Too many wirehouse brokers considering going independent are led to believe that once they leave their bank-owned brokerage they will no longer have access to sophisticated lending tools to offer their clients, such as competitively priced margin loans or home loans.
The issue is becoming increasingly important as full balance sheet management has become table stakes for those who advise high-net-worth investors.
Bank-owned brokerages are aggressively promoting cross-selling products, such as margin loans, mortgages and non-purpose loans. As a result, wirehouse brokers now have a diverse product set across their book of business, which is enabling them to serve a broader set of needs for clients.
To keep brokers from leaving, some wirehouse managers are asserting that they won’t have access to these lending products and rates as an independent adviser.
But the reality is quite the opposite.
LENDING SOLUTIONS FOR RIAs
Independent advisers now have more creative lending capabilities at their disposal than ever before. And with the added benefit of open architecture, they do not have to rely solely on one institution for lending needs – they can shop around to find the highest quality, lowest cost solutions in a fiduciary capacity.
For example, independent RIAs can turn to their custodian for competitively priced margin loans, to third-party banks for non-purpose loan solutions and to mortgage brokers for home loans.
“The nature of HNW wealth requires that advisers expand their guidance beyond financial planning and asset management and work the liability side of the client balance sheet,” says Ben Harrison, managing director of Pershing Advisor Solutions.
CUSTODIANS CAN HELP
The first, and easiest solution to recreate loans that were established while employed by a wirehouse is directly with your RIA’s custodian. “We were shocked when we left Merrill Lynch that our custodian was able to recreate every single one of our client’s loans under margin,” says one breakaway adviser interviewed for our research in developing an industry white paper on this subject.
“Financial institutions of all types are aggressively building and designing innovative lending solutions for advisers,” Matt Sonnen, CEO, PFI Advisors
For advisers seeking non-purpose loans, TriState Bank offers non-purpose lines of credit with both LIBOR-based variable rates, as well as fixed-rate options.
BNY Mellon’s Pershing Advisor Solutions offers its own securities-based line of credit, as well as multiple private banking solutions for assets held in existing investment or custody accounts. Jumbo mortgages, life insurance premium financing, commercial real estate financing, as well as escrow services can all be accessed through BNY Mellon.
RAY JAY AS LENDER
Raymond James Bank has consultants who can help clients with their mortgage lending solutions needs in all 50 states. In addition, Raymond James’ bank deposit program allows client funds to be swept into accounts at up to 12 different banks, providing up to $2.5 million of FDIC protection. Advisers can combine this program with the firm’s client interest program, where interest is paid on money waiting to be invested.
These are just a short list of the options available to independent advisers.
Lending may very well become the distinguishing attribute of a firm’s service offering that attracts both new clients and additional wallet share from existing clients as well.
Matt Sonnen is the founder of PFI Advisors, a California-based firm specializing in helping wirehouse advisers transition to the RIA channel.
This article originally appeared on Financial Planning.