Leveraging Mentorship at Moneta to Thrive as an Independent RIA Through the Industry’s Great Consolidation

“Organic growth” may be all the rage at your local supermarket, but the term seems to have lost its luster in the RIA industry. After a year of record volume for RIA mergers and acquisitions, growth for individual firms and the industry at large is often associated with consolidation.

Yes, combining multiple firms into one can quickly produce impressive results in the size department – but to what end? Is bigger always better?

Moneta associates its growth with a different word: mentorship.

Equipping the Next Generation of Financial Advisors

In a little more than a half decade’s time, Moneta evolved from a single-office firm with $14.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) at the start of 2016, into a national firm with locations in five different cities and $32.8 billion AUM by the beginning of 2022.

Moneta celebrated its 30th anniversary as an RIA during that time as the group of founding Partners who built their practice from scratch arrived at the same inflection point that so many other firms found themselves at, too: what happens to my clients after I retire?

The firms without a succession plan in place often opted to sell, fueling the industry’s great consolidation.

Moneta’s founding Partners chartered a differed way forward.

During their three decades of empowering other people to navigate life’s path, they also prepared for this crossroads of their own. They knew planning for their clients’ future must include planning for the firm’s future, as well.

Maintaining continuity of service from one generation to the next within client households required a next generation of Partners and Advisors equipped to thrive.

Where would this wave of talent come from?

They had to be homegrown. They had to be mentored.

Planning for More Than Succession

Moneta solved for the sustainability of its business by creating the “Path to Partner” and “Partner in Training” (PIT) programs that were founded on and driven by mentorship.

The process was designed to develop next-gen Partners who could do more than function as a traditional succession plan by merely taking a handoff of someone else’s practice. The graduates needed to continue growing the business so they could continue improving client service.

The PIT program evolved through several iterations over many years. Its eventual success became increasingly apparent as Moneta more than doubled in AUM while expanding into multiple new markets for the first time in firm history.

Some might say Moneta stuck the landing on a high degree of difficulty transition move, but the recent hiring of Bill Rowe into the newly created position of Chief Growth Officer came as a clear indication that we are confident the firm is still taking off.

Trusting the Process

To lead Moneta’s growth both organically and inorganically, one of Rowe’s first major initiatives is to enhance and launch a new and improved PIT program. Mentorship remains the foundation and takes center stage as a main point of emphasis.

“Mentors are vital in any career,” Rowe said. “We all maintain different strengths and weaknesses. Leveraging the experience of others provides an efficient and effective way to learn and ultimately achieve one’s goals. We want to help everyone maximize their potential.”

The mission of the new PIT program is to create well rounded Partners who are prepared to lead their respective teams and contribute to the firm according to their strengths and interests. It focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes, and managing personal change in preparation of PIT candidates becoming Partners. Increased measurability and accountability will be hallmarks of the evolved process.

“The mentor plays many roles including teacher, supporter, counselor, listener and coach, all conveyed through a relationship based in ‘trust’,” Rowe said. “When the trust level is extremely high, people’s guard goes down and there is an increased opportunity to grow. No matter where you are in your career, you never master everything, and you can always find someone who has already been through what you are going through.”

“When one person grows, everyone benefits.”

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