Darin Manis has been a consultant to advisors and firms in the financial services industry for over 15 years. His expertise is advisor-centric human capital and lending capital solutions and strategies. His experience is rooted in more than 1,000 Financial Advisor recruiting, M&A and loan deals.

Darin started in the industry in 2001 in wirehouse advisor recruiting and established advisor and capital markets recruiting firm RJ & Makay in 2003. RJ & Makay trademarked Human Capital for the Capital Markets® and for over a decade was one of the industry’s leading recruiting firms whose primary clients over that period included UBS, Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, Ameriprise Financial, Nationwide, Raymond James, and Edward Jones.

In 2012, Darin expanded the solutions offered to advisors and firms through establishing Advisorbox. Beyond helping advisors transition to different platforms and models, Advisorbox provides advisors with strategic and consultative services focused on M&A, hiring and acquiring, selling and succession, and lending solutions for independent advisors. Advisorbox services are centered around advisor advocacy, best interest and supporting advisor liberty and choice.

Darin has written hundreds of financial services blogs and articles over the years and the Advisorbox BluePaper Newsletter distribution has grown to over 55,000 advisors.

In 2014, Darin consulted with Live Oak Bank about their interest in expanding into the financial services industry. He promoted and educated advisors about SBA lending and trained field leadership teams at various firms. Through this experience, he realized how large the cultural chasm was between advisors and bankers, and how big the gap was between the advisor loan types needed and the lending solutions and lenders available.

In 2015, Darin established AdvisorLoans and the “Loan Advisors for Financial Advisors” consultative model. He developed an open architecture of loan types, lenders, and lending programs. Through focusing on the best interest of the advisor (instead of the lender), combined with no additional costs to the advisor associated with their services, AdvisorLoans has become one of the industry’s leading lending resources for advisors.

Currently, Darin spends most of his time writing articles and educational materials for advisors, consulting with firms on inorganic (hiring and acquiring) growth, and providing lending advisory to both advisors directly and through corporate enterprise programs.

The Advisor’s Lending Guide (e-book)

Darin wrote the book on advisor lending. His eBook written specifically to advisors helps bring clarity to the lending industry white noise and confusing nuances.

The Financial Advisor & RIA eBook provides advisors and firms a comprehensive resource and guide to simplify and clarify, advisor lending.

The eBook is free and can be viewed, downloaded or printed from

Family Photo: One of my favorite family photos taken at a time when my kids still held my hand (sometimes), and when I had more hair on my head and less wrinkles on my face. My wife however hasn’t aged a day.


Darin has been married to his wife Susan for 23 years. They have lived in Colorado for nearly 25 years making their home in Breckenridge, Colorado. They have two adult children, their son RJ and daughter Makay.

Darin enjoys skiing, hiking, and other mountain activities.

Recent Articles, Blogs, and BluePaper Bullets

Response to Negative Internet Postings

Response from Darin Manis:

I have had the extreme displeasure of having to deal with a few erroneous negative internet postings about me and a firm I established in 2003, RJ & Makay, who I named after my son and daughter, the two people whose opinion and regard of me matters most.

It is bewildering to me that people who have never worked for RJ & Makay, has never been a client, a prospective client, has never had a conversation with me or my firm, and has never had any dealings of any kind with me and my firm whatsoever, can make anonymous negative posts on complaint websites, and that Google then ranks on the first page of search results (usually in the top 5) and then keeps it there forever.

To keep their search rankings high, complaint websites “refresh” the negative postings every few years so what appears to be recent negative postings are actually from many years ago. In my case, the two negative postings who have consistently shown, even to this day, on Google search results, are absolutely false negative posts refreshed by complaint sites from 13 years and 9 years ago.

The harm these anonymous postings has done to my reputation and to RJ & Makay is impossible to quantify. I know there have been prospective clients and employees who have seen a negative post on a Google search and just moved on without examining further, especially 10 years ago when people gave more credibility to complaint sites and anonymous negative postings.

If you’re reading this, you likely saw a negative posting but have decided to explore a little further to determine if the posts have credibility or not. This explanation was written specifically to you.

How we became vulnerable to negative posts:

1. Job boards

In 2004 shortly after RJ & Makay was established and for several years after, helped wirehouses hire new advisors in addition to experienced advisor recruiting. Firms like UBS, Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, and Edward Jones had aggressive recruiting agendas to bolster the ranks of new advisors. They were looking for successful career professionals from other industries who had established networks of potential investor clients. They were also looking for Rainmakers who could team with other advisors. In the case of Edward Jones they were looking for both second career type professionals, but were also hiring recent college graduates that showed great promise.

