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Considering Independence? A Must Read Q/A with Ross Biesinger

Q/A with Ross Biesinger

February 2018

Last month we did a Q&A with Erik Mora, Co-Founder of Freedom Partners. He offered great insight and advice on transitioning to being an independent advisor. To continue the education we did a short Q&A session with Ross Biesinger. Ross is a Partner and Senior Financial Advisor with Cypress Wealth Services. He has been a financial advisor for over fifteen years. Ross and his partners worked at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley before transitioning to independence in 2014 as a “tuck-in” with an existing RIA. In the summer of 2017, they started their own RIA with nearly $800 million of AUM.  Cypress Wealth Services currently utilizes Freedom Partners as their back-office partner. Below Ross shares his unique experience on his journey to the independent advisory world.

Why did you decide to leave the wirehouse?

We spent over 10 years in the wirehouse. We had great success and are thankful for the experience, but as time went on the culture changed. Management had goals and priorities, that in my opinion were not aligned with advisors and clients. We had made a change from Merrill to Morgan, but the change to independence felt different. After one year of due diligence, we decided to tuck-in with an existing local RIA.”

What is the best advice you can give an advisor considering a move to independence?

 “Do it. If you are considering it, you are considering it for a reason. Don’t overthink your decision or let fear get in the way. Do your due diligence, plan out your move and do it. If you are entrepreneurial and want the freedom to build the business and client experience you want, you will not be disappointed.”

Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently?

“I don’t think so. At least nothing different when it comes to the major decisions. We were heavily debating starting our own firm in 2014 vs. tucking in with an existing firm. In retrospect that was the best decision we made. We gave up some payout to tuck-in, but we learned so much in our first three years. The learning curve would have been much tougher and probably more costly had we been on our own.”

What was different than what you expected with your transition out of the wirehouse?

“The resources we have access to as an independent. One of our fears was that we might be giving up resources when we made the move. Resources back then were defined as better technology, research, and access to investments. We were completely surprised to find more options as an independent. Having more options has been great, but the ability to implement them when we want is the real benefit. Technology implementation has changed how we work with our clients for the better. We could have never experienced this in the wirehouse.”

What is the best benefit of being an independent advisor?

 “Freedom and ownership. I love being independent. I love it because this business is mine. I own it and I take great pride in it.”


Cypress Wealth Services currently has offices in Palm Desert, CA and Anchorage, AK. If you are an advisor in the Southern California area who may want to start your own firm or looking to partner with an existing firm, please contact 949.751.7407 or email to learn how Freedom Partners can help you.