The Allworth and Adams Chetwood Partnership

It happened. (And this is how I responded.)

No matter how well structured the other aspects of your life may be, it’s the margins where you aren’t yet ready for any contingency that stand out. That wake-up call came from my oncologist.

It’s been over a year now, and my prognosis is excellent! Whether it be cancer, a car accident, or some other act of God, my brush with mortality made me realize that if something happens to me as the principal of an advisory firm, that my family, clients, and staff are vulnerable. Their vulnerability felt like a glaring omission that topped the list of things I needed to address personally and professionally.

Contingency plan. Succession plan. Call it whatever you’d like. While we obviously can’t always control what happens to us, we can be ready in case something does.

Why Allworth?

Two things: I love advising, and I intend to keep working with clients for a long time. But aside from finding a partner to help complete a succession plan, the other reason this process made sense for me was something you hear quite often from other principals of successful RIAs: “The bigger and more successful we became, the more work there was. And the more responsibilities there were, the less time there was to meet with clients.”

A big part of implementing a continuity plan is about deciding what you want for the future of your firm and your family, and then, in my instance, finding a suitable partner.

We probably had “serious discussions” with eight firms. Good firms. Some good people. But I did not see any of those other firms as an upgrade over what we at Adams Chetwood do.

Then, through Allworth’s Business Development team, we were introduced to Allworth founding partners Scott Hanson and Pat McClain.


Culture. Philosophy. Client care. High net promoter scores. Employee morale. Emotionally. Relationally. Spiritually. Even how Allworth had started (Hanson and McClain left an insurance giant in 1993 to establish their RIA), to how it had evolved, and on to how it had grown from two guys to a $15B+ in AUM RIA … it all clicked. Everything.