RIA compliance trends leading up into the election in 2020 w/ Patrick J. Burns, Jr., P.C.

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Ryan Morfin:

Welcome to Non-Beta Alpha, I’m Ryan Morfin. On today’s episode, we have Patrick Burns from the Burns Law Firm, talking to us about compliance trends leading up into the election in 2020. This is Non-Beta Alpha. Pat, welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on.

Patrick Burns:

Thanks for having me, Ryan.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, Pat, so your law firm handles compliance for some of the biggest RIAs in the country. And you’re on the front lines of keeping RIAs and financial advisors in compliance, but also keeping them safe from some of the risks prevalent in our industry. But as we enter into this election season, maybe you can talk a little bit about, what are some trends that RIAs are facing today, and what’s your view of how they may change during or after the election?

Patrick Burns:

Absolutely. It’s a really good question. It’s a question that I get pretty often from our clients who are all investment advisors. I get this question from people that are thinking about making a move and are concerned about whether the election is going to have any consequences for them personally, in terms of the regulatory climate and running an investment advisor going forward. And I think with respect to the investment advisory space and the regulatory and legal climate, I think the election is certainly going to be something that’s going to be a heavy focus of everybody in the country over the next 50 days or so, but as far as our clients are concerned and having a lot of history in this space and working with advisors over the last two decades, I can tell you that any of the changes that might come about with regard to the election, I think are pretty nominal at first glance.

Patrick Burns:

And what I mean by that is, we’ve been through various administrations. We’ve been through the Bush years, the Obama years, the first Trump administration, and to tell you the truth, one of the things I’ve come to learn is that, once regulations are put in place, in many cases they’re there to stay and we adapt and we get used to the new regulatory environment. A lot of proposals that got implemented early on in the Trump administration were things that were already in the rulemaking process during the Obama years. And it just takes a while for things to work their way through the regulatory process. And right now I think one of the questions I most often get is, if let’s say the Democrats win, what does that mean in terms of FINRA and the SEC and who oversees advisors, it’s been a conversation for the last 10 years or so, whether or not Ben Rowe would step in and assume any role with respect to advisors.

Patrick Burns:

A lot of large broker dealers have been in favor of that idea just because of the startup nature of advisors over the years, but ultimately a lot of those discussions have ended up not really going anywhere. And I think that would be a monumental C shift if it was to take place. And I don’t think it’s something that could be done overnight, as a matter of fact, for the last couple of years, that type of conversation has been relatively on the back burner. And in the financial industry which is the only industry that I really have experience, and over the last two decades of my working career, I can tell you that new regulations typically don’t move forward very quickly. There’s lobbyists, there’s interest groups, there’s others that have conversations, meet with legislators, meet with their interest groups and constituents.

Patrick Burns:

And to the extent that the election has any consequences, I think that you probably wouldn’t be seeing anything significant for at least the first two or three years, unless it’s a complete sweep of the Republicans or Democrats, which is generally speaking not the case. The country is usually in favor of a split of the parties in terms of one branch controlling the executive branch and the other controlling at least part of the legislative branch. So I’m not foreseeing any radical changes in terms of new regulations or shedding old ones. So I think it’s going to be mostly status quo for the foreseeable future.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, and you’re based in California, you had Senator Kamala Harris as attorney general, how was she to the financial industry and to the business community when she was the AG and as a Senator for your state? I mean, some people are expecting the Biden administration turns into the Harris administration in short order. How would she act towards the wealth management space you think?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think in terms of the wealth management space, when we have seen democratic administrations, the only experience that we have besides witnessing new rules and regulations is enforcement cases. And there might be some differences there where perhaps there’s some more unique or more aggressive positions that are taken, but neither party, whether it’s Republicans or Democrats is in favor of fraud. I mean, so fraud gets prosecuted and pursued under Republican and Democratic administration. So when clients are affected or when regulations are violated, we see cases coming down from either administration, whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, sometimes we may see some more unique interpretations if the other party wins the White House.

