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Wirehouse vs. Aggregator Teams: Understanding Private Wealth Groups

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The financial services industry is dynamic, constantly evolving in order to accommodate the ever-changing demands of the wealthy. In order to best cater to the current wealth management needs of individuals and institutions alike, private wealth groups have claimed a dominant place in the ranks of wealth advisory groups alongside family offices and independent investment advisors. In this blog, we will take a deeper dive into the two main structures of these groups: wirehouse and aggregator teams.


These private wealth groups, which fall under or within a “parent” institution, are key to providing not only an alternative to more boutique wealth management firms for their clientele, but also an alternative structure for the advisor teams. This structure provides groups with the resources and compliance of a larger firm and allows the team to focus their efforts on serving their clients.

FINTRX Launches Private Wealth Group Dataset

Wirehouse Groups

The wirehouse structure is exactly what it sounds like–groups that work within a wirehouse (i.e. UBS, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo) as specialized wealth advisory units. This creates branches of advisory groups that allow clients to access the resources and products of these mega institutions while leveraging the personalized approach of dedicated reps in a more intimate environment. Wirehouse groups heavily rely on the products and resources of the firm to provide value to their clients. While these teams are able to offer direct access to unique alternative investment opportunities or discounted banking accounts and services for their clients, they can also be limited to those offered by their wirehouse. Depending on the desires of the client, this can be a blessing or a curse.

wirehouse vs. aggregator teams

Working for a Wirehouse

For wealth advisors, working for a wirehouse can be a helpful structure in several ways. Wirehouses can be a simple and straightforward starting off point for advisors to begin accruing clients and building the necessary rapport needed to establish a trusted personal brand in the industry. Clients seeking out new wealth managers often turn to wirehouses to supply them with trusted resources and advisors backed by a strong brand, providing easy access to new relationships for the advisors.

Additionally, wirehouses allow advisors and teams a space to manage assets without having to handle compliance and business operations, which can be overwhelming and draining, especially to a newer team. For this reason, starting a wealth advisory practice within a wirehouse can be an easy jumping off point for professionals to learn the ins and outs of the industry and build a client base in order to eventually run an independent practice.

 

 

Aggregator Groups

Aggregator groups fall into the space between wirehouse teams and independent RIAs. They are neither fully consumed by a wirehouse nor are they completely free from a larger firm. This structure can be immensely helpful for many reasons, including the ability to enjoy more independence than a wirehouse structure while still leveraging the regulatory oversight and management of a larger RIA.

Due to their ties to a larger firm, aggregator teams also offer high-level and dependable wealth advisory services to their clients. They are often able to offer exclusive investment opportunities or discounted financial products through the aggregator, while also not being limited to one particular provider. For this reason, they are sometimes considered more flexible and may be able to offer their clients a bit more of a bespoke wealth management experience than a wirehouse team, though of course not as flexible as an independent firm. Those who are choosing a wealth advisor for the first time might opt for an aggregator group for their unique combination of flexible management strategies and the backing of a trusted brand.

wirehouse vs. aggregator teams

Working in an Aggregator Network

Because these types of teams sit in the middle of wirehouse & independent groups, they are often used as a stepping stone to building a fully independent practice. Aggregators (i.e. Mercer, Hightower, Mariner) offer advisors a fairly straightforward path to moving away from a wirehouse without having to take the full leap to operating their own firm–a jump that can come with significant headaches and growing pains.

Similarly, independent RIAs that are looking to offload compliance, downsize their team, or even leverage discounted products and services can be acquired into these aggregator networks to take the pressure off of running their own firm. In short, by offering things like research, compliance, HR services, marketing or even physical office space, aggregators create a secure structure for their wealth teams without being a fully-integrated wirehouse-like group.

 

 

Accessing Private Wealth Groups

Unfortunately for those prospecting into private wealth groups, whether within wirehouses or aggregators, data on these teams is nearly impossible to source. Since these advisors sit within or under their parent institution, they do not register with the SEC or submit regulatory filings, as they are rolled up within the larger firm. While it is possible to manually research some firms through wirehouses and aggregators that provide straightforward and detailed websites, most groups are not so easily found. In addition, wirehouses do sometimes offer ‘data packs’ of their internal private wealth teams, but these packs are typically static spreadsheets sold at prices upwards of $500,000 to $1 million. In short, in order to effectively gather data on these teams, the options are mostly limited to high cost, low utility. Until now...

FINTRX now offers the first and only active private wealth group data intelligence solution in the industry. Providing data on over 13,000 groups and 50,000+ reps and contacts, FINTRX offers users exclusive access to a fully comprehensive and dynamic dataset on teams within wirehouses and aggregator networks with advanced filtering capabilities and workflow tools. The one-of-a-kind dataset includes in-depth details on investments utilized, client analysis, AUM & account data, direct contact information and so much more, empowering you to conduct intensive research and prospecting into wealth teams with a single click.

GIF Recording 2023-10-17 at 10.28.05 AM

This unprecedented dataset is continuously updated and verified by a research team dedicated entirely to private wealth groups, with new wealth teams and aggregators added constantly. Committed to providing the most expansive and comprehensive dataset in the industry, the FINTRX team works endlessly to ensure that industry professionals have access to the most up-to-date, accurate and actionable information on these niche groups.

 

FINTRX delivers unprecedented access into wealth teams within wirehouses & independent aggregators - arming your team with the detailed intelligence and powerful interface needed to map, access and sell into this tough to reach market.

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About FINTRX

FINTRX is a unified family office and RIA database that provides comprehensive data intelligence on 850,000+ family office and investment advisor records, ultimately designed to help asset-raising professionals identify, access and map the global private wealth ecosystem. Find relevant decision-makers in a snap with powerful search filters and queries. Uncover the data you need, when you need it and filter through areas of investment interest, AUM, asset flows, intent signals, potential associates and much more. FINTRX sources data from both public and private sources and has a team of 75+ researchers who map, validate and compile data daily to ensure its accuracy.


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