The Wire

January 28, 2013

Third aRIA Whitepaper Delivers Independent Financial Advisor Valuation Manual

The Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) today released the third of a four-part whitepaper series for advisors called Creating Value and Certainty Within Your Independent Advisory Firm.

The series of papers is based on the combined experience and observations of the six aRIA members, all RIAs who collectively manage over $20 billion of client assets.

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January 28, 2013

How Much is that Advisory Firm in the Window?

Advisory firm owners have unrealistic expectations about what their firms are worth.

Sales of RIA firms usually are done based on a multiple of cash flow, but owners and founders often overestimate their free cash by forgetting to factor in the cost of their replacement, according to a white paper released today by the Alliance for RIAs.

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December 17, 2012

HighTower Passes up $40 million Capital Raise

After taking a pass on a big new round of financing following one of the biggest deal-making tears in RIA history, HighTower Advisors LLC declared a mini-moratorium on purchases for the latter months of the year — and carried it out.

It’s a relatively radical action taken by a company accustomed to announcing big deals every few weeks.

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December 9, 2012

How RIAs are Becoming as Complacent as Wirehouses

Independent advisors have experienced a great run but they may be running out of time to make the changes needed to be part of tomorrow’s success story.

Since Cerulli Associates started publishing the growth metrics for the space in 2004, RIAs and IBDs have grown at a significantly faster pace relative to the rest of the industry. Perhaps this explains why many independent advisors now act like their wirehouse counterparts — complacent, entitled, and satisfied with their position in the financial advisory world.

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November 16, 2012

Advisors Rocked by Winds of Change in the Windy City

Financial advisors visiting the Windy City found themselves buffeted by the winds of change swirling around the financial markets and the advisory industry itself during the SchwabIMPACT 2012 conference in Chicago this week.

A frenetic stock market and a nail-biting countdown to the impending “fiscal cliff” that was fraught with high political drama served as the backdrop to the popular conference. The advisors’ world was hardly more tranquil. Many were taking calls from nervous clients worried about the fiscal cliff, while at the same time trying to make sense of the rapid evolution of their industry.

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November 15, 2012

Time to Get your Game on, Small Advisory Firms

Small advisory firms will face increasing competition for clients from larger RIA firms that have more resources and more-robust service offerings, according to owners of several large firms who are looking to expand.

The advisers, part of a panel today at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.'s Impact 2012 conference in Chicago, warned smaller firms that their so-called “lifestyle” practices, which typically have little or no enterprise value, face a future of diminishing profit margins unless they take steps to build economies of scale into their businesses.

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