Patrick Burns:

But to tell you the truth in terms of actual important cases and the ones that are significant and come down from the SEC, while we look at them and we analyze those cases in our office, for the most part, maybe 98% of the time, we say it doesn’t matter who is in charge of the White House, that would have been a case that would have come regardless of whether it’s a Republican or Democrat in the White House. There may be only a small minority of cases that you go, gee, this one is kind of unique and is pushing the envelope of most of the cases when it involves a fraud or missing funds or some other type of outrageous behavior. And that’s a case that would have happened under a Republican or a democratic administration.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah. Nobody has a monopoly on fraud, I agree. It’s a bipartisan issue. Well, as it relates to things like the DOL fiduciary rule, now the SEC pushed out Reg BI, do you think that the DOL may come back full circle and recalibrate or push back against the SECs Reg BI status?

Patrick Burns:

No, it’s quite possible. I think the greatest struggle that the industry has had over the last couple of years with the DOL role is just the stops and fits with the starts and stops or starts and fits with the rulemaking process. I think a couple of years ago the industry was by and large ready to adapt and roll out the rule, and then all of a sudden it was snatched away and done away with at the last minute after firms had spent great deals of time and money getting ready to comply with the rule. Although it wasn’t a popular role within the financial services community among people that I talked to, once the work had been done and the programming had been done, the money had been sped, it was almost a disappointment that the rule didn’t get rolled out at that point but the firms had spent the money and the resources to be ready for it.

Patrick Burns:

So a couple of years later, it’s hard for firms to just pick up and suddenly start again, especially not knowing whether or not this is another fruitless effort where they get all these resources, start spending a bunch of money, and aren’t quite sure whether the rule will actually roll out as they saw it originally going into place.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, it’s interesting, the DNC chairman, Tom Perez, is the former secretary of labor under Obama. So he’s got a legacy interest to make sure that in a Biden Harris administration they would go full tilt, I think, into leaning into the revival, if you will, of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. In your opinion, what were the fault lines of that old rule? Because I think if Biden does pull this off, then there will be a renewed interest in the revival, if you will, the DOL. Who was on one side, who was on the other, it was like fintech and wirehouse on one side, and was an independent broker dealer and RIA on the other, who are the winners and losers in that DOL rule?

Patrick Burns:

I think fintech certainly would have been one of the winners because they could create all the technology to try to help firms comply with the new rulemaking, that would have been a significant windfall for the fintech firms. The big wirehouse firms or the big financial firms, they can afford to spend millions of dollars to comply with the rule, and that might be something that you’re pretty readily able to absorb. The independent broker dealers, I would say they would be squeezed with their margins because they operate on tight margins anyway in the independent broker dealer community, so adding possibly tens of millions of dollars in costs to some broker dealers, perhaps even more depending on the size of the independent broker dealer, that can come as a shock to the balance sheet to say the least, and those firms might be under a significant pressure.

Patrick Burns:

I think that’s kind of the winners and losers, or the firms that are on either side of the rule. Another thing I would say was an interesting takeaway that was something we personally experienced in this office, that I think was unhelpful towards the role moving forward was, when we deal with the SEC and quite frankly when we deal with FINRA, if there was a proposed rule or there was some type of regulatory issue, mostly those regulators are willing to get on the phone with us and engage in conversations because we have inroads to a large swath of the financial industry. So if we’re on board with a rule or we understand it, we can help educate thousands of advisors. I had a rather unique interaction with the DOL though, which was, they weren’t really used to receiving phone calls over there to work with outside influencers or outside law firms or partners that would help get their message out.

