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In my 1,000+ interviews with financial advisors over the past 15 years, frustration with a lack of COI referrals is one of the most common refrains I hear.

“I can’t get my CPA partnerships to pay off for me.”

“I end up referring business to them and get little in return. It is not worth the time and energy.”

Independent financial advisors know that CPAs have trusted relationships with the types of clients they would like to work with, including the lucrative high-net worth segment. But they can’t tap into this fountain of qualified prospects.

For this article, I sat down (virtually) with John Daley, partner at RIA Lifestyle Freedom, a Florida-based firm that helps independent advisors structure their existing relationships with CPAs and establish new strategic relationships.

As John said, “A go-to CPA partner for our advisors has enough relationships with high-net-worth business owners and families such that at least every quarter one of their clients raises their hand with a big wealth management issue that needs solving.”

CPA firms are likely to have loyal clients, bring expertise in the tax impact of any project, but don’t want to build-out a full wealth management/family office services division.

“Through the CPA, we become their de facto family office services division, a bench of experts at the ready to solve whatever issue arises,” says Daley.

“The advisor manages the relationship and initial engagement and is positioned for future work with the clients and often times gets assets to manage or additional projects before the first engagement is complete.”