* Recruiting and consulting firm for financial advisers
* Aims to help advisers who want to start own shops
* Targets advisers with $500,000 in production
TORONTO, July 28 FirstPoint Partners LLC, a
boutique recruiting and consulting firm for financial advisers
that launched on Thursday, sees big business in helping brokers
navigate the increasingly complex road to independence.
The firm plans to aggressively target advisers producing at
least $500,000 in annual revenue at wirehouses like Bank of
America's (BAC.N) Merrill Lynch and UBS UBSN.VX (UBS.N) who
want to start their own shops, FirstPoint Chief Executive Scott
Collins and President Scott Miller said in an interview.
"We saw a need in the industry for advisers to get true
independent objective advice," Collins said.
Traditional Wall Street brokerages have seen a flood of
advisers exit their doors since the financial crisis, with
hundreds setting up their own independent firms.
Both Collins and Miller worked as recruitment executives at
LPL Financial, where they said they brought in thousands of
advisers from the wirehouses to the No. 1 independent U.S.
broker-dealer over the years. Before that they were advisers at
"While we were at LPL we basically had one firm that we
could show an adviser and it's kind of like an adviser showing
just one mutual fund to a client -- they're not giving the
whole spectrum of choices," Collins said.
Miller added that just five years ago, there were very few
choices for advisers looking to shift to an independent, hybrid
or Registered Independent Adviser (RIA) model. Now there is a
He pointed to HighTower Advisors, a firm consolidating
wealth management businesses across the United States that
provides big firm compliance, technology and handles
"On the other end you do have the Schwabs (SCHW.N) and
Fidelitys who are hooking up with broker-dealer-like
combinations that really weren't available either -- you either
had to go all the way RIA or nothing," he said.
Picking the right broker-dealer or custodian can be an
For a $500,000 producer over a 10 year period, it is a $1
million decision because around 20 percent of production on
average goes to their broker-dealers, Miller said.
"You don't want to make a mistake up front."
The San Diego-based firm aims to match advisers with the
independent, custodian, boutique, or specialized firm that best
suits them, as well as help them negotiate terms, and launch
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)