changes you’re making.

Beyond that, I recommend focusing first on a differentiated message that gets attention. What makes your offering so much better that a wirehouse advisor would go through the trouble of a move? You know the wirehouse pain points – comp ceilings, being over-managed and restrictions in how they serve clients. How does your experience alleviate those? Speak to wirehouse advisors in the language of their frustrations. Don’t hide behind jargon and standard financial services-speak. This is an emotional decision for them, so don’t be afraid to meet them where they are.

From there, I would give LinkedIn ads a serious look and target by company and job title with your ad buy. Their ad offerings have expanded over the last year, and we already know that advisors spend a disproportionate amount of their time on this platform.

James Doyle, President, JConnelly

James Doyle, President, JConnelly
James Doyle, President, JConnelly

RIA firms offer compelling advantages that attract wirehouse breakaway advisors seeking independence. By emphasizing key advantages and differentiating factors within their marketing and communications strategies, RIAs can distinguish themselves through personalized guidance, advanced technology and a culture focused on advisor autonomy and client satisfaction.

Here are a few keys to consider:

Determine your value proposition. Craft a tailored value proposition highlighting the unique benefits of joining an RIA firm, such as greater autonomy, flexibility and control over client relationships and business decisions. Emphasize the potential for higher earnings and a broader range of investment solutions.

Tailored messaging. Craft messaging directly addressing wirehouse breakaway advisors’ pain points and aspirations. Highlight the benefits of independence, including greater control over client relationships.

Technology. Emphasize the importance of access to advanced technology solutions to enhance advisor efficiency and empower advisors with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age.

Culture. Highlight the significance of fostering a culture of autonomy and collaboration, where advisors are not just employees but valued team members, building their practices according to their vision and values.

Client-advisor connections. Prioritize the client-advisor relationship and client satisfaction, empowering advisors to build and nurture long-lasting relationships with their clients, thereby enhancing their professional reputation and success.

The combination of autonomy, transparency, flexibility and community makes RIA firms highly appealing to wirehouse breakaway advisors. Crafting the right marketing strategy to attract these advisors necessitates a blend of tailored messaging, content, digital presence, personalized outreach, partnerships and continuous engagement.

Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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