The Wire

October 23, 2013

The High Cost of Making the Wrong Hire

A dramatic story from Beacon Pointe Advisors president Matt Cooper highlights a common mistake advisors make when recruiting for their firms.

The cautionary tale appears in a recentwhite paper co-published with the Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending — and holds lessons for other growing financial-advice businesses.

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October 22, 2013

Ex-KKR Capitalists Reach the RIA Gate with $30-Million Stake in United Capital

Reversing itself on raising capital from external sources, United Capital Financial Advisers LLCwrapped up an 18-month search for about $6 million of capital by bringing aboard $38 million of capital.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based roll-up-morphing-to-wealth-manager sold a 14% stake to Greenwich, Conn.- and Palo Alto, Calif.-based SageView Capital LP — a group founded by ex-KKR higher-ups — for $30 million and raised an additional $8 million from Bessemer Venture Partners and Grail Partners LLC.

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October 22, 2013

aRIA Releases First Two Case Studies on Member Advisory Firms

The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors (aRIA), a think-tank comprised of six elite RIA firms that collectively manage more than $20 billion in client assets, today released the first two case studies of a six part series on their member RIA firms.

Entitled "How to Grow Bionically vs. Organically With an M&A Strategy" and "How to Identify & Invest in High-Upside Individuals," these first two case studies detail the experiences and strategies of aRIA member firms Savant Capital Management and Beacon Pointe Advisors, managing $3.3 billion and $5.6 billion in assets respectively.

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October 18, 2013

Small Advisors: Regional RIAs Want You

Are small advisors a big enough market for regional RIAs offering support services?

Phoenix-based SureVest Wealth Management thinks so, and is launching a platform offering investment, compliance, marketing, technology and client relationship support to advisors who have between $15 million and $50 million in assets under management.

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September 30, 2013

Fidelity Investments Call Two Deal-making Protagonists to its Sanctum

This month, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, our Boston-based RIA custody unit, held the inaugural M&A Idea Exchange as part of our expanding mergers-and-acquisitions and consulting program for advisory firms. The sole purpose of the gathering was to discuss the state of M&A and how to better support the industry’s growth through M&A.

For this event, we brought together 25 industry experts, investment bankers and active acquirers. Participants were from around the country and represented a variety of models. They were selected based on their success in sourcing, completing and integrating deals. The acquirers represented a collective $200 billion in assets under management, and each firm had completed at least one transaction in its history.

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September 19, 2013

RIA Margins Continue to Suffer

Last year was a relatively good year for the markets; the S&P 500 was up 16 percent. Yet profit margins at registered investment advisor firms continue to fall, according’s 2013 AdvisorBenchmarking RIA Trend Report, from 37 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in 2012.

Part of the reason is that expenses at the firms also rose, pretty dramatically, from a median of $100,000 in 2010 to $231,000 in 2012, with management compensation making up much of that increase. Advisors aren't reigning in their trajectory of increased costs even though the market recovery has begun to level off, and much of the increased costs, the report finds, are going to compensate managers.

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