Those looking at the wirehouses to become a new center of independent advice -- out of desperation -- are pointing to the hybrid approaches of the old Wachovia as the model.
Chip Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors insists that the wirehouses are going to create "halfway houses" this year to keep their reps from leaving.
He looks to Wells Fargo's acquisition of various independent and quasi-independent Wachovia units like FiNet as the way these hybrid operations might work.
I'm sure A4A readers appreciate the nod to the power of independence, but this an odd argument for Roame to keep hammering on given his noted aversion to seeing advisor breakaways as anything more than a "myth."
If advisors aren't eager to bail on the big firms, then why would the big firms broaden their operating models to accommodate them?
And why, in particular, would they leap to do so in the immediate future?
On the other hand, if the wirehouses do move toward at least some lip service to independent models, then the breakaway movement is a viable threat to their "business as usual" approach after all.