Jim Bruyette, Principal, Co-Founder, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, met with Julie Cooling, Founder & CEO, RIA Channel to discuss the development of his firm and the importance of differentiation.
Based in McLean, VA, SBSB is an independent RIA with roughly $3.7 billion in assets under management. “For us, a major differentiator, is the preparation of tax returns,” says Bruyette. Driven by client demand and a background in accounting, SBSB will handle nearly 500 tax returns this year. In serving the D.C. market, many of the firm’s clients come with a layer of financial complexity, a factor Bruyette explains is very much embraced.
On the investment side, SBSB takes a core/satellite approach. The firm leans towards passive strategies for much of the core, but also utilizes active managers to drive alpha.
Ultimately, understanding client needs and providing access to holistic wealth services across the tax, planning and investment spectrum, continue to fuel SBSB’s growth. To other advisors, Bruyette recommends finding a way to stand out, emphasizing that, “It’s very difficult to compete on just investment performance, but you can shine through client service.”