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Triad's Hybrid Platform Nears $2B

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Triad Advisors’ hybrid platform more than doubled its assets under management over the 18-month period that ended June 30, adding $1.3 billion in assets and bringing its total AUM to about $2 billion.

According to Triad — which is part of Ladenburg Thalmann — this expansion was  driven by the firm’s recruiting efforts; it added 31 financial professionals across multiple teams that have between $26 million and $590 million in client assets.

“The success of Triad Hybrid Solutions and its recent growth is indicative of advisors seeking to maintain their entrepreneurial efforts and growing their own business [as registered investment advisors or investment advisory representatives], but leveraging experts in the field” by becoming part of the firm and its hybrid platform, THS CEO Michael Bryan told ThinkAdvisor.

“The search for scale” by these advisors is “being met” by the platform, he added, noting that it serves advisors’ strategic needs, such as having access to upgraded technology and offloading complexity rather than operating entirely as an independent RIA.

The firm expects to add four additional offices to the platform by year-end. It now has about 110 independent advisors who use THS’ corporate RIA and are “operating under their own brand.”

The new advisors “need the core infrastructure to be able to run and grow their business without interfering with their entrepreneurial vision,” Bryan explained.

“Whether they’re coming from wirehouses — and some of them are — or coming from other independent advisory … or independent broker-dealer environments, and whether they are currently fee-only [or] going to fee-only,” Bryan explained, “in that relatively small sample size, we’ve had every one of those examples, including advisors shutting down their RIA in order to leverage [our] infrastructure.”

While the executive says the growth of Triad’s hybrid platform shows the continuing industry trend of advisors moving away from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority registration to become fee-only RIAs and IARs who must comply with Securities and Exchange Commission rules, there also are many advisors who represent a “slight variation on that trend.”

Some advisors prefer the hybrid model because it “gives the most flexibility, meaning being able to continue to do commissionable business, perhaps for specialty products, perhaps for very specific types of clients, but their primary focus perhaps is on the advisory side of the house,” Bryan explained.  As a result, Triad’s hybrid platform is “seeing a sweet spot there, where advisors feel like the true hybrid model is a great place to grow a business.”