Mariner Wealth Advisors
For four years running (2016 to 2019), Mariner Wealth Advisors (MWA) has ranked in the top four of Barron's list of "Top RIA Firms." Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the firm operates 226 branches and employs 305 advisors. Together, they manage more than $29 billion in assets. Cllients are primarily individuals, roughly a quarter of whom have high net worths.
Mariner Wealth Advisors Background
MWA was founded in 2006. It is wholly owned by Mariner Wealth Advisors, LLC. The majority owner of the parent company is the Bicknell Family Holding Company LLC. The elected manager of BFHC is Martin Bicknell, who is also the CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors, LLC.
The firm offers a variety of advisory services and managed accounts. The firm itself is not a broker-dealer but it is affiliated with MSEC, LLC, a broker-dealer. Many of the advisors at the firm are also registered with the broker-dealer and may earn commissions for selling securities. This is a potential conflict of interest, explained in full below.
Mariner Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Most of MWA’s clients are individuals. There are more than 14,000 non-high-net-worth clients and more than 5,700 high-net-worth accounts. Institutional clients at the firm include pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, insurance companies and corporations.
The minimum account size at MWA depends on the services you use. The minimum investment to use the Institutional Intelligent Portfolios program is $5,000, with a minimum of $50,000 for the tax-loss harvesting feature. The minimum for private equity, alternatives and direct investment funds sponsored my MWA is $100,000.
Services Offered by Mariner Wealth Advisors
A variety of services are available at MWA, including:
- Investment advisory services
- Third-party managers
- Managed accounts
- Financial planning
- Estate planning
- Insurance planning
- Education savings
- Tax consulting
- Retirement plan consulting
- Institutional Intelligent Portfolios
Advisors at MWA build portfolios based on a client’s individual objectives, risk tolerances and constraints.
A mix of assets will be used in each portfolio, including:
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Exchange-traded notes
- Closed-end funds
- Mutual funds
- Alternative investments
Both passive and active management strategies are used by MWA advisors. Options, equities and fixed income strategies are available.
Fees Under Mariner Wealth Advisors
Fees at MWA depend on which service or program you use.
Fees for investment advisor services are based on a percentage of assets under management and top off at 2.50%. For comparison's sake, the industry average fee for investment management is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box.
For financial planning, fees can be billed on a fixed fee basis, as an hourly fee or as a percentage of assets of up to 0.25% annually. The fee structure will depend on the level and scope of the services provided.
Tax compliance and consulting as a stand-alone service is billed either as a fixed fee, an hourly fee or an annual percentage of up to 0.25%. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.
What to Watch Out For
One thing to note: Some advisors at the firm may also work as brokers and/or licensed insurance agents. In these non-advisor capacities, they earn commissions and transaction-based fees, which can pose potential conflicts of interest. That said, when acting as an advisor, they are legally bound by their fiduciary duty and must act in the client’s best interest.
Opening an Account With Mariner Wealth Advisors
To open an account with MWA, the best option is to fill out the contact form on the firm’s website. You can also call the main office line at (913) 904-5700.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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- Ask prospective advisors what happens to your account if the advisor becomes seriously sick or incapacitated. It's important that there is a contingency plan to cover client services — and that you know what it is and that you are comfortable with it. If your advisor is an owner or managing member, particularly at a small firm, you should know who else has banking and trading authority and if there is a succession plan in the event your advisor suddenly dies or leaves the firm.