RJ & Makay recruited hundreds of these new advisors by matching them to the most ideal training programs and value proposition based on their qualifications and location. We heavily used job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder to post new advisor openings to new career seekers and paid for resume databases where we screened resumes of potential professionals and contacted those we thought would be viable candidates for a career as a Financial Advisor. We did so much business with job boards that Careerbuilder took me to Superbowl XLII as one of their premier client guests in 2008.

Because of our exposure to the outside public we reached many people who did not understand or trust the financial services industry or the Financial Advisor opportunity. Posts popped up asking if RJ & Makay was a scam. Then, an anonymous person who has never had any dealings with RJ & Makay whatsoever, visits our website and determines from their cursory review that:

“RJ & Makay recruiting firm looks like a well engineered scam.”

This negative post made by someone just looking at our website has received top result rankings for RJ & Makay from Google since 2008.

We didn’t charge job seekers one penny for our services and for a recruiting firm to contact a job seeker who posted their resume on a job board, who had ideal qualifications and backgrounds, about a Financial Advisor career that offered a strong salary, benefits package, and extensive training is not a scam, it’s just recruiting 101.

This experience caused me to exit the novice advisor recruiting niche and exclusively work with professionals already in the financial services industry and already licensed advisors.

2. Work-from-Home Model

In 2003, RJ & Makay was at the forefront of taking advantage of recently developed technology allowing for the virtual office format.  I embraced the work-from-home model then, as I do today, for employees that spend most of their time talking on the phone. I liked that under this model I could hire professionals that didn’t need to be micromanaged, anywhere in the country. And yes, I liked the reduced overhead costs as well.

One of the very first recruiters I brought on almost 14 years ago was with me for just a few months when I terminated the relationship for cause. The next day, he made a post on

“RJ, Makay & Associates – RMA ripoff, fraud, dishonest, illegitimate, work from home recruiting scam.”

This negative post has received top result rankings for RJ & Makay from Google since 2004.

While there were many work-at-home scams that sprouted up in the mid 2000s we were not one of them.

3. Hiring Practices

Our hiring practices and compensations plans have developed over the years to the present day where with rare exceptions, we only hire people with financial industry experience such as former advisors, managers, and broker dealer or custodian corporate financial recruiters.

14 years ago, there was a very small pool of experienced advisor recruiting professionals available to hire. Even today, the available talent pool of successful and proven advisor recruiters represents a sliver of the advisor recruiting population.

I decided to apply the novice advisor training model implemented by the financial firms we worked with to a “novice advisor recruiter” hiring and training model. I hired and trained people from different backgrounds, about the Financial Advisor position and the ways RJ & Makay helped advisors explore their recruiting options.

We have tried hiring all types of backgrounds and skill sets and have seen some prosper and others fail. We have tried commission structures, salary structures that turn into a draw after 6 months, paying for quality appointments set, and straight salary with bonus structures.

Like novice advisors and novice insurance agents, not everyone is going to make it in business development or succeed in a career that requires heavy phone prospecting.

From over a hundred people we have had  come and go over the last 15 years, we have received a few negative posts from those who did not have success claiming that there is no money to be made in a recruiting position at RJ & Makay. We have also received multiple posts from former employees who wanted to defend RJ & Makay. Ironically, most all of the negative posts of this nature occurred between 2008 and 2010, during the financial crisis, when industrywide, about 75,000 advisors moved firms over a three-year time period resulting in a recruiting boom for RJ & Makay (and all other advisor recruiting firms).

Thank You for Exploring More Deeply

In addition to the above explanation of negative posts, we work and have worked with many of the top financial firms in the industry, have been quoted by national media nearly 100 times including a dozen times in the Wall Street Journal, and have transitioned hundreds of billions in assets from our advisor clients joining better firm opportunities.

Advisorbox and AdvisorLoans both are fundamentally committed to doing what is in the best interest of the advisor, not a firm, and have developed open architecture platforms of solutions and solution providers to ensure advisor choice.

I have been grateful for our industry that has provided me with so much opportunity and have tried to give back through free resources we provide to advisors like our Vendor Directory, BluePapers, Valuation Estimate Calculator, StrategyProFormas, and free consultations to any advisor who calls us.

My staff and I endeavor to do the right thing and we think you will see that exemplified in your first conversation with us.

Warmest regards,

Darin Manis