I am not sure if it refers to Heron Wealth or not because their website doesn't tell me.

"Previously a one-man shop growing assets at a 5% annual rate, Edwards transformed his fiduciary wealth management firm by adopting a “hyper-productive” team approach that has been growing assets under management 30%-40% annually. Heron Wealth grew from $122 million in assets in January 2013 to $285 million through February 2017."

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-one-financial-adviser-lands-seven-figure-accounts-2017-04-25?mod=fa_center


You interpret this correctly. A 'one-man shop' is a business with only a single employee/owner, or only a single active principal, and in this case it clearly refers to the firm, not the firm's owner.

Technically, the supplemental 'verbless clause' Previously a one-man shop growing assets at a 5% annual rate is improperly anchored—since it introduces the sentence it should refer to the subject of the main clause, Edwards. But looking at this as a writer, I see that Ms. Swift is in something of a box: she wants to lead her sentence with a description of the firm as it was pre-transformation, but she also wants to focus on Edwards' action by casting her main clause in the active voice with Edwards as its subject. She consequently accepts the technical impropriety of a dangling clause—or perhaps she feels that in a one-man shop the distinction between the firm and its principal is trivial.


Sometimes the writer's objectives and the desire to communicate the key concepts in the most clear and powerful way takes precedence over proprieties. It should be noted that the editors from MarketWatch and Barron's also approved of the writer's strategy.

  • Marie Swift, author of the piece in question

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