Patrick Burns:

So when I called and tried to get on their calendar, get some dialogue going and say, “Hey, I’m speaking to a bunch of people in the industry, we’ve done our homework, we’ve got study groups together of high level people, well, we have questions.” They weren’t really willing to engage or have those conversations, which I thought was kind of interesting. And I think that if they go back at looking to roll out, to roll again, that’s something that works well for the SEC, it works well with FINRA. It was just a strange experience. I would say that they weren’t really open to having that type of dialogue, either that or perhaps I just simply reached the wrong people at the DOL. But it was something that was interesting, and I think in order for some of these regulations to successfully move forward, there has to be some level of buy in, or at least some level of private sector, public sector partnership in order to be on the same page to know, so we’re all speaking to each other, that both sides are in full communication and that the government is not operating in a vacuum, which I think probably helped decrease support for the role, and ultimately it didn’t go into place. So I think that was something that they’d have to take a close look at, is that type of approach and whether or not it was really successful.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah. Well, so we ended up with the SECs version, which is Reg BI, and really, I think a lot of the takeaway for me was that the removal of conflict of interest or the disclosure of it. And from your perspective, how does that change business models going forward? And I mean more about like RIAs who actually manage money, but also invest in third-party asset management products or affiliated products. How do you eliminate and resolve that removal of conflict of interest going forward?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think our clientele, which is RIAs, do always balance by their fiduciary duty of best interest to their clients. They have to look out for their clients, they’ve got a duty of loyalty to do the best for their clients and operate as fiduciaries. Some of our clients are also CFPs or CFAs and adhere to different or higher levels of ethical guidelines and are bound by those voluntary credentials that they’ve signed on to. So there’s their side as well. But I think in terms of our investment advisor clients, it really just comes down to them acting as fiduciaries, making full and fair disclosure to their clients, and just continuing to operate by putting the client’s interests before their own and making sure that any type of actual or perceived conflict of interest is fully and fairly disclosed to clients.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, and do you think that there’s going to be more pressure from the SEC as these fiduciary definition start to get into focus where people are making investments into third party asset management products, where the RIA is not actually doing any of the work, but they’re charging 1% fee. Is there a risk that the SEC comes down later and says, “Listen, how do you charge a fee on these products where you have, say, just dimensional funds or XYZ firm actually doing the management?” Is there a risk in the future where that 1% fee plus all the fee structure for the product that’s loaded up becomes not in the best interest of the client?

Patrick Burns:

I certainly think it’s something that the SEC will look at probably from a couple of different angles. One is that there’s different variations of the SEC looking at overall expenses and fees to clients. So it all started with the whole 12b-1 fee, retail mutual funds being in investment advisory accounts. And the SEC was kind of beating that horse the last couple of years, and I think they’re going to move on to other related issues. So one might be overall level of fees for clients that are put into third party money manager programs, where the advisory firm may not do a whole lot after the initial handoff of the account to the third party.

Patrick Burns:

So the SEC could potentially look at that and say, well, what are you guys still doing? I mean, are you providing investment advice? Are you managing the portfolio? How do you justify the full on 1% fee, which is more akin to direct management and a whole level of responsibility versus a handoff type situation, which is really almost like being a solicitor for a third party, which raises another question is, if that’s what it is, is it really accurate and correct to call it a money management program of your firm? Maybe it’s really a solicitors program where you’re not doing a whole lot after you make the introduction, and it’s the wrong set of document presenting to the client, and you’re misdescribing the program, which gets you under further scrutiny with the SEC in terms of the level of fee that you’re charging.

Ryan Morfin:

Can you, this is a term I hadn’t really heard before until not too long ago, do you think reverse churning is going to be an issue going forward in the market with the additional volatility that we’re seeing?

