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Problems and Solutions Examples -- Can you find yourself in this list?

A wide variety of business conditions, planned and unexpected, have led our clients to seek the personalized firm-level research consulting services delivered by CMC.   

The Break Away Broker

Practical problem: advisers who leave a larger firm to launch their own independent business lose key support that came from the home office. Many advisers find that their industry experience, personnel backgrounds and resources at launch are not adequate as a replacement and they often do not have the time to cover everything as they focus on bringing their business over.

Case 1: The Breakaway Adviser Team

With over $2 billion in AUA, an ensemble planning and investment management consulting practice left behind critical research resources when they launched their own business.  They sought an outsourced solution to fill the gaps that existed in their research process to complement their internal research efforts.  The client worked with CMC to develop an a la carte research solution to fit their needs.

The Self-Reflection Moment

Practical Problem: After years of building his business an adviser concludes that a tradeoff needs to be made between client facing activities like financial planning, client service and new business development vs. inward looking investment research in order to have the time to achieve a larger AUM size. Outsourced CIO services allow the adviser to divide the labor of running their business so greater focus can be achieved to leverage their most accomplished skills.

Case 2: The Multi-family Office RIA

A small multi-family office with approximately $150 million under management developed in-house model portfolios in an effort to make their operations more efficient.  Unfortunately, these model portfolios did not perform as expected.  CMC provided comprehensive asset allocation advice and model portfolios.  Help with the manager selection and ongoing due diligence process was also provided.  Finally, timely and relevant educational materials were created for use with their individual investor clients.

Case 3: RIA Aggregator

An advisory firm aggregator added practices to their firm that used money managers available but not approved by their preferred TAMP.  The firm concluded that neither the TAMP, the practices nor the home office had the bandwidth to pick up and maintain research coverage on these managers. The firm sought the services of an outsourced CIO to provide the ongoing monitoring and oversight on these managers.

Case 4: Ensemble Financial Planning Firm

Fast growing $400+ million RIA with a handful of wealth management ensemble teams recognized their need for dedicated research resources to provide asset allocation guidance, tracking a very broad range of investments used by their advisers for client portfolios and for assistance with client communications on economic and market matters post Great Recession. The advisory firm also wished to convey to their local marketplace that their firm had substantial dedicated research resources in place through an outsourced research provider.

Scaling for Growth

Adviser Problem: After years of building his business an adviser concludes that he will not meet his growth objectives given the demands of his client facing activities and investment management/portfolio construction duties.  There simply isn’t enough time in the day. CMC’s outsourced CIO services allow firms to grow their AUM by focusing on what drives AUM - business development and client service.

Case 5:  Planning RIA Aggregator

A growth-oriented planning multi-advisor RIA wanted to standardize the way the firm delivered asset allocation guidance, manager selection and research as well as portfolio construction. The firm also wanted a systematic approach for ongoing client contact and education. After considering whether to outsource or manufacture all of this themselves they took the suggestion of their custodian relationship manager and sought an outsourced CIO solution. Ultimately engaging an outsourced CIO left the firm better prepared and focused for selectively adding advisers, excelling at client service and growing their business. 

The DOL Rule

Adviser Problem: Even with a dedicated internal investment researcher some firms have realized that there are limits to the things one person or a small cadre of staff can do to provide a well-rounded and robust analytical framework to help make decisions and comply with the new heightened regulatory requirements for the wealth management industry.

Case 6: Comprehensive Wealth Management Firm

With over $1 billion in AUM a planning and investment management consulting practice wished to upgrade their investment manager research. While the firm possessed its own internal investment staff the firm chose to go outside the firm for specialized manager reporting and research services to supplement their own internal research. 

Case 7:  Risk Management Firm Decides to Expand Services

A successful insurance and retirement plan organization sought to complement their service offering by introducing investment management services to the high net worth community in their locale. With modest assets, and after some initial trial and error on their own, the firm concluded that their resources were better directed if channeled into getting new clients and providing planning and risk management services. Outsourcing most of the investment management work and customizing for internal use only reporting package to advisers was a practical solution that met their needs.

Downsizing & Cost Cutting

Adviser Problem: The Great Recession, a changing regulatory environment, low interest rates and subsequent slow economic growth has caused many financial service firms to rethink their fixed costs. While firms cannot shed their fiduciary responsibilities in the management of client assets they have tried to lower their costs allowing for continued profitability during a period of sluggish growth.   

Case 8:  An Enterprise’s Need for Cost Reduction

A $2 billion AUM bank post Great Recession needed to downsize their internal investment management staff to reduce overhead and chose outsourcing as a logical solution.  After an extended search for a research consultant that could provide customized services, the firm chose to outsource all SMA, fund manager selection and ongoing institutional level due diligence instead of staffing, licensing software, having a travel budget, etc. for internal staff.

CIO Departures or Replacements

Adviser Problem: The investment advice industry has traditionally had low barriers to entry and ample career portability. This can leave firms that have relied on an internal CIO high and dry if forced to seek a replacement. An outsourced solution can provide a reliable alternative delivered by a specialist.

Case 9:  Over $1 billion RIA experienced an unexpected departure of their Chief Investment Officer. The firm decided to avoid leaving the primary responsibility for research and decision making to one person.  Post CIO departure its investment committee decided to assume more of on oversight and generalist role and engaged CMC to provide a full range of investment management decision making support services

Case 10:  $100+ million RIA experienced the sudden departure of its Chief Investment Officer. The planning oriented principals of the firm had ceded much of the investment decision making to their CIO and needed a rapid solution for this staff loss.  The departing CIO led the principals to engage CMC to replace himself for a wide variety of investment management consulting research activities including manager research, manager selection and manager monitoring.  


These case summaries are not based on actual CMC client feedback or testimonials; rather, they are summaries of situations that led to CMC client engagements compiled by CMC. Accordingly, it is unknown whether any client whose situation is summarized above had a favorable or unfavorable experience with CMC, and no client is hereby endorsing CMC. The case studies above are not intended to imply anything to the contrary.  We have intentionally reduced the amount of detail in each case in order to protect the identities of these firms and we did not ask their permission to reference the circumstances of their business.


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