Financial Advisor, New York City Area
The transition to independence is a time of optimism and upside, but also of potential pitfalls and vulnerability. Watson and his team were, for me, “the Advisor’s Advisor,” and they empathetically but also objectively helped me to assess the risks and the potential and to walk the fine line toward independence.
Watson’s team took the time to understand not only how I ran my practice then, but how I wanted to run it in the future – all against the backdrop of my personal and family needs and goals. They matched me up with the combination of RIA/OSJ/Broker Dealer that would best support my transition. Watson’s proactive approach helped me to realize my business potential, while he faithfully stood by me as “wingman” and advocate during my transition.
I couldn’t have done it without them, and I have recommended Watson and his team several times to colleagues and friends. Watson values long-term relationships, and we still stay in touch to discuss industry and business issues. Cheers!
Janel Cross, AIF®
Retirement Plan Advisor, Co-Fiduciary Consultant
I did a broker dealer search with Don and Watson some years ago, and we couldn’t possibly be happier with our new alignment. Don and Watson took a great deal of time getting to know me, my staff, my practice and my objectives before beginning the search process. The firms they recommended were all well-suited to meet our needs, and our ultimate choice to move to Commonwealth is probably the single most important business decision we’ve made. Our revenues have almost doubled since joining and our business model is more defined than ever before – all thanks to the research capabilities and expert guidance of AdvisorBridge.
Robert Iola, CLU, ChFC
President, IFG Wealth Strategies
I met Watson through an industry contact a few years ago when I was very dissatisfied with my broker dealer and looking to move my 24-year-old financial planning practice. I had wasted months trying to evaluate broker dealers on my own and was no closer to my goal of finding a more supportive and satisfying broker dealer relationship.
Watson took the time to understand what I was looking for and the reasons I was unhappy, and he shared his extensive insights on the financial services industry and the firms who serve it. He worked diligently to arrange meetings with several firms, preparing me for their strengths and weaknesses, and he ultimately found me the ideal relationship. He provided essential guidance on every aspect of establishing my new broker dealer alliance, helping me evaluate the situation correctly and negotiate the terms of the new arrangement.
Over the course of our working together, he became a coach and confidant – and occasionally a cheerleader for me. After more than two decades in business and having been adamant about not moving my practice again, Watson made sure I was happy, and he made sure my team and I were where we needed to be.
Watson’s credibility with the firms I interviewed made all the difference in my ability to finally find a broker dealer who could help me grow as an advisor and inspire me to build my practice to the level I had always envisioned. Watson has become a good friend and I believe any advisor or group of advisors would be well served by working with him.
I was so pleased to tell my business partner how much I always learn from our discussions.
It’s great to know that advisors like myself have an advocate to count on when it comes to charting our course. I don’t like the situation that brought us together, but in thinking that everything happens for a reason, I’m glad – in a strange way – that it happened.
$3M GDC (Gross Dealer Concession) Annual Producer
Watson and his team came highly recommended by several wholesalers I work with, and they did not disappoint. It was not only great to have an opportunity to meet with Watson person, but I also benefited from the multiple phone conversations we had throughout the process.
He had a firm grasp of my goals during my search for possible brokers/dealers, and he made it a point to not only get to know me and my firm, but also focus on how we conduct business along with determining our niche market and product.
I was pleased that Watson was straightforward and honest throughout the process. I found him to be extremely responsive, professional, and insightful.
Because I was determined not to change broker/dealers, the process also demonstrated his integrity as he didn’t make any profits. The process allowed me to confirm that my current broker/dealer is the best fit at this time. It also allowed me to use the information Watson provided as leverage while renegotiating a favorable outcome with my broker/dealer.
Frederick Hubler, Jr.
Creative Wealth Strategist, Creative Capital Wealth Management Group
Don and Watson helped us find the perfect broker dealer. They were informative about the differences between firms, and they were very responsive. Throughout the process – from accessing our needs to scheduling calls and home office visits – they were there. AdvisorBridge helped me understand the nuances between different platforms, clearing firms, and cost structures.
Kelly A. Lyons Stevens
I was a Financial Advisor for a large insurance company for 16 years. I had a unique situation and I was unsure how to proceed. A friend I worked with suggested I speak with Watson. After agreeing, I was contacted that very same day by Watson. He took the time to understand my situation, and he made me feel very comfortable, knowing I was nervous about the transition to an independent advisor.
Watson took the time to really get to know me and the type of firm I was attracted to, and I could not be happier with my new independent broker dealer. They are a smaller firm, which fits perfectly with me and my existing clients. My clients are used to personalized services, and they get that with my new broker dealer. Everyone from upper management to office staff has bent over backwards to help me when I have needed something. I feel like I'm part of a family.
Since my transition, I have had the opportunity to speak with clients I haven't seen or spoken to in a while, and I'm getting referrals from them without even asking.
I do have one regret, though: I should have made the move to the independent world a lot sooner.
Michael McDermott, CFP®, AIF®
Kathmere Capital Management
Watson and his team helped our company on two occasions. First, we were looking for a new broker dealer and he took us through a detailed process to select our new partner, who we have been with now for nearly a decade. I was particularly happy because he worked with all of the top broker dealerss we were considering and was quite knowledgeable with all of them.
A few years later, we decided to consider the hybrid platforms. Once again, there was so much to know and Watson and his team were a tremendous resource to guide us. We properly matched up our business model to the structure that served us the best, and it has proven to be a great move with significant growth ever since.
I think that any significant business decisions like these warrant the assistance of a pro, and AdvisorBridge certainly delivered for us.
One thing is inevitable: change. If you are contemplating it, you would be remiss not to meet and engage with AdvisorBridge. Watson and Don’s ability to shorten the learning curve – and to find a perfect fit for you and your practice – is invaluable. I had the opportunity to meet with their team in person to discuss my firm’s needs, and they gave me various options while leaning on their professional relationships.
I was very fortunate to have them as a resource, and I highly recommend them if you are considering a Broker Dealer or Custodian transition.
Founder and President, Frederica Wealth Advisory
After 20 years in the advisory world, I decided that it was time to realize my dream of true independence. Watson and Don got to know me and my business, and they diligently worked to match me with the best possible situation. They were helpful and thorough, providing me with updates and potential solutions on a regular basis.
Eventually, after a great deal of help from them, I started my own firm and I have never been happier. Not only would I recommend them, I would never use anyone else.