In the wealth management industry, several cooks in the kitchen might actually improve the broth.

Wealth management heavyweight Osaic engaged research firm Cerulli Associates to expand its expertise in the “untapped area” of teaming, according to Dimple Shah, head of corporate strategy at Osaic. Cerulli talked to a broad sample of over 20 advising teams in the first quarter of 2024 and analyzed over 2,000 responses to its annual advisor research collaborative survey as part of the study.

“One of the focal points of our Corporate Strategy is to help entrepreneurial financial advisors achieve outsized growth and productivity,” Shah said in an email. “To support this strategy, we are focused on developing new thought leadership as well as capabilities to help advisors supercharge their growth.”

The resulting study found that working with others in teams often provides more strategic advantages than working as an individual.

“I think overall, advisor teaming has become prevalent across the industry.

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It’s been a consistent drumbeat across all the wealth management advice channels,” said senior wealth analyst Stephen Caruso of Cerulli. “There’s an increasing opportunity for advisors to work together, and with working together it begets more solutions.”

The study found that although more than half of financial advisors work in solo practices, advisors who work on teams brought in an average of $13 million more in net asset flows than individual advisors. And in team-based practices, each advisor averaged more assets under management than at solo practices.

“As an advisor, trying to do everything for your client — planning, paperwork, account maintenance, trading — is not the most efficient way of providing services to clients and limits the advisor’s number of clients they can work with relative to a team,” said Daniel Lash, partner and financial advisor at the Vienna, Virginia-based VLP Financial Advisors.

Working on a team allows individual advisors to become more specialized in an area of expertise. The study found that over a third of team-based practices have specialized staff, compared to one-tenth of solo advisors.

Scott Bishop, partner and managing director at Houston-based Presidio Wealth Partners, said he believes the advantages of working on a team “significantly” outweigh any drawbacks and agreed with the finding.

“You can have a multidisciplinary team. Very few are good at everything. By building a team, you can add the pieces that are not your strengths to be able to better serve clients,” Bishop said via email.

Halbert Hargrove, a Long Beach, California-based wealth advisory and fiduciary investment firm, employs a team-based horizontal organization structure with a team of CFPs, client service managers and associates.

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“Everyone has a voice,” said Kelli Kiemle, Halbert Hargrove’s managing director of growth and client experience. “Everyone has a say, and I think that’s really helped as well.

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Also, none of the staff or advisors is managed by anyone on their individual team. We have outside managers that manage every individual on the team, and that structure has really helped as well.”

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