Patrick Burns:

I definitely think that it is, as a matter of fact I can tell you that just dealing with advisors all across the country and in every SEC district, we’re starting to see a renewed focus on reverse churning. And the SEC comes up with their own parameters for accounts that they want to see, but if you have inactive accounts and you’re continuing to charge a full on fee and you’re not doing any level of trading, at some point, and this is subject to discretion by the examiner in a given exam, they will start to ask questions about what type of procedures you have in place for looking at a fee reduction or a fee waiver, whether or not they should be an advisory accounts all together, especially if you have a broker dealer relationship, because if you do have a BD relationship to compliment your RIA, the SEC will in extreme cases ask you the question of whether or not that should be a brokerage account not subject to an advisory fee if they’re just going to be a by an old client, not turnover any of the holdings in their portfolio.

Ryan Morfin:

And what about cyber, there’s a data point recently, cyber attacks are up 47% through the pandemic as everybody’s doing this work from home thing, how do you see cyber risk on the horizon for RIAs and financial advisors?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think the biggest risk in the near term has been a lot of our clients, as a matter of fact, probably the vast majority of our clients just like every other industry in the United States, had some degree of working from home and the advisors and the principles of the RIAs themselves, they may have world class technology and a fully decked out home office, but the question becomes, well, that’s fine for the principles of the firm, but what about your staff? What about your admin? Are they logging in from their home computer? And they certainly don’t have the same level of encryption and technology and all the bells and whistles that the advisor’s office might have for cyber security purposes. So a lot of times when people have a home computer or a home laptop, the kids may play games on it, the kids, load it up with spyware and a bunch of other junk that accumulates on the computer.

Patrick Burns:

So if you’re logging into custodial accounts or doing other things from home, or your admin is, and you don’t have the same level of security, that’s where you could have a data breach, that’s where you could have client emails intercepted or spooked, asking for money market or money movement requests or checks, all kinds of other stuff. So I think it’s been a real concern of the SEC. We haven’t knocked on wood a type of a noticeable uptick in cybersecurity breaches with our clients. I like to think that the financial industry probably was better prepared for a pandemic and working from home and having disaster plans in place, probably much more so than the rest of the United States and the rest of the economy, just because it’s been a consistent theme that you have to be ready for a disaster. It’s been so since, really since 9/11 back in 2001, that was where a lot of financial firms had to operate remotely and they had to do so on no notice.

Patrick Burns:

And I know I was in New York City at the time at a financial firm, and overnight we were forced into a remote work environment, and we weren’t quite ready for that. But since that time, not only that firm, but others, learned lessons and certainly became much more prepared to roll out a remote work environment on short notice or no notice.

Ryan Morfin:

That’s a great point. I mean, financial advisory firms have been, by regulatory statute, prepared for some type of crazy event that is actually better suited us to bounce back. So I totally agree with that comment. So sometimes you have to thank your regulators for keeping us fine tuned. Let’s take a hypothetical, so I come into the office tomorrow and my server has been attacked or I’m locked out of my computer by a hacker, what should I do first? Call Pat Burns? What’s the first step once you’ve realized you’re locked out of your own network?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think the first call is to your ITG or your IT professional, That’s probably even more important than reaching me. So I might be the second call, but I think the first call is making sure that the IT company that you use for [inaudible 00:23:49] or your internal IT professional is put on notice and is notified so that you can get your arms around the immediate issues. And then secondly, notifying your counsel and letting them know that you’ve got some type of issue at hand.

Ryan Morfin:

And is the issue more about notification of PPI, personal protected information, being breached, or where does the risk for a financial advisory firm if you have been breached? I guess you’d have to forensically take a look at what happened, but where dO most people get hurt given how they handle or not handle the situation correctly?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think the first thing is to do an assessment and really try to understand where things are at. So what I mean by that is, getting an understanding of what’s been compromised. So obviously it’s bad to be locked out of your system, it creates at a minimum a vast inconvenience to the firm and its staff. With that said though, it’s tremendously hard or exponentially harder for a hacker to actually get into the client accounts and to breach the systems at your account custodian, which is usually a multi-billion dollar firm with different levels of encryption and password protections and other things that go well beyond what our advisory clients could ever put in place, because we’re worried about multi-billion dollar companies.

