“It’s not about the money” …until it is.

Most fiduciary advisor teams are not looking to make a move solely for the economic benefit of it. Rather, they are seeking true autonomy or a better home for their clients, but there are times when a move would be prohibitive due to financial constraints that are difficult to solve for. Fortunately, as the financial services industry has evolved, so has access to capital solutions. For teams seeking to become independent RIAs, the access to capital has never been greater.

“It’s the greatest challenge for many of these teams with large forgivable loan balances or teams with senior advisors wanting to structure a buyout. The new ability to secure funding through various sources is strengthening the move to independence”, says Rob Blevins, President of Rowlette, Inc.

Unlike traditional SBA loans which prohibit the use of capital to pay back a traditional wirehouse EFL (employee forgivable loan), there is a new array of capital sources that allows for it. Normally these solutions come with fewer restrictions and, and in most cases, are easier to obtain from institutions or private equity entrants who understand our space and your book of business.

With so many sources willing to extend capital comes many ways to grow a practice:

  • M&A – for the purchase of other firms that will provide meaningful growth to your practice.
  • Succession Planning – to buy out a partner or attract an advisor from the wirehouse who is looking to transition and then sell on a capital gains basis instead of a traditional W-2 “sunset” arrangement.
  • Tuck-ins for your practice – if you’re looking to grow your firm with the addition of advisors or small teams needing scale, you will be competing against professional business development teams of the strategic platforms…and their deep pockets. Having access to capital makes your firm more attractive to the advisor leaving a home and looking for financial support.
  • Start-Up Capital – fund the launch of your own firm; smooth out the transition period cash flow and provide peace of mind to your clients and team members.
  • Capital Infusion – new technology, office build-out/purchase, marketing, new hires, etc. The opportunities to spend a dollar to make 2 are endless.


Securing capital on your path to independence opens many doors you may have thought to be closed.

For instance, we are working with a team that was convinced the balance of its EFLs would block their ability to launch their own RIA. The team came to Fusion Financial Partners for information to “get the process started,” and were frustrated by the prospect of having to wait several years to realize their dreams of true independence. Fusion Financial Partners’ Investment Banking team was undaunted. Through our proprietary RFP process, we were able to present six term sheets to the team, allowing them to choose which terms were most agreeable to them. This culminated in the team securing a $4 million loan in under 3 weeks and provided them with capital to pay back what was owed and working capital to infuse into their new business. The team provided one set of information, one time and are looking forward to a move this Summer! Our team was able to remove all of the frustrations they were encountering during their own due diligence, including not knowing all of the players, not understanding the different terms of each funding option, not having the time to submit multiple applications to multiple lenders and not having the expertise to negotiate terms.

“As a wirehouse financial advisor, you are building enterprise value in something intangible. You hold no inventory. You have no business assets. Traditional banks lack expertise as to how to attribute a value here. These new lenders are wanting to fund high caliber teams looking to launch their own RIA. They see the value and know the growth trajectory when a team goes on their own. And, they are willing to back it with their capital – all without expecting you to sell”, says Mike Papedis, CEO of Fusion Financial Partners. “Capital infusion is a tremendous way to add fuel to your growing business and accelerate the multiple of your enterprise value. Our process has several lenders competing to give YOU money under terms negotiated by our banker on your behalf.”

The trend towards independence has never been stronger. In my 20 years of experience, I have worked with countless teams who have either stayed put (under misery until “more of the EFL burns off”) or, disappointingly, went to their second-choice firm because they were able to provide them with capital.

There are capital providers wanting to support your dream to launch an independent practice under your terms TODAY. It’s not about the money, or is it?

Authored by:  Kimberly Papedis – President, Fusion Financial Partners


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Suite 206
Carlsbad, CA 92011

(760) 304-4636