Ep #82: Scaling Your RIA - An Interview with J.D. Bruce

January 11, 2017


This week, J.D. Bruce - President of Abacus Wealth Partners - shares his experience of growing a firm from a solo practice to an established business with a professional management, a board of directors, and a governance structure. J.D., a CPA with management experience across a variety of industries, was hired at Abacus to help merge two solo firms into the successful operation that exists today.

Advisors who want to transition their firms away from the founder-centric model must be strategic about when and how to hire professional management. J.D. shares helpful advice on when to consider professional management. There are certain barometers advisors can use to ensure hiring happens at the right stage of growth.

In addition to bringing in professional management, advisors must also be intentional about creating a culture where decision-making power is completely transferred. Resources with the skillset to build the business need the autonomy to operate effectively. J.D.'s experience at Abacus is a case study in how solo firms can successfully implement the transition to growth-oriented, professionally managed firms.

Developing your solo practice into a large business is definitely possible and J.D. provides valuable insight on how to make the transition smoother.


Listen to the Full Interview:

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What You'll Learn from This Episode:

  • A barometer for when advisors should consider bringing on professional management.
  • How founders can implement a succession plan to outside management.
  • The difference between a marketing manager and a COO.
  • The Abacus culture that lends itself to taking risks and pivoting quickly.
  • The first type of professional manager that J.D. suggests firms hire.
  • When an operating agreement becomes necessary when running a business.
  • What a director of operations does for an advisory firm.
  • How a large firm handles the process for recruiting and hiring additional resources.

Featured on the Show:


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