Welcome back to the 362nd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today's podcast is Jeff Brown. Jeff is the President of Stratos Private Wealth, an RIA based in San Diego, California, that oversees almost $1.5 billion in assets under management for just over 350 client households.
What's unique about Jeff, though, is how his firm has developed associate advisor compensation plans and career tracks, with well-defined Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 performance indicators of exactly what those advisors should be able to accomplish at each stage of their career progression towards becoming a lead advisor (which is allowing the firm to train and develop its future senior advisors from the ground up).
In this episode, we talk in-depth about why Jeff decided on a growth strategy of having the firm generate prospects for its lead advisors and how it allowed them to hire and develop advisors that better connect with and serve (and retain) clients instead, the unique performance review plan and scoring system that Jeff implemented to both highlight when his associate advisors were ready for a promotion and is used to calculate their bonuses, and how the firm has leveraged client referrals, content creation, social media, and M&A to bring in clients for its advisors on the way to growing to nearly $1.5 billion of AUM (and is now increasing the firm's marketing budget and hiring a dedicated marketing professional to help further expand his firm's reach).
We also talk about how Jeff transitioned from the wirehouse world to start his own RIA and how, after feeling initially overwhelmed by everything from selecting technology to leasing office space, he chose the supported independence model offered by Stratos Wealth Partners, the mental shift from focusing on income to enterprise value that led Jeff to sell a minority stake, and subsequently a majority of his firm to Stratos, and how becoming an employee of the firm Jeff previously owned has actually been energizing for him as he works to expand the opportunity beyond his own firm and build out an entire unified private wealth platform under the Stratos umbrella.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Jeff shares how a bad partnership breakup earlier in his career has changed the way he views and creates partnership and operating agreements today, why Jeff wishes he had set bigger goals for himself earlier in his career and revels in how many different ways there are to build a successful advisory business (despite naysayers who say "you can't do it that way"), and why Jeff recommends that young advisors decide early on in their careers whether they want to pursue an employee advisor path or build a firm of their own as they evaluate their own career risk and return preferences.
So, whether you're interested in learning about how to build associate advisor compensation plans and career tracks, how to leverage a multi-faceted marketing approach to generate client leads, or what it looks like to roll up into a larger RIA, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Jeff Brown.