The Wire

April 30, 2018

$3B deal of Edelman, Financial Engines puts other RIAs in the hot seat

In a blockbuster deal seen as remaking the digital advice landscape, robo advice pioneer Financial Engines is being bought for $3 billion and combined with Edelman Financial Services. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which is a majority shareholder in Edelman, agreed to pay $3.02 billion in an all-cash transaction. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Read More

February 16, 2018

Coaches Help Advisors Sharpen Their Processes And Woo Prospects

Just as professional athletes benefit from coaching, so can advisors. Knowledgeable outsiders can spot holes in one's performance and suggest ways to plug them. In helping advisors grow their business, consultants often focus on processes and work habits. For example, advisors may lack systems to generate referrals, manage their time or build a thriving team.

Even if advisors think they operate efficient businesses, they may still want to improve. By enlisting a coach, they can reset their priorities and identify better ways to attract and retain clients.

February 1, 2018

The biggest obstacles to building a billion-dollar RIA

The goal for most advisers is to increase the size of the firm, both in assets under management and the number of employees. But as the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. once said, "Mo money, mo problems." The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors, a think tank of entrepreneurs behind some of the most successful RIAs, discussed the setbacks of building a billion-dollar firm at the TD Ameritrade National LINC conference Thursday. The panelists agreed that growth requires talented employees, but finding and hiring the right people is often one of the hardest challenges. Read More

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."


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