Strategy

Exclusive: Steve Lockshin On Advizent, The New RIA Marketing Consortium

Charles Paikert, Contributing Editor in New York City, 24 July 2012

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Steve Lockshin, chairman of Convergent Wealth Advisors and founder of outsourcing powerhouse Fortigent, is convinced that independent advisors and wealth managers need to band together to have a fighting chance against Wall Street.

Independent advisors of the country unite; you have nothing to lose but your anonymity!

No, Steve Lockshin, uber capitalist and entrepreneur, hasn’t actually used that variation of the Communist Manifesto’s famous opening line. But he might as well, because it pretty much sums up Lockshin’s pitch for Advizent, his new business venture with Charles Goldman, the former head of the RIA custody units at Schwab and Fidelity.

Lockshin, chairman of Convergent Wealth Advisors, who also founded the firm that is now outsourcing powerhouse Fortigent, is convinced that independent advisors and wealth managers need to band together to have a fighting chance against the Wall Street and multi-national financial service firms against whom they compete for consumers’ attention and wallets.

In the spring, Lockshin and Goldman sent shockwaves through the industry when they announced the formation of Boulder-based Advizent, a for-profit consortium of advisory firms designed to pool resources to create brand awareness for independents.

The for-profit venture, according to Lockshin, already has nearly 90 firms with combined assets of $120 billion who want to join. The firms must have at least $250 million in assets under management and can expect to pay a membership fee between $25,000 and $100,000.

Next week Lockshin, who is currently Barron’s top-ranked independent financial advisor, will be making headlines again when he announces the  high-profile founding members of Advizent’s independent board, which will be chaired by a venerable industry figure whose name is practically synonymous with consumer advocacy and choice.

But first, Lockshin sat down for an exclusive interview with Family Wealth Report to discuss his vision for the potentially revolutionary new business.

FWR: How is Advizent being funded?

SL: The venture has been capitalized to date by Charles Goldman and myself with over $1 million in personal cash and we will continue to fund it as appropriate. We are in discussions with outside investors and hope to close an initial round in the coming weeks of an additional couple of million dollars.

FWR: What kind of investors?

SL: We’re talking to everybody. Private equity divisions of public companies and private individuals. Folks who cannot invest are members or asset managers because we want no play-to-pay or conflicts of interest.

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