The Wire

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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November 12, 2012

Planners Who Don't Plan for Succession Face Unhappy Endings

Just as the cobbler's children go without shoes, two-thirds of independent advisors ignore succession planning. Such advisors could fall into an “annuity trap,” watching the value of their business degrade as they near the exit from their practice.

Avoiding such a trap requires time and effort: “A succession plan that maximizes sale value, could take more than 10 years, from beginning to end,” John Furey, principal of Advisor Growth Strategies, a consulting firm in Phoenix, told Financial Planning.

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November 12, 2012

aRIA Releases Second Whitepaper for Advisors

The Alliance for RIAs (aRIA) today released the second 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 aRIA members who collectively manage over $20 billion of client assets.

aRIA (ah-ree-uh) group members include Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital; John Burns, Principal at Exencial Wealth Management; Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group; Jeff Concepcion, CEO of Stratos Wealth Planning; Matt Cooper, President of Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors; and Neal Simon, CEO of Highline Wealth Management. Each has proven his ability to build and grow highly successful advisory firms by industry standards.

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November 6, 2012

$1.2 Billion RIA Breaks It Off with LPL

After 17 years, Waldron Wealth Management LLC is leaving LPL and moving its assets to Pershing and Fidelity in the belief that the change will enable the $1.2 billion-firm to better serve its ultrahigh-net-worth clients.

Leaders of the Bridgeville, Pa.-based firm say they were happy at LPL Financial but were seeking more sophisticated processes to meet the needs of its high-end business. Of 140 clients, about 25 are multi-family office clients whose assets are typically around $20 million. According to Barron’s 2012 ranking, Waldron’s typical client has $7.5 million in assets and a net worth of $15 million. Both Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC and Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services offer family-office services, a feature that LPL currently lacks.

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November 4, 2012

A $5.5 Billion LA-Based RIA is Getting Purchased by First Republic Bank

First Republic Bank will acquire Los Angeles-based wealth management firm Luminous Capital for an undisclosed cash price. The San Francisco-based bank is buying Luminous, with $5.5 billion in assets under management, to make it part of First Republic Investment Management Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank. Luminous Capital Holdings LLC is an independent wealth advisor.

First Republic expands its Private Wealth Management assets under management to $29 billion. David DeVoe, CEO of DeVoe & Company, believes the deal may have contained some irresistible aspects for the Luminous partners.

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