Building a Fee-Based Business

Building a Fee-Based BusinessFee-based asset management emphasizes the relationship you create with each of your clients.  Though this relationship is at the heart of your business, building it is far more difficult than it once was.  Competitors vie for your client’s attention on a daily basis and prospecting for clients is becoming increasingly challenging.  To top it off, investors are becoming distrustful of paying commissions. These are just some of the reasons why you should consider adding fee-based asset management services to your business plan.

A Relationship-Centered Model

A fee-based business will enable you to offer a wider selection of products and services, attracting wealthier clients and ultimately increasing your assets under management.  This relationship-centered model will also help you build a strong referral network, creating new opportunities for you to expand your business.

From Transactions to Long-Term Trust

Fee-based asset management is keyed to the broader philosophy of wealth management, taking all of a clients’ financial goals into consideration including retirement planning, tax planning, business succession and estate planning.  Client relationships are no longer viewed in terms of transactions and commissions.  Instead of commissions, clients are charged an ongoing advisory fee based on their assets under management.  This encourages advisers to build long-term relationships to meet the client’s investment objectives.

By opening a fee-based account, clients are saying, “Don’t just manage my investments; manage my wealth.”  This new affiliation can rejuvenate the client relationship, positioning it for greater success.  Your role has been expanded to help them grow, protect and properly distribute their wealth across and beyond their lifetime.  In return for this full-service management style, you have a chance to enjoy a recurring, predictable stream of revenue.

The fee-based adviser, who can address the entire scope of a client’s wealth, has never before been such an attractive option to investors.  A reliable wealth manager who can guide clients to see the big picture and manage them through the process is indeed a rare commodity.

Making the Transition

When you make the decision to go fee-based, you’re taking an important step towards meeting the full range of an investor’s needs, emphasizing your commitment to your client.  You are providing a finer class of service and a stronger client relationship.

Focusing on commitment instead of commission can bring your business to the next level.  The nature of the fee-based relationship may also spur you to provide better solutions and improve the quality of your financial planning.  It fosters stronger client trust as you demonstrate your expertise in a reliable and comprehensive manner.


Summit Brokerage Services (SBS) and its affiliate Summit Financial Group (SFG) offer a variety of fee-based programs to meet the growing needs of your business.  As a leading independent broker-dealer, we’re able to leverage our leadership and strengths to deliver unparalleled investment advisory programs, support and service. For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit or contact us at (800) 354-5528.


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