Breaking Up: A Former $750mm UBS Advisor’s “Split” for Independence
A conversation with Robert Harris, Senior Wealth Advisor, Avidian Wealth Solutions
Many top teams are built on synergistic dynamics—where one advisor’s talents are complemented by another’s. These partnerships can provide the shared expertise that results in better service for clients and greater success for the business overall.
But, like any relationship, there often comes a point where partners may find themselves on different pages. And it’s particularly common when considering the future of the business.
That is, one may feel that the firm no longer serves them and it’s time to consider other options, while the other is content, with no desire for change.
It’s at that point where some reach an impasse that can only be resolved by breaking up the team to go their separate ways.
And the very scenario Robert Harris found himself in.
Having built a strong business at UBS over more than two decades, Robert started questioning the status quo and decisions that the firm was making—which made him wonder what value they were ultimately receiving.
But his partner didn’t share those feelings.
After an intensive due diligence process, and a lot of introspection, Robert made the difficult decision to break up the team to pursue what he felt was best for his high net worth clients and the business overall.
So in September of 2019, he joined Avidian Wealth Solutions (formerly STA Wealth).
Robert candidly shares his story with Louis Diamond, including:
- The value of a partnership to both the clients and business—and how they are challenged when individuals find themselves with disparate visions and goals.
- The potential impact of retire-in-place-programs (such as UBS’s ALFA) on team members at different phases of their careers—and what each advisor needs to think about when a partner is considering signing on.
- The process one goes through when breaking up a team—and how Robert resolved that, both emotionally and financially.
- The pushes and pulls that led Robert away from UBS—and how, after exploring different options, he was drawn to independence.
It’s certainly not easy to break up a partnership—particularly when strong feelings have developed over years of building a successful business together. But when the partners have different visions for the firm, it can be difficult to find a single path that will satisfy both.
As Robert candidly shares, it ultimately comes down to being honest with yourself and doing what’s best for the clients overall.
It’s an episode that will resonate with anyone who is currently in a partner or team construct—or considering one.
Robert brings more than two decades of investment management and financial planning experience in addressing the needs of high-net-worth families, entrepreneurs, and executives. He Joined Avidian Wealth Solutions in 2019. Prior to joining Avidian, Robert was a Senior Vice¬ President of Investments and Senior Portfolio Manager at UBS Financial Services Inc for over 20 years.
Robert works with clients to develop personalized financial plans to achieve their goals for retirement, investment, business succession, and wealth-transfer planning. He offers a true family office experience by utilizing Avidian’s in-house team of credentialed financial planners, attorneys, tax professionals, and investment analysts to assist in all aspects of his clients’ financial lives.
Robert graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor of business administration degree in Finance and received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®) education from Rice University.
As part of his community involvement activities, Robert is involved in coaching youth sports, multiple missions that focus on adoption, church planting, Bible translation, and Angel Flight. He is also active at Christ Community Church in Houston.
Robert and his wife, Ronna, have two sons, Luke and Logan. Robert enjoys traveling with his family, spending time at their lake house in Carlton Landing, Oklahoma, and all things aviation.