Citywire Americas – Five reasons international advisors are going boutique over broker

March 2016

Rob Mooney, chief executive of New York-based Snowden Lane Partners, reveals why more international client advisers are going independent.

With growth of the world’s wealthiest individuals exceeding that of wealthy persons in the US by 2020, many in the financial advisory community understand the opportunity in serving non-resident clients (NRCs).
Despite this, some of the industry’s largest players seem to be walking away or downsizing from international business for reasons that include lack of business scalability and the costs of complying with restrictive regulations. While this may make sense to big banks, it does little to appease sophisticated advisors who have, over years, developed a unique niche among NRCs. As wirehouses close up and downsize their international shops, advisors are seeking new opportunities with boutiques.
The ‘retrenchment phenomena’ is converging nicely with another trend that’s been at work for some time: that of advisors breaking away to the independent world. Today, we see advisors to NRCs have even more reasons to move to independence.
Since writing, ‘The World Is Flat’, author Thomas Friedman said ‘flat’ doesn’t mean ‘equal’. He meant there are more people with more power, and by that measure, more people with more wealth. Smart advisors serving NRCs understand the better way to service that wealth is to think ‘smaller’.
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