The Wire

June 18, 2021

‘Chances are slim to none’: Small RIAs may struggle to join referral programs

For smaller RIAs, winning access to lucrative custodial referral programs has historically been about as easy as getting upgraded from basic economy to first class on a United flight.

And it’s only set to get more difficult.

The barriers to entry may be getting too high for some advice businesses to even view a spot in Charles Schwab’s Schwab Advisor Network (SAN) or Fidelity’s Fidelity Wealth Advisor Solutions (WAS) program as an aspirational goal.

June 14, 2021

Retaining and Rewarding Talent Through Internal Equity Transactions

Sharing equity can help attract and retain talented team members, create a clear succession plan, and help de-risk ownership for advisory firms. But what’s the best way to price and distribute equity to meet a firm’s strategic objectives? John Furey of Advisor Growth Strategies joins Catherine Williams, Dimensional’s Head of Practice Management, to discuss current trends in compensation and equity planning.

June 9, 2021

How Private Equity Is Reshaping Wealth Management

No matter where you sit in the wealth management world, it’s impossible to miss the surging presence of outside capital in our industry. Major private equity players have taken an active hand in directly or indirectly cultivating mergers and acquisitions in the RIA space. In fact, more than 65% of the firms that completed multiple deals over the last five years enjoyed the support of a capital partner, according to Advisor Growth Strategies’ recent RIA Deal Room Report.

Is this something our industry should welcome? And what can we learn from the massive influx of outside capital?

May 24, 2021

Why Supercharged RIA Mergers, Acquisitions Market May Accelerate

The red hot RIA M&A market shows no signs of cooling down, according to one of the industry’s leading buyers.

“The market is not slowing down anytime soon and actually might even accelerate,” said David Barton, vice chairman of Mercer Advisors, speaking at a virtual M&A panel presented by Advisor Growth Strategies. “2021 might even be more frothy than last year.”

May 21, 2021

Red Flags to Look For When Selling Your RIA

As the Biden administration proposes to hike capital gains taxes, some advisory firms are jumping at the opportunity to sell their firms before any changes take effect. While it seems favorable to do so, some RIA executives warn of the potential traps sellers might face.

Rush Benton, senior director of GTCR-backed Captrust, advises selling firms to choose their partner wisely, he said during a recent virtual roundtable hosted by Advisor Growth Strategies, a management consulting and transaction advisory firm.

May 21, 2021

RIA Roundup: Edelman Revs its M&A Engine as 3 Dealmakers Lace into Big Spender CI

One of the largest registered investment advisory firms by assets in the U.S. is dipping a toe into the M&A waters.

Edelman Financial Engines said it will purchase Viridian Advisors, a Bothell, Washington-based RIA and tax planning firm managing $846 million in client assets. With $270 billion in customer assets and private equity backing from Hellman & Friedman, Edelman said it will make Viridian’s office its fourth branch in the Seattle area, according to the Wednesday announcement.

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