News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Callan terminates a $1-billion RIA as a client after a 20-year run after the RIA turned its competitive guns on Callan

CapGroup Advisors began to subadvise fellow RIAs and make its own UMA products, and Callan saw it as a conflict; the RIA agreed

Author Brooke Southall August 9, 2012 at 5:28 AM
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Richard Smith: Callan gave me an ultimatum.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

August 9, 2012 — 4:11 PM

I know Dick Smith, first hand, very well. This is not conjecture for me.

What he has done with the CapGroup is nothing short of amazing and should be a model for the industry in how to safely and routinely provide an extremely high level of counsel, going far beyond what is possible in a brokerage format. Dick is a true advisor acting in a fiduciary capacity, not a broker, and has achieved the impossible objective of scale for RIAs. This is because Dick is a far more informed and discerning user/buyer of expert advisory services than a lay broker who is not worried about building an advisory service infrastructure because they are selling advice products as an IAR. Dick is making advice safe, scalable, easy to execute and manage as a high margin business at the advisor level at a cost cheaper than a packaged product—not possible in a brokerage format.

Importantly, if your reference point is commission brokerage, others than commented here would be entitled to their views for brokers, but if you are an advisor who is concerned about continuously enhancing the level of expert counsel you provide, achieving scale and creating attractive margins at the advisor level, Dick Smith doen’t just win the arguement but does so in a compelling way for the client and the advisor. He has a compelling competitive advantage to those just flipping retail mutual funds—he is an advisor.

While Wall Street is quick to compromise the best interests of the investing public—it is the Dick Smith’s of the world who move the industry forward professional standing in ways not possible in a brokerage format.

The industry desperately needs market leadership which is in short supply that Dick Smith demonstrates in spades. If you can’t beat em, join em.


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Mentioned in this article:

Callan Associates Inc.
Manager Research
Top Executive: Ronald D. Peyton

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