Home Finance Crypto news #FA Success Ep 373: Transitioning To Launch A New RIA By Taking On Passive Investors For Startup Capital, With Ben Hockema

#FA Success Ep 373: Transitioning To Launch A New RIA By Taking On Passive Investors For Startup Capital, With Ben Hockema

#FA Success Ep 373: Transitioning To Launch A New RIA By Taking On Passive Investors For Startup Capital, With Ben Hockema


Ben Hockema Podcast Featured Image FASWelcome back to the 373rd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast! 

My guest on today’s podcast is Ben Hockema. Ben is the Founder of Illuminate Wealth Management, an RIA based in Barrington, Illinois that oversees $100M in assets under management for 55 client households.

What’s unique about Ben, though, is that he spent 13 years successfully working his way up the career track at a growing advisory firm, starting as an intern and eventually making partner… only to realize within 18 months that it wasn’t a good culture fit for him and that he’d need to leave, but then figured out how to take on passive equity investors in a new startup RIA who helped to finance his ability to buy out a portion of his client base from the firm he was leaving in order to build the business he really wanted to build.

In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Ben leveraged some of his personal relationships to find 2 passive investors who were willing to give him money in exchange for a 25% stake in his new RIA and the 16 existing clients he’d be buying out from his prior firm, how, through developing a structured annual client service calendar guiding their offerings month-to-month throughout a given year, and a fee schedule structured around a client’s net worth, Ben has been able to attract prospects and rapidly grow his client base from $16M to $100M in just the past 3 years, and how Ben’s successful growth phase led him to do a second round of capital with a wider base of 13 investors where he sold another 10% of his equity in order to further paydown his debts incurred in the original RIA transition and launch.

We also talk about Ben’s journey from a 3-summer long internship at his first firm, to being offered the opportunity to take over an acquired firm and its client base in Chicago, to being asked to become part of the ownership team, how Ben then realized that his entrepreneurial goals and willingness to take risks on new ideas were ultimately misaligned with the desires of the other owners and that staying in an environment that had admittedly been very successful for over 30 years would still likely leave him bored and disengaged, and how Ben found that he needed to spend time working with a therapist to manage the grieving process that came from realizing he’d need to sever business relationships he’d spent more than a decade building.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Ben shares how he took it upon himself to find his own advisor study group of peers that ultimately become his most valuable support asset through a decade of transitions, Ben’s discovery that, despite his imposter syndrome throughout several shifts in his career, that being willing to ask the questions that you fear might be ‘dumb’ questions and are afraid to ask can help open doors and bring growth opportunities to light earlier, and how Ben has now transitioned from having been the intern who grew all the way to advisor and then partner to trying to create a work environment that affords a safe space for younger, newer advisors to similarly get the opportunity to grow and develop as he did in his early career.

So, whether you’re interested in learning about how to listen to your gut when you find yourself misaligned with the business you’re deeply invested in, ways to structure your client services calendar in a way that allows clients to let go of their worry about money because of the trust they have in their relationship with you and your firm, or how to build a team, no matter how small, that truly fits with the trajectory of the firm and proves to be the perfect balance you are looking for, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Ben Hockema. 

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