Welcome, everyone! Welcome to the 55th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Tim Kochis. Tim is the co-founder of Aspiriant, one of the first independent RIAs to have reached $1 billion in assets under management in the early 2000s, that today is one of the advisory industry’s few independent RIAs focused on comprehensive wealth management to have reached a whopping $10 billion of AUM.
What’s fascinating about Tim is the way that he was able to attract and retain great talent as his firm grew, by distributing ownership equity of the firm early on… a philosophy that Aspiriant has retained by now having over 50 partners that participate in the firm’s equity ownership.
In this episode, Tim shares how he was able to grow so quickly to become one of the leading RIAs (with a niche focus on working with corporate executives), the way he differentiated his firm and gained credibility even without having a big corporate name on his business card, how he deepened his reach in his niche by co-authoring multiple books on tax strategies for managing executive compensation and concentrated stock positions, the reason why Aspiriant chose from early on to charge separately for investment management and financial planning, and how the firm structured its lengthy and comprehensive financial plans with a shorter Executive Summary up front and a deep Appendix of Technical Memoranda in the back… with all the technical information.
In addition, we talk in depth about how Aspiriant separated ownership from management of the firm, the management infrastructure it used to operate, why Tim and his partners ultimately decided to merge the firm with another large RIA after already reaching $2.5 billion of AUM, and how he navigated his own exit as the firm’s CEO (even though he still retains an ongoing ownership stake).
And be certain to listen to the end, where Tim discusses some of the insights he’s gleaned over the years in how to successfully execute a succession plan, and the work he’s now doing with leading industry consultants Philip Palaveev and David DeVoe on succession planning and developing the next generation for advisory firm leaders.
So whether you have been curious about ways you can establish credibility through a niche without a big corporate brand name, how to best structure a succession plan within your own firm, or are simply curious to learn more about the growth path of a multibillion dollar RIA, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!