Break Away From The Pack

Are You Ready To Form Your Own RIA? We Can Make It Happen For You.

Forming a new registered investment advisor (RIA) entity affords advisors the autonomy and flexibility to serve their clients while building long-term business equity. Doing this successfully requires an acute knowledge of enforceability of contractual restrictive covenants, federal and state securities laws, corporate formation, compliance, employment issues and more.

At Breakaway Partners, we will walk you through all the steps necessary to take you from being an employee to being the proud new owner of your own RIA. Our experience will help us guide you in breaking away from your current employer, ready to chart your own course. Helping you along the path to success as an autonomous financial advisor provides us immense satisfaction.

The First Step: Contract Review

Our San Diego-based attorneys have transitioned financial advisors from every platform imaginable (from large wirehouses to small boutique RIAs) in every jurisdiction throughout the country. We are likely already familiar with your current employer/platform, your Employment/Independent Contractor/Investment Representative Agreement(s), and the appetite your current platform may have for litigation. This allows us to immediately assess and mitigate risk. This assessment begins with a review of your current contracts at which time we will analyze the enforceability of any restrictive covenants and notice obligations. We will then create a strategy to work with and minimize the impact of such contractual provisions on your journey to independence.

The Second Step: Entity Formation And Organization

After we review the applicable contracts with your prior firm, our attorneys will then assess your proposed business plan and provide you with best practices. ​We will advise you on operational structure and regulatory requirements for your new business venture. We offer early succession planning at this stage.

With our help, you will be able to verify the availability of your proposed entity name with the applicable state agencies. We will draft the necessary corporate organization documents for your new venture, including shareholder, operating and management agreements.

As your RIA takes shape, we will help you draft minutes and other organizational documents as necessary to adopt the required operating agreements, issue membership interest and authorize your new entity to conduct business. When the time is right, we will consult with you regarding more complex corporate matters, including performance incentive plans (PIPs) and capitalization.

Next Step: Initial Compliance

To launch your practice, you will need to be registered with the appropriate state or federal regulatory authorities. We will prepare and help you submit all necessary documents to register with the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD) and Central Registration Depository (CRD), or state agencies as necessary. In addition, we can act as your IARD and CRD administrators to coordinate all regulatory filings and funding activity. Attorneys at our firm will prepare and file your firm’s Form ADV, including all applicable schedules and disclosure brochures.

We can prepare and file necessary state regulatory filings, if required, as well as the necessary templates for individual advisor registration and disclosure forms. We will file requisite individual advisor forms with the appropriate securities regulator(s) via the CRD and post disclosure to IARD.

At all times, we will communicate with appropriate regulator(s) to monitor and respond to foreseeable deficiencies until they are cured.

In addition to registration, we will help you develop a Compliance Policies and Procedures Manual, a Code of Ethics, and other processes that conform to your business operations and ensure you begin your practice in compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

Crafting Client Agreements

We will consult with you to understand the specific agreements required for the type of services you offer (investment management, wealth management, financial planning, wrap fee, et cetera).

We provide a complete package of investment advisory agreements that are consistent with your business plan and regulatory filings.

Providing Transition Assistance

Ask us for help with the resignation process to minimize the risk of litigation​. We are available to review and analyze critical documents related to your or your team’s current employment that could impact the transition, including:

  • Current employment agreements
  • Promissory notes and loan documents
  • Production agreements and compensation packages

We can help you develop a comprehensive exit strategy for all transitioning employees, including yourself. We can help you draft a resignation letter that can be modified as necessary for all exiting employees.

We can review with you the necessary steps to take advantage of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, where applicable. We’ll help you navigate appropriate noncompetition, nonsolicitation, confidentiality or other contractual restrictive covenants.

Turn to us for guidance on permissible contacts with clients regarding the transition, both before and after resignation. Bring us your questions related to client and COI communication as they arise after transition.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

We will identify and alert you to the valuable intellectual property (IP) that your new entity will have, including trademarks, trade secrets and more. We will then help you create an IP protection plan and develop the documents and agreements necessary to protect your valuable IP.

Understanding Employment Matters

As you start your own RIA, you may need help understanding and administering employee compensation and benefits. We will prepare and provide offer letters and employment agreements for key personnel. Then we will collaborate with you to create an employee handbook and other essential employment policy documentation as needed.

Learn More

As described above, we are well-prepared to provide full-service, comprehensive guidance and assistance in all matters associated with launching your own RIA entity. Our services include answering questions and remaining responsive as your outside general counsel well after you launch your new business. To schedule a consultation, call 619-826-8345 or contact us online at your convenience. Although based in San Diego, we can serve clients nationwide.