The Wire

November 29, 2018

Why M&A’s ‘M&M’ sluggers are hitting home runs

Baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were known as the “M&M Boys” when they were hitting home runs for the New York Yankees in the 1960s.

A half-century later, the RIA business has their own pair of “M&M” sluggers —Mariner Wealth Advisors and Mercer Advisors. In November alone, the two firms demonstrated their considerable M&A prowess, snapping up four advisory firms with over $3 billion in combined assets under management.

October 31, 2018

Why building a multibillion dollar firm is not for the faint of heart

If you want to become a multibillion dollar advisory firm, be prepared to make some hard decisions.

Principals committed to growing their RIA into an enterprise firm need to recognize the difference between management and leadership, said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital Management.

“Management is telling people what to do,” Brodeski told advisors at a session titled “The Road to a Multi-billion Dollar Firm: Pushing Past Challenges and Setbacks” at Charles Schwab’s annual IMPACT conference. “Leadership is having a vision and attracting people to it.”

August 14, 2018

AssetMark's big TAMP move

AssetMark, the industry's third-largest turnkey asset management provider, hit the $50 billion mark by agreeing to buy Global Financial Private Capital, a $5.7 billion RIA that provides outsourcing services to around 200 advisors.

Although the TAMP business is dominated by Envestnet with over $500 billion advisor assets on its platform, AssetMark, headed by Charles Goldman, former head of Schwab Institutional and president of Fidelity's clearing and custody business, is making an aggressive push to catch number two SEI Advisor Network, which has around $65 billion in assets.

July 17, 2018

Getting to scale — the virtual solution

The industry may be adding registered investment advisers annually, but it's also consolidating at a record pace for one reason: the power of scale. Highly competitive,, aggressive growth RIAs are reshaping the landscape.

Armed with capital, they are harvesting RIAs seeking to sell or breakaways that don't want the burden of running their own firms. It seems that every week, another RIA joins the $1 billion club. I fully expect the emergence of a dozen or more very large regional and national RIAs.

June 26, 2018

Dynasty Financial 2.0 takes big RIAs and applies 'McKinsey' tenets to extrude grand growth

Shirl Penney bounded onto the scene in 2011 with the then novel proposition of being home to big breakaway stock brokers as they began life as RIAs, but with one big difference from roll-ups. He asked for no ownership stake. See: What exactly is Dynasty Financial Partners and why is the Smith Barney execs' startup gaining so much attention?

Seven years later, the CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners is using a novel pitch to pursue another new market -- existing RIAs with AUM starting at $1 billion, but lacking the nous to take the next step. The bet is that Dynasty is primed for an upmarket move and that big RIAs are ready for the tough-love advice and expanded "synthetic" scale that the firm will deliver.

April 30, 2018

$3B deal of Edelman, Financial Engines puts other RIAs in the hot seat

In a blockbuster deal seen as remaking the digital advice landscape, robo advice pioneer Financial Engines is being bought for $3 billion and combined with Edelman Financial Services. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which is a majority shareholder in Edelman, agreed to pay $3.02 billion in an all-cash transaction. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Read More

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