That move was followed by a decision late last year to place Thrivent's billion family of 48 mutual funds on the platforms at Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing and TD Ameritrade.
The burning question for the chief executive of the organization that employs 2,400 financial representatives with more than 6 billion under management and advisement is, what took so long?
In terms of the seemingly narrow focus on Christian clients, Mr.
Stonestreet does not see a challenge, and believes the broader financial services industry is opening up to such subcategories.
Hewitt said the rep numbers have been growing by between 1% and 3% per year, but asset growth over the past three years has averaged about 6%.
Stonestreet recalled a time when he worked as a managing director at Merrill Lynch and was helping Ronald Blue set up a platform for wealthy clients.
"I met a Ronald Blue client who happened to be Jewish, and I asked him about working with a Christian firm," Mr. "He said, 'I don't know much about the bible things they talk about, but I know I can trust that guy.'" Ronald Blue, the man who founded the Christian advisory firm in 1979 and went on to start Kingdom Advisors in 2003, also believes the industry is moving toward "values-based investing," that should feed into the Thrivent model.
RONALD BLUE PURCHASE While growth through acquisitions is not a formal part of the strategy, Thrivent did recently acquire Ronald Blue & Co., an Atlanta-based Christian-focused RIA with .5 billion under management.
"One of the things that attracted us to Thrivent was the real missional alignment of wanting to help people be wise with money," said Nicholas Stonestreet, a Ronald Blue executive who became the CEO of the combined billion Thrivent Trust Company.