My guest on today's podcast is Brian Carney. Brian is a co-founder of RiversEdge Advisors, an independent RIA based in Wilmington, Delaware that oversees over $400 million in assets under management for nearly 300 client households.
What's unique about Brian, though, is how he and his partner dealt with the ‘fortunate’ problem of having rapid growth as their firm gained momentum, rising from $150M to $300M of AUM in just 18 months… and how the associated growing pains led to burnout, losing nearly half their staff, and required them to completely rebuild the infrastructure of the firm to actually be able to get to the next level.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Brian and his partner made a goal in 2018 to double their AUM of $150 million in 5 years and the Center Of Influence referral marketing approach that let them get there in only 18 months, why what should have been a positive of big growth turned into a nightmare of working too-long hours and making staff changes that lost almost half their headcount in just a few months, and how Brian was only able to turn it around by hiring 2 recruiters and 2 consultants, to help not only the then-struggling culture of the firm, but to quickly find the replacement employees they needed who were the right fit and could help the firm get back on track to success.
We also talk about how, despite having an optimistic outlook, Brian struggled to not take it personally as the culture declined at his firm and the bulk of their employees decided to leave, the realization that Brian had that being a manager was just not his nor his partner’s natural skillset and that they needed to hire an Operations Manager to take over those responsibilities, and the weekly Operations and Opportunities meetings that the firm has implemented to get more organized and keep the whole team aligned.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Brian shares how he was surprised even after being in the financial industry for years, how much work and emotions are involved in going from a financial planner to a financial planning business owner, why Brian believes it is important for newer advisors to find a firm that can provide the space for them to concentrate more on their client relationships and less on prospecting, and how even though Brian has faced many challenges in scaling his firm, he and his partner are ready to set even bigger growth goals in the future… now that they’ve made the key hires they needed to get there.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Brian and his firm were able to attain rapid growth in only 18 months, how Brian handled a decline in firm culture and nearly losing all his employees, or how Brian and his partner pivoted to attract new talent and set up the firm for even greater success, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Brian Carney.