Proview Wealth Management

Forming the ideal partnership

Bayou-based advisor used FASt Referral Program to plan for her practice’s future

Debbie Lumpkin of the Lumpkin Group, based in Baton Rouge, LA, spends a majority of her time preparing her clients for their future. To make sure she was taking care of her own future, Debbie leveraged WFAFN Financial Advisors and Staff (FASt) Referral Program to find a partner to help her cross that finish line when she chooses to retire.

The FASt Referral Program is WFAFN’s resourced program that helps WFAFN business owners and their staff introduce qualified financial advisors to their existing practices. Advisors and their staff can earn up to $100,000 for referring a financial advisor or a team who is hired by Wells Fargo Advisors or becomes affiliated with the company.

After more than three decades of experience in the industry and spending more than 10 years running her own practice, Lumpkin decided it was time to start looking for a successor, but she wasn’t sure where to turn. Without having a family member working in the industry to hand her client book over to, Lumpkin wanted to find someone she could trust to take over her clients and business. That’s where the FASt referral program came in.

“I started talking to our regional head, Margo Vuicich, because I needed to have someone come in as a contingency plan should I get sick or hurt,” Lumpkin said. “I was ultimately looking for someone who could buy my practice in a few years. She (Vuicich) mentioned that the FASt referral program was made just for that purpose.”

The next step in the process was finding the right fit to team up with Lumpkin. Little did she know, a familiar face would soon enter the picture.

Vuicich sent a list of advisors in Baton Rouge to Lumpkin, and Brad Smith was a name she recognized after working together in the past toward the end of Lumpkin’s tenures at Hibernia Investments and Smith Barney. Lumpkin met with Smith several times, and they performed due diligence on each other and agreed that sharing office space would be a great first step. After working together and seeing a common client service model, Lumpkin let Smith know that she would be looking for someone to buy her business, which was the catalyst for them to merge their practices.

“When I was discussing the type of person I wanted to join and eventually take over my company, Margo let me know that she had been talking to some individuals in the area and she knew this one particular guy named Brad (Smith),” Lumpkin shared. “I already knew him since we worked together at two other companies, so I was very interested in talking to Brad. I knew we shared a lot of common values, and our investment philosophies were very compatible.”

Smith began as a sole proprietor when he transitioned from Morgan Stanley and rented office space from Lumpkin. After he settled in, Lumpkin decided to merge her practice into his and rebrand as Proview Wealth Management.

“My situation with Debbie could not have turned out any better, and this is a prime example that the FASt program works,” Smith stated. “I want to take advantage of this program again and add to my staff down the line as Proview continues to grow.”

The FASt Referral Program is available for any WFAFN financial advisor who chooses to take advantage of it.

“We offer the FASt program because we know the importance of a personal referral,” Vuicich explained. “Debbie was able to share her personal experience, including her transition to WFAFN many years ago and how much she has enjoyed being independent. We were very pleased to pay Debbie the referral fee when Brad decided to open on his own. Debbie found the ideal candidate for her succession plan.”

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). The Lumpkin Group is a separate entity from WFAFN.