The Wire

December 11, 2020

Buckingham joins Fidelity referral program

RIA giant Buckingham Strategic Wealth has joined Fidelity’s custodial referral program. 

Buckingham Strategic Wealth, the $16.1bn RIA arm of Buckingham Wealth Partners, is one of 84 firms in Fidelity’s Wealth Advisor Solutions network. Custodial referral programs such as Fidelity Wealth Advisor Solutions can often prove to be lucrative sources of new client assets for RIAs. 

October 27, 2020

Schwab @Home with John Furey

John Furey joins Tony Parkin of Schwab Advisor Services to discuss the current and future state of M&A in the RIA marketplace.



September 23, 2020

Will This Overlooked Segment Drive M&A Among RIA Firms?

M&A activity is picking up again for RIA firms and there’s a lot of anticipation about what the industry can expect for the rest of the year and in 2021. Many are focused on $1 billion-plus AUM firms that have consistently commanded strong valuations. These large firms — highly sought-after acquisition targets — made up less than 6% of all RIAs at the end of 2018, according to research firm Cerulli Associates.

August 10, 2020

A Legacy of Uncommon Kindness and Shared Ownership Helped Build a $1.5 Billion RIA

Max Weldon Greer Jr. planned to step down in January from leading the Kansas City RIA he founded in 1980. The transition never took place. In November, Greer died unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 72. But thanks to an ownership structure more than two decades in the making by the caring executive, the company itself was prepared for his sudden absence.

Compared to his industry peers, Greer was on the fast track to getting his professional house in order. According to a 2018 study from the Financial Planning Association and Janus Henderson Investors, only 41% of advisors report having some form of succession plan and just 27% have a formally documented plan. Even among advisors managing $500 million or more of client assets, only 60% have a formal plan. 

July 31, 2020

Why RIAs raid other RIAs for talent

A new study from Charles Schwab indicates that RIAs are increasingly looking amongst themselves for new talent.

According to the RIA custodian’s 2020 RIA benchmarking study, other RIAs were the most popular source of talent for advisory firms with more than $250m in assets under management. Schwab found that 39% of respondents to its survey — which contained self-reported data from 1,010 firms — recruited staffers from fellow independent advisory businesses in 2019.

July 22, 2020

Most RIAs Unprepared to Strike an M&A Deal: Survey

A large swath of the RIA sector is not prepared to approach merger-and-acquisition deals from a position of strength, according to a new survey from Advisor Growth Strategies, a managing consulting and transaction advisory firm.

The survey results revealed an industry concerned about growth and next-generation talent, but intimidated by the complexity of the M&A landscape.

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