Patrick Burns:

So oftentimes the first fear is that client accounts have been compromised. Clients are going to lose all their money. That’s not often the case at all, as a matter of fact I don’t think I can really recall very many cases where I think that kind of stuff has happened. What may happen though is, you may be locked out of your emails. You can probably do without the emails for a little while. Your CRM system, I mean, if you’re using something like Salesforce or any of the cloud based systems, I mean, you can get on another computer, you can get on a personal computer, you can get your client’s phone numbers, you can start to recover. So things like your financials, QuickBooks, maybe that stuff is temporarily offline or out of order, but these are things that shouldn’t shut down your entire business.

Patrick Burns:

I mean, you won’t be able to pull up client documents and some other things, but you should still be able to place trades if need be, you should still be able to call up your account custodian and implement some type of a work around if needed. So I think it’s just a matter of getting your arms around what happened. And then if there are any clients that have been affected, any their data has been compromised, then there’s a conversation that’s had about whether our clients need to be notified and what measures you need to put in place, which is usually some type of credit monitoring or credit reporting that you paid for for a year or whatever the period of time is.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah, I know, once your information is on the dark web, it’s pretty much there in perpetuity. Well, one question is, so what are one or two compliance issues that you see that should be keeping financial advisors up at night but they may not know about?

Patrick Burns:

Sure. So I think there is an issue that’s on the horizon for 2021 which hasn’t really received a whole lot of coverage in industry publications, it’s something that makes a lot of sense when you think about it, but it just hasn’t received a whole lot of attention in this crazy year, which is, the custodians eliminated the vast majority of transaction fees. And when they did that, that was a net win for advisors that were running wrap fee programs. That was a net win for underlying clients who no longer paid the vast majority of transaction fees. But for advisors that are running wrap fee programs, they need to take a serious look at their documents, because if you are running a wrap fee program or used to be running a wrap fee program, and there’s no longer a fee from the custodian that your firm is absorbing, you no longer have a wrap fee program.

Patrick Burns:

So if you’re still using those documents and you have a wrap fee brochure and you have a wrap fee client agreement, you’ve got the wrong set of documents in place. And at this point advisors could start to get cited on exams for having misleading and fraudulent documents if they’re saying that they’re providing a wrap fee program which no longer exists. So that’s the first thing. It could put them at risk of more draconian findings outside of just getting a deficiency notation in the SEC exam, but potentially down the road, if there’s enforcement cases, or if there’s SEC examiner that want to give an advisor a hard time, you could be talking about rebating fees and doing other things that could be quite costly. That’s the most extreme example.

Patrick Burns:

There’s other variations of that like, we’ve got some clients that may be 80 or 90% of the transaction fees they used to absorb and eliminate it, but maybe there’s some miscellaneous fixed income instrument that they occasionally still absorb. Even if it’s every once in a while, you should take a look at the appropriateness of whether or not a wrap fee program at your firm still makes sense, and whether it makes more sense to just eliminate that and just go to a straight asset management program, where whatever remaining transaction fees there are, you just pass those along to clients. That may be another area where the SEC [inaudible 00:30:41], I think issues like 12b-1 fees and mutual funds. That was going on for like five years. I think it’s going to be a new territory for next year. That’s one issue that I think is going to be a really hot topic.

Patrick Burns:

The SEC has not been a big fan of wrap fee programs for at least the last couple of years. They’ve been looking at levels of disclosure and whether the right things left out. So this is a prime area for examiners next year. I think other areas remain to be seen, but I would put that up there and probably the top one or two things that they’re going to look at next year. Other areas may remain to be seen, but I think that’s going to be a real hot topic.

Ryan Morfin:

Do you think it’s ever going to be, if rates go negative, not in the best interest to put people in fixed income programs, because if rates are negative it is better to be in cash. I mean, do you think we’ll ever get there? I mean, what’s your thoughts on that?

