The Wire

May 12, 2020

A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.

The big business of managing money has a retirement problem: there are more financial advisers leaving than there is new blood going in. The coronavirus pandemic isn't helping balance out the equation.

As the wealth management industry grapples with its own retirement crisis, the pandemic is pushing advisers to think in a more urgent way about who will one day take over their clients. While that isn't helping to get rookie advisers in the door, it may result in more advisers figuring out their succession plans sooner.

May 11, 2020

Focus performed well in Q1, but Q2 presents a challenge

Focus Financial Partners’ earnings report for the first quarter impressed. But a bigger challenge may loom in the second quarter.

The metrics Focus reported on Thursday morning show that the company’s acquisition model — in which it takes a preferential stake in a partner RIA’s earnings — gives itself downside protection. Focus’ revenue in the first quarter of 2020 dropped by just 0.9% sequentially, to $337.1m. That preferential stake means that Focus gets paid first out of its partner firms’ earnings, no matter what market conditions may be.

May 4, 2020

Advisor M&A Post-Covid: Winners and Losers

CONSOLIDATION IN THE RIA SPACE has accelerated steadily for the past decade, in part because aging firm principals have sought to cash out and retire. But a good number of owners, enjoying steadily rising assets and revenue courtesy of the long bull market, procrastinated.

Those folks “are likely having a lot of regret now,” says David DeVoe, head of the M&A consultancy DeVoe & Co. In short, March’s market plunge was a blunt reminder that firm values can fall as well as rise.

May 1, 2020

Chief executive Ron Carson says he’s more in touch with his leadership group than ever, but adds that people are getting ‘a little worn out’ seven weeks into remote working

The Covid-19 pandemic prompted advisory firms to shift operations to home offices, ready or not, and has led many firms to rethink how they work.

Carson Group chief executive Ron Carson (pictured) said that even with the existing resources and infrastructure to support hundreds of employees across the country, his $12bn firm hasn’t been immune to challenges and change and cancelled plans.

May 1, 2020

Amid 800-person hiring spree, TD Ameritrade interim CEO Steve-Boyle delivers sparkling results, underscores quick 100% work-at-home transition-- and calls Schwab merger efforts 'critical' and on-schedule

The countdown is ticking on TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s merger with Charles Schwab Corp., but it hasn't curbed TD's competitive fire -- and its record quarterly results reflect the burn. 

The Omaha, Neb. firm gathered $45 billion of net new assets -- split 58% retail and 42% RIA custody -- despite the COVID-19 pandemic's economic and social dislocation.

April 24, 2020

‘It’s the ultimate reset’: How lockdown can improve UK and US financial planning

In the third and final part of our US and UK financial planning discussion, we take a look at what firms might learn from the lockdown and how they might come out of it stronger.

Steps taken to focus on planning and listening seem more prudent than ever, and efforts to distinguish between the value of financial planning, and fluctuations in the markets, seem increasingly worthwhile.

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