Some of the original buzz stemmed from turmoil at the big companies after 2008, with Smith Barney being sold to Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. That made breaking away more compelling, says Jeff Fuhrman, chief operating officer at LLBH d/b/a Coastal Bridge Advisors, which is now affiliated with Focus Financial Partners, an “aggregator” of independent advisers. “Arguably [LLBH d/b/a Coastal Bridge Advisors was] leaving a big, stable firm. But soon, independence looked far more stable,” he says.
By Tom Stabile