Patrick Burns:

It’s possible, I don’t know how deep the analysis will go on any given examination or the SEC will make that subjective call on exam and start questioning the underlying portfolio allocations. Unless it’s clearly agregious and it’s widespread across the whole firm, unless there is some type of systemic problem with the firm’s methodology, I think on a one off basis they’re not going to question, every client’s circumstances are different, so I think it would have to be more of a systemic problem in how they’re managing portfolios at the firm for the SEC to go that deep. It’s possible though, anything’s possible.

Ryan Morfin:

That is true. It was the Wild West. So I guess one question I have for you is, you’re very active on the front end of helping RIA set up when they leave the wirehouse, the proverbial breakaway broker. Question for you is, how has the trend been for breakaway brokers in 2020? Has the COVID environment slowed things down or is it busier than ever?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I think for our business, this is the only one I have insight into directly, but I can just tell you that, during the first quarter we were pretty busy. We kind of hit a hard stop at the tail end of March when the office was closed by the State of California, and we went remote for a couple of months, that was kind of the height of the pandemic across the country. And I would say the second quarter we saw a lot of advisors putting their moves on hold, but then the conversation with our clients and the conversation that our clients were having with custodians and broker dealers for hybrids, started to really change. Basically what changed was the fact that advisors were operating remotely, they were keeping in touch with their clients, and any type of fear factor that the advisors had about breaking away during the pandemic subsided over the course of a couple of months.

Patrick Burns:

And as clients got used to dealing with their advisor through Zoom calls or on the phone and not seeing them in person, they became more comfortable with the idea that, hey, I don’t actually have to return to the office to make this move happen. If I work with my account custodian and my broker dealer, and we can get the lion’s share of our documents onto DocuSign or another type of electronic document signing process, this has some advantages. First of all, if I’m operating remotely and I can just do all this in a paperless fashion, other advisors don’t have the opportunity to sit down and look my client in the eye. As a matter of fact, the index are coming down from the home office and all these big farms are, you’re not to come into the office and you’re not to meet with clients in person.

Patrick Burns:

So any of the advisors that are in the office that might normally call on reps clients, they’re pretty limited at this point, all they can do is call. I mean, they could offer to do a Zoom call, but a client’s not going to really want to jump on a Zoom call with somebody they haven’t ever met before. I don’t know how successful that would be, but I think there’s been a renewed boost of confidence by advisors in Q3. And we started to see an uptick, and part of it was just a natural uptick, I think as things started to settle down, but then we had some pent up transitions from Q2 that decided that this was a really good time to make the move. And we started to become busy again, thankfully.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah, I think the word pent up is definitely pervasive, it’s getting very busy. I think as people started to realize that old school infrastructure isn’t as important as it used to be, now we’re living in a digital world. Well, we call this part of the show the human factor here. There’s six questions I’m going to ask you real quick. Whatever comes to your mind first as an answer. First question is, if there was a vaccine available today for COVID, would you take it?

Patrick Burns:

I think I’d probably would, I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t.

Ryan Morfin:

Who wins the election in November?

Patrick Burns:

I think it’s going to be interesting, but the polls were really wrong four years ago, and I’m not sure that the polling process has been improved significantly, so without picking favorites, I do think that based on history with the stock market being at an all time high, I think it would be rather surprising if the incumbent is not reelected at this point. And all you really have to do is look at the economy and the stock market and where things are at, there are certainly issues with other parts of the economy not doing well, but I just think that when the stock market’s at an all time high, the electorate is not really usually in the mood to switch presidents and that is not history.

Ryan Morfin:

So what type of recovery are we in, do you believe in the V-shape recovery, or is this going to be a W where we come back up and then go back down again because there’s no stimulus package?

