Scott MacKillop, CEO of First Ascent Asset Management, is determined to help advisors improve their businesses. The asset management part of financial planning comes with a lot of research, monitoring, performance reporting, and more.


Scott MacKillop, CEO of First Ascent Asset Management, never thought of himself as a disruptor in financial planning until he became one. As a career changer, Scott began working in the investment management space. Several years ago, he began to ask why investment managers charged a percentage of assets instead of a flat-fee, even though through technology the amount of work didn’t go up based on the fee. This question was what launched First Ascent. Rather than being intimidated by the challenges that come with a new business model, he pushed forward to disrupt the industry!

Scott is dedicated to building exceptional portfolios and revolutionizing the way his business is partnering with advisors through a flat-fee business model. He knew he wanted to found First Ascent using flat fees for portfolio building and management for two reasons:

  1. To provide the best service possible for advisors
  2. To pass along savings to clients so that they can keep more of the funds in their investment accounts.

In this episode, we explore the ways financial planners can manage investment assets: outsourcing vs. managing the investments in-house. Scott highlights that pros and cons of each method, including diving into the operational responsibilities like the research, monitoring, performance reporting, billing and more.



What You’ll Learn:

  • Can roboadvisors be fiduciaries?
  • How do portfolio managers work?
  • How financial planners can manage investments, either through outsourcing or in-house
  • Why do investment advisors need portfolio managers, what benefits can they bring to your practice?
  • Is it possible to set an industry standard for roboadvisors in the profession?
  • How are investment portfolios set up, and how can advisors ensure that they’re providing the best investment advice to their clients?
  • How First Ascent has disrupted the financial planning profession
  • Why flat fee asset management makes sense