Amid 20 big IBD moves, SagePoint enterprise’s growth and new RIA stand out
The evolving sector — which has also been buffeted by record volumes of M&A deals across wealth management for seven straight years — has placed an onus on firms to give advisors more flexibility in RIA affiliation and greater resources for advisory services. A roundup of 20 recent recruits, executive appointments and other moves (see below) displays the high stakes.
In the competitive fight, financial advisor Tom Goodson’s Santa Barbara, California-based AmeriFlex Financial Services has leapt ahead. Since the beginning of 2017, the SagePoint Financial enterprise has almost tripled to 45 registered representatives from 16 and climbed to $2.1 billion in client assets from only $550 million, according to Goodson.
Amid the industry’s turnover, AmeriFlex stands out for the notable size of its growth and the soft launch of its RIA. In a struggle that often revolves around the amount of a recruiting bonus, the office of supervisory jurisdiction also shows the increasing importance of OSJ services.
AmeriFlex plans to transfer around $1 billion from third-party asset management platforms like AssetMark into the RIA. About 40% of the enterprise’s advisors have also purchased stakes in the RIA, which officially registered with the SEC in December.
With the size and the hybrid RIA, AmeriFlex is taking a different path from some other advisors. For one, LPL Financial recruited at least 16 advisors with some $800 million in client assets from different SagePoint enterprises in the first week of 2020. For another, Advisor Group is currently offering rewards to advisors for placing assets on its corporate platforms.
Goodson’s RIA enables advisors to affiliate without any BD registration while helping them to avoid being “at a disadvantage” in a new era of rising fiduciary services, he says. The enterprise aims to get to $3 billion or more by the end of this year by focusing on practice management, specialty planning services and business solutions to boost advisors’ practices, Goodson says.
“The reason people are attracted to us is that, instead of just getting a big check from a broker-dealer that's trying to attract them, we give them a durable, recurring source of revenue that's going to outpace that check in a year,” Goodson says.
A few of the advisors that make up the firm’s 11 offices in four states came from other SagePoint enterprises, but the majority came from BDs that are outside the Advisor Group network, Goodson says.
SagePoint “supports both advisors who prefer to work with the SagePoint corporate RIA, as well as independent RIA firms,” said SagePoint CEO Jeff Auld in a statement.
AmeriFlex advisors have a wide array of enterprise-level resources, including divorce services, business transition consulting, high-end insurance needs and conferences on practice management topics. Many advisors who affiliated as sole practitioners or as part of other small practices have doubled their annual revenue or grown even more with the OSJ, Goodson says.
Some 40% of the advisors are women, led by Santa Barbara partner Hannah Buschbom. She and Goodson launched a networking organization in 2017 called the W Source, which connects local women professionals from many industries to share business and best practices. W Source’s website lists chapters in 15 different states, with several areas having more than one.
Goodson’s enterprise is far from the only one making big moves, though. To see 20 notable recent moves, scroll down the slideshow. For a roundup of 24 moves from January, click here. All client asset figures came from company announcements, and each date corresponds with registration dates listed on FINRA BrokerCheck or the SEC IARD database.