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Scott's Column

Did you ever feel really alone? I mean like you see the world one way and EVERYONE else sees it a different way.

It looks to me like everyone in the wealth management industry has fallen head over heels in love with bigness.

It seems like a new list celebrating the biggest firms is published every other month.

Meaningless acquisitions by ravenous aggregators grab the headlines every day.

Legions of consultants offer to reveal the secrets of opening a fire hydrant of leads and turning your sales funnel into a cornucopia of qualified prospects.

On and on it goes. The spotlight is always on big and the focus is on mindless growth.

It leaves me scratching my head.

For years the big wirehouses and largest regional firms have been bleeding advisors. In fact, the number of advisors at small independent firms recently surpassed the number at the mega firms.

Big didn’t look so good to these refugees. They experienced it up close and personal and decided that small looked better.

So why is the industry trending in the direction of recreating a business model that has been rejected by so many advisors? Is it greed? The influence of private equity firms? Boredom?

How about celebrating quality and focusing on constant improvement instead?

Let’s publish lists of firms that provide the best service to their clients.

Let’s write about firm mergers that expanded the capabilities available to clients.

Let’s applaud the consultants who teach us how to raise our client satisfaction levels.

I can’t be alone in wondering how we got so lost on our way to realizing the full potential of the fiduciary-driven, client-focused business model.

Am I really that alone, or are there others out there who wish we spent more time celebrating the good rather than the big?