The Wire

June 1, 2020

The Case for a Permanent RIA Road Show

It stands to reason that a global crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, and its economic aftershocks, would slam the brakes on mergers and acquisitions in the RIA space. A recent Fidelity report highlights a stark reversal in deal flow: six RIA deals in March and April, compared to 20 in January and February, representing a 38% year-to-date decline against the same period in 2019. While buyers and sellers might turn to playing it safe during this volatile period, the fundamental needs that drive industry M&A have not gone away.

June 1, 2020

Navigating Client 'Concentration Risk' in a Sale

According to a November 2019 Cerulli Associates report, in the next five to 10 years, RIA firms with about $2.5 trillion in assets under management could be acquired.

Cerulli breaks down that number with $1.6 trillion based on retiring RIAs, $469 billion attributed to breakaway advisors, and $348 for growth-challenged firms.

May 19, 2020

Coronavirus crisis puts advisor succession planning in focus

The wealth management industry is scrambling as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a retirement crisis — and no, it’s not about the clients.

With questions of health, longevity, and business continuity gaining more prominence than ever, firms in the U.S. are giving some much-needed reflection to when and how many advisors are leaving the workforce, and who will be there to replace them, reported Business Insider.

May 12, 2020

A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.

The big business of managing money has a retirement problem: there are more financial advisers leaving than there is new blood going in. The coronavirus pandemic isn't helping balance out the equation.

As the wealth management industry grapples with its own retirement crisis, the pandemic is pushing advisers to think in a more urgent way about who will one day take over their clients. While that isn't helping to get rookie advisers in the door, it may result in more advisers figuring out their succession plans sooner.

May 11, 2020

Focus performed well in Q1, but Q2 presents a challenge

Focus Financial Partners’ earnings report for the first quarter impressed. But a bigger challenge may loom in the second quarter.

The metrics Focus reported on Thursday morning show that the company’s acquisition model — in which it takes a preferential stake in a partner RIA’s earnings — gives itself downside protection. Focus’ revenue in the first quarter of 2020 dropped by just 0.9% sequentially, to $337.1m. That preferential stake means that Focus gets paid first out of its partner firms’ earnings, no matter what market conditions may be.

May 4, 2020

Advisor M&A Post-Covid: Winners and Losers

CONSOLIDATION IN THE RIA SPACE has accelerated steadily for the past decade, in part because aging firm principals have sought to cash out and retire. But a good number of owners, enjoying steadily rising assets and revenue courtesy of the long bull market, procrastinated.

Those folks “are likely having a lot of regret now,” says David DeVoe, head of the M&A consultancy DeVoe & Co. In short, March’s market plunge was a blunt reminder that firm values can fall as well as rise.

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