The Wire

January 23, 2018

Ron Carson 'arrived' after investing $52 million, grabbing Orion and TD talent and letting his hair down

Brooke's Note: Pity the reporter who writes about Ron Carson's new venture. Randy Diamond quickly learned there are so many layers and aspects. The question is whether what Carson has built is an advisory business maestro unveiling his master work in the prime of life at 53. Or whether The Orator of Omaha has created an organization in Carson Group and Carson Wealth Management with too many moving parts and too reliant on his giant personality. Not that Carson is asking those questions or betraying anything that sounds like doubt in an interview I did with him in the editing phase to be sure I was getting the whole drift. He kept returning the conversation to his vision, which includes soon having to compete with Amazon and other great data-rich e-commerce companies on price, web experience and marketing power. Carson discussed how he sat beside Mark Hurley at a Fidelity M&A event and got a refresher course on Undiscovered Managers. He buys the Hurley vision but on steroids with Amazon looming. Read More

December 12, 2017

An RIABiz advertising exec derives hard meanings from soft comments made by big shots at MarketCounsel Summit

Brooke's Note: The most overused theme for an RIA speech is "the future of wealth management." Typically, such talks are neither about wealth management nor the future, unless platitudes about digital wealth count. But RIABiz marketing exec Graham Thomas's listening skills, powers of observation and follow-up interviews at last week's Summit yield a useful glimpse into how a swath of how the more successful and ambitious characters in the RIA business are taking their companies into the bright future of wealth management. These execs are coming off of adverse events in the past year, or years, and making halftime adjustments. Read More

December 7, 2017

Best ways RIAs can access capital

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Investment capital has become easily available for RIAs, but that doesn't mean advisory firm owners are home free. "The industry is awash with capital," said Rich Gill, co-founder of Wealth Partners Capital Group, a newly-formed RIA aggregator, speaking at MarketCounsel's annual conference for advisors. "Finding the appropriate partner and structure can be challenging, but the money is certainly there."


November 16, 2017

How to make an RIA attractive to buyers

CHICAGO - Two advisory firms can have nearly identical revenue and assets under management. Yet if one structures its business in specific, strategic ways, it can command more than twice the valuation of a lifestyle-oriented practice — even if the other firm is larger. "Characteristics drive value, not size," said John Furey, principal of Advisor Growth Strategies, at Charles Schwab's annual Impact conference. Read More

November 15, 2017

RIA valuations too specific to base on other sales

Financial advisers looking to catch a ride on the consolidation wave by putting their firm up for sale should be open to the reality that valuations are often more art than science.

"Stay out of the valuation trap by worrying less about what you think your firm is worth, and think about your value to a potential buyer," said John Furey, principal and founder of Advisor Growth Strategies.

October 26, 2017

What does the HighTower-PE deal mean for RIAs?

What does HighTower Advisors' $100 million recapitalization deal with private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners mean for the financial advisory business? It's a major endorsement of the RIA business model, industry observers agree, and underscores the massive influx of PE money into the space — and the subsequent questions those investments raise. Read More


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