As retirement nears for aging wirehouse advisers, many are contemplating how they can cash out. And they are bumping into a trend that is sweeping across the industry: independent practices can sell for a higher value than wirehouse practices that are transitioned to other wirehouse advisers. One senior marketing executive at a major custodian calls it an arbitrage among platforms.

It's no secret that wirehouses don’t pay nearly as well these competitors when the endgame nears. Multiples on sales of adviser practices are higher for both RIAs and IBDs compared with wirehouses ― and taxes are lower too because the sale of an independent practice is taxed at the capital gains rate.

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