The financial services landscape is undergoing a transformation, with an increasing number of advisors opting to leave corporate firms and embark on their journey as independent business owners. This shift is driven by several factors that have reshaped the way financial professionals approach their careers and relationships with clients. Explore six compelling reasons financial advisors are choosing to break away from traditional corporate structures and establish their own independent advisory businesses.


One of the primary reasons financial advisors make the move to independence is the desire for greater autonomy and flexibility. In a corporate setting, advisors often find themselves adhering to rigid guidelines and company policies that may not align with their preferred methods of client interaction and financial planning. By establishing their own independent practices, advisors gain the freedom to customize their services, set their hours, and tailor their strategies to meet individual client needs.

Read why Dean Millonas made the move to independence after he saw his corporate firm change.


Working within a corporate firm can sometimes create a disconnect between advisors and their clients. Independent financial advisors often have the opportunity to build deeper, more personal relationships with their clients because they have more options to use when it comes to investment strategies, technology, client appreciation and communication methods. This allows advisors to gain a better understanding of their clients' goals, enabling them to provide more personalized and relevant financial advice.



Independence often brings about a heightened sense of fiduciary responsibility. Financial advisors who start their own businesses are driven by an unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of their clients. Without the potential conflicts of interest that can arise in corporate environments, independent advisors can prioritize transparency and strategies that align with their clients’ best interest, enhancing their reputation and building long-lasting client relationships.

Discover how Chris Swenson, CFP® joined private practice to better serve his clients.



Many financial advisors possess an entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the challenges and uncertainties of business ownership. Independent advisors have the opportunity to shape their brands, develop unique service offerings, and execute creative marketing strategies and events that align with their personal vision and values. This sense of ownership and the possibility for higher earning potential can be powerful motivators for going independent.


Corporate firms often limit the types of clients and services advisors can work with, focusing on specific target demographics. Independent advisors, on the other hand, have the freedom to tap into a wider range of markets and client profiles. This flexibility enables them to adapt to market trends and changes, ensuring a sustainable business model that can weather economic shifts.


The rapid advancement of technology has significantly lowered the barriers to entry for independent financial advisors. User-friendly financial planning tools, communication platforms, and digital marketing avenues empower advisors to compete effectively in the digital age. This level playing field allows independent advisors to showcase their knowledge, reach a wider audience, and compete with larger corporate entities.

The decision to leave a corporate firm and establish an independent financial services business is not one to be taken lightly, but the rewards can be substantial. Autonomy, stronger client relationships, entrepreneurship, market diversity, and technological empowerment are driving factors that inspire financial advisors to make this move. As the financial services landscape continues to evolve, the trend of advisors embracing independence is expected to persist, reshaping the industry for the better.

Advisors who want to become independent but don’t want to do it alone decide to partner with Cornerstone Wealth Management for the support, structure and scale that we can add to their business. If you want to learn more about being independent but not alone, reach out to Cornerstone’s recruiting team to learn more about how we can support your move and accelerate your growth.