RIA Co-op Avise Launches

The company hopes its profit-sharing model and operations support will attract young and diverse advisors hoping to go independent.


Illustration by RIA Intel

Avise, a new Los Angeles–based RIA that is legally registered as a cooperative, launched its platform this week.

Founded by financial advisors Katrina Soelter and Leighann Miko, the company aims to help young financial advisors and RIAs get off the ground by providing them with compliance help, operational support, onboarding, and more.

“Running a business takes a lot of time in our space because there are so many components that advisors have to do and do it well,” said Soelter. “We’re taking on the process of the relationships, with performance reporting, billing, the custodian negotiating, the compliance side, and the CRM setup.”

Miko said their ideal advisor is someone who is looking for independence but wants to offload the back-end operations so they can focus on supporting their clients.

“They’re either someone who owns an RIA already and [is] at this breaking point of, ‘I’m either a business owner or I’m an advisor, but I can’t necessarily be both at the same time,’” said Miko. “Or they are advisors who are with larger RIAs and don’t necessarily have a career path or they are breakaways, wirehouses, [or] broker-dealers.”

There are several companies, like XY Planning Network, that help advisors go independent, but what makes Avise so unique, said Soelter, is the company’s co-op structure.

“We don’t want concentrated power-making decisions in just the hands of a few people,” said Soelter. “We want it to be a collective that’s deciding the future of the business.”

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According to Soelter, every advisor who is a part of Avise will get one vote on key decisions.

The company will be overseen by a board of directors with seats shared between executive officers, investors, advisors, and future company employees.

The co-op structure also allows the company to share excess profits through patronage dividends.

The company charges a membership fee based on an advisor’s top-line revenue. Advisors pay 15 percent on their first $500,000 of revenue, 10 percent on the next $500,000, and 5 percent on any amount above that. The fee covers the cost of all the support services that RIAs might otherwise need to outsource, like performance reporting, billing, and CRM, said Soelter.

Any excess revenue made by the company at the end of the year would then be redistributed to members proportional to the revenue they have produced for the company in the form of a patronage dividend.

“It’s not just the C suite and the equity owner that are retaining all profits; [profits are] actually being redistributed back out to the members of the platform,” said Miko. “So, we’re all sharing in the resources, and we’re sharing the profits and the growth, so everyone gets a win-win situation.”

The company is in the middle of a funding round to raise money to support a three-to-four-year residency program to train aspiring planners with zero experience, and it hopes to be cash-flow positive by the end of year one or two.

“For us, the residency program and the type of advisors that we’re searching for and want to support and the way that we’ve structured our fee is to improve diversity and equity in the industry,” said Soelter. “We think that the independent model really supports different and diverse types of clients and types of advisors, especially when they’re taking home more of their top-line revenue.”

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