The Urge to Merge: Insights from a Sole Practitioner's Search for Partners

Moisand, Dan
August 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2002, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p96
Academic Journal
This article discusses the experience of the author who is a sole financial planning practitioner in looking for partners in order to create an ensemble firm. Back in 1995, a couple of friends and I started one of the first team practices at American Express. In late 1997, my partner and I left American Express and signed on with the independent broker/dealer Linsco/Private Ledger (LPL). By the fall of 1999, my partner and I were no longer trying to go in the same direction, so that partnership was dissolved. By mid-2000, I was operating on a fee-only basis as an investment advisor registered with Florida. Most practitioners I talk to about this can quickly surmise that the problem with the first partner may have been averted had we done a better job of discussing where we all were personally. Having a better idea of what I wanted and did not want from my professional life, I set out to find the right partners. But I failed. If you are committed to working with others, there are some things I suggest you do and some things I suggest you avoid. The key is to have a clear, meaningful definition of what success means to you. My final world of caution is that I would encourage you to remember that there is no magic method of finding a partner, so do not waste time searching for one.


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