Breakaway Spotlight: Mariner Wealth Advisors

As part of Orion’s dedication to making 2021 the Year of the Breakaway Advisor, we’re turning the spotlight on some of the industry’s most successful “tuck-in” firms.

For advisors who want to establish their independence, but don’t have the bandwidth or desire to build a practice from scratch, tucking into an existing firm empowers them with the flexibility and control they desire, while also giving them the freedom to focus less on operations and business development and more on client experience.

Today’s featured firm is Mariner Wealth Advisors, a privately held national advisory firm founded in 2006 on the core principle of keeping the client at the center of everything they do. Mariner first established wealth planning resources, then expanded its service offerings to include tax and estate planning, trust services, investment management, personal insurance and retirement plan solutions, and specialized business services.

With advisors across the country and their robust suite of services managed in-house, Mariner can provide its clients with a comprehensive wealth planning experience tailored to their unique needs.

We caught up with Mariner to learn more about what makes the firm such an attractive tuck-in option for advisors considering breaking away.

What is Mariner Wealth Advisors guiding philosophy?

At Mariner Wealth Advisors, we live by our mission statement of client first, associate second, and shareholder last. It guides everything we do. If something isn’t right for the client, we simply will not do it.

We offer 360° advice designed to last, serving as advocates for our clients in both their financial and personal lives. We focus on partnering with clients to create a financial strategy for today and beyond, that’s flexible enough to change along with them. The ultimate goal? Help them identify what is important so they can achieve their goals—we’re committed to being here for everything life brings their way.

What qualities is Mariner Wealth Advisors looking for in an advisor?

The key to being an advocate for clients begins with the relationship between the client and the advisor. It needs to be built on trust. When recruiting and hiring advisors, we look for those who share the same values as our organization: abundance, optimism, caring, belonging, keeping promises, loyalty, and excellence.

In addition, we look for advisors who demonstrate the highest levels of integrity, act in their client’s best interest at all times and lead with wealth advice versus trying to beat an arbitrary benchmark. Investments are an important component of any wealth plan, but the value we deliver goes far beyond the portfolio. Without a solid wealth plan, investments operate in a silo. They need to be part of a strategy where everything works together to help the client reach their goals.

Why is now a good time for advisors to break away and join Mariner Wealth Advisors?

Today, advisors have plenty of options when deciding the type of firm that fits the way they like to work with clients. We are finding that advisors are reevaluating whether their current firm can provide the support they need today and into the future. They are also considering if their firm provides a unique value proposition that distinguishes themselves in the marketplace, and, ultimately, helps them grow their practice.

As the industry continues to evolve, clients will not only demand more from their advisors, but they will expect more from the client experience. Clients are looking for an experience that is comprehensive and, at the same time, simplifies their life. At Mariner Wealth Advisors, we provide advisors and their clients the type of resources they would find at a much larger firm, but take a boutique, personalized approach to those services and the overall client experience.

Since our inception, we’ve been investing heavily in resources to support our advisors and grow their practices. We continually invest money in our organization to help ensure our technology, tools, and capabilities are on the forefront of what’s important to advisors and help them grow their practices. There has never been a better time for advisors to have a conversation with us.

What kind of resources does Mariner Wealth Advisors offer breakaway advisors who join your firm?

We offer many different resources for advisors who break away from their current firm. First, we have a transition team that makes the switch for the advisor and their clients as seamless as possible. We offer training on the organization and resources available for both the advisor and the entire wealth team. In addition, day-to-day business functions are managed by our back-office teams including IT, operations, compliance, and marketing, which allows the advisor to focus on serving clients.

These various resources and individuals enhance our value proposition and provide clients with a seamless experience, culminating in 360° advice designed to last.

What do you believe sets your firm apart from others?

What truly makes us unique is our in-house advisory solutions teams. These are tenured professionals we refer to as “advisors to our advisors,” and as subject matter experts, they become part of a client’s wealth team. This group includes more than 100 professionals who advise on tax strategies and income tax return preparation. Trust, estate, and risk management professionals who work with the advisor to ensure a client’s assets are protected. Other services include business specialty services that help companies of all sizes across all industries with mergers and acquisitions, valuation and accounting, and retirement plan solutions for business owner clients. In addition, our practice management team helps ensure advisors run a more efficient practice while growing their businesses.

The advisor also works alongside our investment team. The team offers advice on portfolio construction, asset allocation, and investment strategies as part of a client’s overall wealth management plan. And, an open architecture framework gives the team flexibility to use third-party managers and in-house solutions as they construct portfolios.

In addition to the support listed above, we further help advisors grow their business organically by driving opportunities to them. We have a group of wealth consultants across the country whose job is to generate prospect introductions to our advisors. In addition, our growth strategy also includes a variety of referral programs and a digital client acquisition strategy.

What makes Mariner Wealth Advisors a good home for breakaway advisors?

Mariner Wealth Advisors is a good home for breakaway advisors because we understand the needs advisors have and have a proven track record of supporting advisors and their clients. We believe the more responsibilities we can take off the advisor’s plate, the more time they can spend developing a deeper relationship with clients, and ultimately growing their business.

We are also a very entrepreneurial organization and believe there isn’t any one way to run the company. We provide advisors the autonomy to run their practice the way they see fit, and we surround them with resources to help differentiate themselves.

What can breakaway advisors expect from their first 3-6 months with Mariner Wealth Advisors?

During the first 3-6 months, a breakaway advisor will be surrounded by resources and support to transition their business and to help mitigate any disruption. Our process provides each advisor with extensive training as it relates to our culture, services, and how they can leverage the greater resources of the firm to support their business. We know how important communication is with our advisors, especially during this transition phase. Once they are comfortable, we provide them with opportunities to grow their business by working with our organic growth opportunities.

If an advisor is considering breaking away and interested in Mariner Wealth Advisors, how can he or she get in touch with you?

I encourage them to visit joinmwa.com or contact me directly at marty.bicknell@marinerwealth.com. I would love to have a conversation with an advisor about their practice and how we might be able to support them.


For more information about becoming an independent advisor, please visit our Breakaway Resource Center!