Chip Roame of influential consulting firm Tiburon says the "breakaway broker" trend is a myth.
He's reportedly saying that in a typical year, less than 1% of all brokers move into the RIA channel.
Another 1% voluntarily switch brokerage affiliations. And 10% are on the move because they got let go for one reason or another.
Naturally, low performance accounts for a lot of the involuntary separation, so Roame sees a lot of newly independent firms starting with limited AUM -- maybe $17 million apiece.
Those who move on their own are the cream of the industry, so it balances out a bit.
Roame wouldn't mind seeing more advisors strike out on their own. He suggests a better "glide path" between wirehouse and independent RIA -- a network of industry "halfway houses," in his terms.
We know a lot of breakaway advisors around here at A4A and 1% of an entire industry on the move every year adds up pretty fast.
The breakaway movement has been around for decades now and is still picking up momentum.
And even those "involuntary" separations are a great opportunity for a broker to rethink his or her relationship to the industry and the advisory profession.