Patrick Burns:

I certainly think that the stimulus package was tremendously helpful and provided a big boost to the economy. I think that after the election that there’s going to have to be a serious look at another stimulus package. And if that’s not the case then we could run the risk of a recession or some type of market correction. So I think we’re not quite out of the woods yet. I mean, anybody that drives down the street of their hometown could see businesses struggling. I see spaces for rent and people out of work. So we’re not quite back yet. I think we need more stimulus to happen.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah. I just saw an article today, two thirds of hotels are expected to close this year. They’re just not going to make it. So it’s going to be very interesting times in the hospitality industry. Anything that you achieved this summer that you’re particularly proud of while you’ve been in lockdown?

Patrick Burns:

Well, I would say that during the whole pandemic, at least on the business front, we managed to move our office and all of our equipment, all of our people, at the height of the pandemic, and that happened over the beginning of the summer, which was not easy because nobody really wanted to come in and out of the building during that period of time. So on the business front, we pulled off something during a very difficult period of time. On the personal front, myself and my wife and kids, we got to spend a lot more time together than we normally would. So a lot more time at home, a lot more things that we did around the house, a lot more ice cream runs and other things that sometimes in busier times we forget to take that time out. But we got to spend more family time this year in the summer than we did, even though we didn’t get to go away any place, we still spent more time together this summer, which was nice.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah. The great pause had some definite silver linings. And speaking of silver linings, are there any silver linings you see today in the economy going into 2021?

Patrick Burns:

I would definitely say so. I think that financial services firms, our firm, a lot of other firms in this particular space, have certainly been tested on multiple fronts during this pandemic, hasn’t it been an easy year, but we’re very fortunate that we didn’t have to let any staff go. We kept everybody on at full salary and benefits. We were able to keep our team together 100% in tax. And I think that, part of the reasoning for me as the president of the firm is that, I’m still bullish on 2021 and beyond, so I’m not a person that gets rattled very easily, but we need our team to be a 100% intact. We need to actually build upon the team and add a couple of more quality people here, but I don’t expect there to be any downturn.

Patrick Burns:

I mean, to me, we were busy during the Obama years. We were busy during the Bush years. We’ll be busy regardless of who wins in November. We’ll still see people transitioning, we’ll still see people that need compliance assistance and help running their practices. It won’t be the end of the world regardless of who wins the presidency, walk into the office the next day and we’ll have work do. So we’re pretty bullish. I still think it’s going to be busy. We’re going to see a lot more people after the pandemic is over, and as people start to think about leaving their home offices and going back to a big office with 50 or 100 advisors saying, “I did pretty well operating from home, do I really need to be at XYZ firm? Do I need to take the train into the city every day? Maybe not, maybe I can just run my own business and do a hybrid RIA or feel the RIA.”

Patrick Burns:

It’s caused a lot of people to not only think about the economics of that affiliation, but think about their lifestyle. I mean, a lot of our advisors, it’s a lifestyle decision as well going independent. I mean, once they have the knowledge, once they have the clients, they just need the confidence and courage to make the move. And I think that’s significant.

Ryan Morfin:

Yeah, no, I think the next normal is going to be very different from an expectation set. Well, anything that you’re watching or listening to, podcasts, any books you’re reading today or over the summer that you’d like to share with our viewers?

Patrick Burns:

Actually, I do have one that I just started, so you may recognize this book.

Ryan Morfin:

Great book I hear.

Patrick Burns:

Got it days ago. So it’s here in my office, it’s on my desk. So I’m going to have to report back to you on my reading. But the Extreme Ownership book is something that I’m starting to quiet recover on.

Ryan Morfin:

Fantastic. Well, Pat, thanks so much for joining the show. I learned a lot and look forward to speaking with you. We’ll put a hyperlink in the episode so people can find your law firm’s website. Thank you so much, sir.

Patrick Burns:

Thanks for having me.

Ryan Morfin:

Bye, bye. Thanks for watching today’s episode. And before we go, please remember to like and subscribe on Apple podcast, our YouTube channel and Spotify. This is Non-Beta Alpha, and now you know.

 

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