The Wire

January 12, 2021

5 important lessons for financial advisors

I spent the last several weeks speaking with successful financial advisory firms. The question we explored together: “What are the most important things you have learned about running a wealth management business?” 

During the conversation, five major lessons emerged - with ‘growth’ being a key cross-cutting theme across the board. Importantly, these lessons came from listening to client needs, treating people well, and putting in energy to strategic planning. 

January 4, 2021

Morgan Stanley wants more Barron's Top Advisors so it poached Barron's 'Top Advisor' insiders, which says as much about the wirehouse as the publishing house

In an unusual poach, Morgan Stanley has hired two top guns at Barron's, who are famous for issuing the newspaper's "Top Advisor" blessings.

The largest of New York wirehouses has nabbed Sterling Shea, 47, to lead its practice strategy. The 23-year Barron's veteran was, for several years, the face of the Barron's Top 100 Financial Advisors program, which began in 2005.

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. 

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