Will Retainer Fees Replace the Conventional AUM Model?
Rianka Dorsainvil launched her RIA, Your Greatest Contribution, two years ago with a retainer fee rather than prices based on clients’ assets under management.
The annual fee allows her more flexibility in choosing clients, she said, and it sends a direct upfront message.
“My value is not based on what your portfolio does. From an expectations standpoint, I make sure that my clients understand that,” Dorsainvil said in a panel last week at the annual FPA Retreat.
Both Dorsainvil and her co-panelist Eric Roberge overcame initial struggles starting their firms with pricing structures differing from the norm. Roberge, who founded an RIA named Beyond Your Hammock in 2013, started out charging clients $50 per month, which quickly proved unsustainable, he recalled.
But he stuck with it, creating a customized structure around a monthly retainer fee. Roberge’s firm now has more than $4 million in assets under management, according to an ADV form filed in March, up from $2.5 million in AUM last February.