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Commonwealth Targets Breakaways With 'Soft Landing' Program

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Commonwealth Financial executive Andrew Daniels Commonwealth Financial executive Andrew Daniels

Commonwealth Financial has launched Business Consulting Services, designed to support incoming wirehouse advisors going independent.

The “soft landing services suite” includes different offerings that aim to “ease the transition into business ownership and independence for newly affiliated wirehouse advisors,” according to the broker-dealer/RIA. They leverage in-house and external resources and include payroll support, human resources, marketing, finance and more.

The news comes about 10 weeks after Andrew Daniels, managing principal at Commonwealth Financial, told ThinkAdvisor that the firm was planning to step up its recruiting of breakaway financial advisors in 2021, especially those leaving the wirehouse firms.

“My focus is on the true wirehouse channel to broaden Commonwealth’s spectrum” at this point, he explained. Advisors from Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS have “been a relatively small piece of our historic pie,” with maybe just 12% of Commonwealth advisors historically coming from these three wirehouses, the executive added.

Also planned were initiatives designed to “ensure that we are being competitive” when it comes to forgivable loans to advisors and transition assistance for them, Daniels said in November, calling those efforts a “big part of the plan” for 2021.

More Program Details

With an increasing number of advisors leaving the wirehouses to become independent, Commonwealth “recognized that the needs of first-time business owners required a bespoke approach, in addition to dedicated transition support,” the firm said Wednesday.

“As founders and CEOs of their firm, incoming advisors to Commonwealth are finally empowered to assume full control of their business decisions,” according to Matt Chisholm, senior vice president, RIA services and practice management, at Commonwealth.

“While this is an exciting time for them professionally, we know they’ll need support to ensure a smooth transition into the independent world,” Chisholm said in  announcement. “Our Business Consulting Services suite will provide both a soft landing and a launchpad for advisors, their staff, and their clients.”

The Business Consulting Services team will work “in lockstep” with Commonwealth’s Transition team to create a “customized array of support services based on the advisor’s needs and vision for growth,” the firm said.

“Advisors can maintain, enhance, and grow their business by choosing from à la carte services that include real estate, legal, finance, marketing, human resources, investments, operations, technology, and risk management,” it explained.