Winthrop Wealth Management (WWM) has launched an independent hybrid registered investment advisor (RIA), with USD1.3 billion in assets under management as of August 2017.
The new structure enables WWM to advance its long-term growth strategy. As part of the new hybrid RIA, the firm has also launched its new independent advisory practice acquisition platform, Empower Advisor, which has been developed to reinvent traditional approaches to acquisitions of independent financial advisor businesses.
Founded in 1985, WWM is a second-generation family-owned firm led by Chief Executive Officer Max Winthrop, 29, and Chief Operating Officer Lucas Winthrop, 27. WWM provides holistic investment advisory, financial planning and business planning services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals, families and business owners, as well as retirement plan support for businesses throughout the nation. The firm is comprised of 16 employees, including financial advisors and support staff, operating from its headquarters in Boston, MA.
Max Winthrop says: “With our new hybrid RIA, Winthrop Wealth Management enjoys a greater degree of independence and flexibility than was ever possible before. This change supports our growth strategy and our commitment to delivering unparalleled client service. In this new fiduciary era, the greatest differentiator for successful advisors and firms is the ability to leverage technology, data and analytics to develop a superior understanding of each client’s unique needs, resulting in deepened personal engagement with clients. Our new structure enables us to empower our advisors with the transformational technology-driven tools they need to do just that, while helping them rediscover the passion and love that brought them into this business when they first started.”
Empower Advisor, WWM’s independent advisor practice acquisition platform, leverages the firm’s proprietary relationship management system, which places foremost priority on the comprehensive integration of client relationships into WWM’s organisation from day one of any acquisition. The platform draws on the latest behavioural finance techniques to help advisors develop a deeper understanding of new and prospective clients, and combines these techniques with breakthrough operational technologies to deliver a world class client onboarding and service experience that supports long-term client retention and ‘share of wallet’ growth.
Max Winthrop says: “The independent advisor M&A space remains a ‘frontier market,’ characterized by widely varying standards in valuation, due diligence, and operational integration between buyers and sellers. At the heart of these problems is the industry’s continued fixation on assets, rather than depth of relationships, in M&A deals. We believe that thorough client onboarding and integration from day one mark the difference between success and failure for firms that acquire independent advisor businesses. Our Empower Advisor platform enables us to achieve these key goals and provides the ability to align attractive financing solutions to sellers of independent advisory businesses or advisors looking to proactively build a succession strategy for the benefit of their clients.”
WWM is organised under an ensemble team model, in which business development is conducted at the firm level, and client service is performed through a highly collaborative team approach that draws on service professionals with interrelated fields of knowledge. Under this model, WWM’s financial advisors are able to fully focus on supporting clients while leveraging the firm’s subject matter professionals in tax advisory, insurance, estate planning and other adjacent fields on an integrated basis, and under a highly collaborative organisational culture.
Lucas Winthrop says: “In many ways, the industry’s new ‘fiduciary era’ is simply catching up to how our firm has operated for the past 30 years. For decades, every client touch point at WWM has been purposeful and relevant simply because it is driven by a profound appreciation of the client’s best interests. Meeting our clients’ needs is not good enough. We are on a mission to consistently raise the bar, seeking to exceed clients’ expectations at every stage of the relationship. The launch of our hybrid RIA allows us to empower advisors to provide the best possible advice and service to clients.
“We are excited about establishing the best possible home for successful and experienced independent advisors. Whether they are seeking to sell their businesses or join our team, we deliver a turnkey experience that maximises value at every stage of a transaction, and we help advisors by keeping their clients engaged and happy from the outset. At the same time, we continue to leverage emerging best practices in technology and behavioural finance to efficiently and effectively transition, serve and grow newly-acquired client relationships.”