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Unlocking Success: Bryan Wieferich Talks Independence and Expansion

  • May 13, 2024
Advisor Spotlight Wief

Bryan M. Wieferich, CFP®, founded Wieferich Financial to demystify investment decisions and safeguard his clients’ financial interests. Today, he has $183 million in assets under management and serves more than 1,000 households.

With over 22 years of industry experience, Bryan’s dedication and business savvy have propelled him to remarkable success, not only within financial services but also across diverse sectors such as real estate, restaurants, and more. A proud graduate and supporter of Central Michigan University, Bryan cherishes his time with his wife and three children, and enjoys travel, skiing, and golf.

From his office in Mt. Pleasant, MI, Bryan spoke with IAA, covering everything from the advantages of independence, to buying his first book of business and his entry into outsourcing investments.

What drew you into the financial services industry?

I went to school at Central Michigan University and because they didn’t have an engineering program, I got into actuarial science and then I got into the business side. I found that personal financial planning was really my wheelhouse, so I have a degree in personal financial planning.

Because it was accredited with the CFP board, I was able to sit for my CFP right away and started in financial planning right out of college

What do you think has been the biggest difference in being independent?

I was with the same firm for 14 years and have been independent for 8. For me, the world just opened up with the breadth of products available in the independent field. When you’re affiliated with a proprietary broker dealer you can only sell their stuff. All the managed money is in their products and platforms. Independence means freedom and flexibility for myself and my clients.

Also, when I met Robert and his team, I was looking for a stable and long-term partner. I didn’t want to worry about having to move again and there’s a “small town” feel. If I need something I just call someone. I also love that IAA is flat fee because the bigger you get as a producer the more value you receive.

You recently acquired your first book of business. Was there something specific that drove that decision?

I didn’t really know if I wanted to, but I always had it in the back of my mind. I tossed around some ideas and just kept putting feelers out there.

But my opportunity happened very organically. One of my wholesalers was talking to another advisor who mentioned that he was thinking of slowing down and he gave him my name and we connected. So, the stars aligned for me on this one.

How did IAA assist you through the process?

Because this advisor was an old school broker who was licensed solely for securities, the first thing I did was call IAA to see how I should go about doing this. Does he need to come under Wieferich Financial, does he need to join IAA, etc. Robert Russo and Jeff Pitt stepped in to help and offered different solutions and we looked at all of them.

The challenge was this was in November, and I wanted it to be done by January 1st. So we needed to either wait or find another avenue. I went back to Robert and explained what was happening and asked if he could help. He referred us to an attorney who handles mergers and acquisitions and we worked with them and IAA’s onboarding and transition team to get it done in our timeframe. IAA was instrumental in helping us get it done and we were up and running by Jan 2.

Would you go through the process again and what would you do differently next time?

Yes, but the next time around I would give myself more time and would go through a more formal program. I would outsource some of the tasks I took on this time around.

At the same time, you were acquiring your new book of business you made the decision to outsource some of your investments. Tell us about that.

As part of my transition with this new book of business, I took the opportunity to implement PATH to leverage IAA’s asset management solution. Now Debbie Re and Landon Twiggs are working as my asset management team which gives me some freedom and which allows me to spend more time with my clients. I’m also able to tell my clients I have a whole team supporting me in managing their money.

PATH offers a variety of models and it’s not overly expensive. I don’t want to have to hire a CIO when I can have you guys do it.

Learn more about Wieferich Financial by visiting their website.

Wieferich Financial

*This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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