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Mark Tibergian is a paragon in the RIA industry. He’s been as vocal and active a supporter of the RIA and Independent movement as their has been over the past two decades. His retirement announcement doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but rather an opportunity to look back at his influence in the space and how Pershing plans to move forward without him at the fore.

Tibergien, who joined Pershing in October of 2007, will depart the firm closer to the end of May. Pershing has already chosen an internal replacement for Tibergien: Ben Harrison, who serves as its head of business development and relationship management.

Under Tibergien’s leadership, Pershing’s RIA business has grown tenfold. The firm had just $73bn in assets under administration when his hire was revealed in September of 2007, according to a contemporaneous InvestmentNews report, and today custodies around $800bn from 750 RIAs around the country.

“I think that the entire leadership team, and especially Ben, are ready to take the business to the next level,” said Tibergien, who is 68 years old. “But this is a personal decision on my part, and I feel pretty good about making the transition now.”

Mr. Tibergian has been a ubiquitous presence at conferences and in media as a leading voice for RIA’s and independence for years. It is unclear if he will remain so as he heads into retirement, but his voice will remain trusted and sought after.

“I still haven’t sorted through exactly what my plan is, but my expectation is that I will continue writing and speaking. I hope that I will have some exciting board positions, continue some industry involvement,” Tibergien said. “I’m on a couple of advisory councils now and probably some executive coaching and mentoring will be part of it.”

His business acumen and talent for ‘spreading the gospel’ for the growing RIA industry will still be of value and was the principal reason that Pershing became an enormous player in the space. 10x growth of any business is remarkable, especially when you are competing with the likes of Fidelity.

The average RIA who custodies their assets with Pershing has around $1bn in assets. The firm previously discussed that it may become more flexible in bringing smaller RIAs onto its custodial platform, which has historically been the realm of advisors with at least $250m in assets.

‘We don’t want to only focus on the high end of the market,’ Harrison said on Wednesday. ‘We believe our capabilities can resonate across the spectrum of advisory firms.’

Congratulations to Mark on a job more than well done, and a well executed retirement.

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