The Wire

March 17, 2020

Focus, TD and Live Oak hit especially hard by coronavirus crash

Nearly every RIA is a privately held company. But if their best public market analogues are any indication, the industry is entering a serious period of financial stress.

Shares of Focus Financial Partners, the KKR and Stone Point-backed buyer and financier of RIAs, have cratered has the coronavirus crisis has roiled US markets. Shares of the company changed hands at $15.47 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday morning, down around 45.2% in March.

March 12, 2020

Focus locks in interest rate on term loan amid coronavirus crisis

Focus Financial Partners has tweaked its debt obligations as coronavirus anxiety wreaks havoc on credit and equity markets.

The KKR and Stone Point-backed RIA aggregator said Thursday that it had entered into a $400m floating to fixed interest rate swap agreement on its $1.14bn first lien term loan.

March 12, 2020

Behind Beacon Pointe’s big PE deal

Offering potential RIA sellers equity-only deals just wasn’t enough in today’s cut throat M&A market.

Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors made only five all-equity deals from 2016 through 2019, while deep-pocketed rivals like Focus Financial Advisors, Mercer Advisors and Wealth Enhancement Group, armed with capital from private equity firms and the public markets, combined for 35 deals last year alone.

March 11, 2020

RIA dealmaking slips in February

The pace of RIA dealmaking slipped in February, according to a new report from Fidelity.

The RIA custodian found that RIAs completed seven transactions totaling $6.2bn in assets in the month, down from 13 transactions totaling $18.9bn in AUM in January.

March 6, 2020

What Pershing’s Pricing Shakeup Means for RIAs

Five months after trading commissions for RIA investor clients fell to the wayside at Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and later Fidelity, Pershing jumped into the act with a zero-commission model tied to a low-yield cash sweep program and the option for advisor clients to pay at least $25 a month with fees tiered to assets.

What does the news mean for advisors — grappling with Schwab’s impending purchase of TD Ameritrade and other disruptive forces, like newbie Altruist’s entry into the custodial space this week? 

March 4, 2020

Surviving the Three Psychological Stages of an RIA Sale

Steven W. Kaye shares a story about one of his most difficult clients. It was the 1970s and this man owned 13 dry cleaning stores in what were then three dangerous cities: Jersey City, Hoboken, and Bayonne. He wore a gun in his store every day. He had no partner or manager. He died at 57 and left his widow with four kids, no business continuation plan or education funds.

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