The Wire

December 29, 2016

How Aspiriant knocked out another all-stock deal for an $850-million-AUM firm and why such pure-paper transactions don't grow on trees

Stanford had done its own succession spade work and its principals were willing to become workers in a Deloitte-cultured firm.

Brooke's Note: A billion here, a billion there ... sooner or later you're talking real billions. Aspiriant, with $10 billion or more in AUM, is what roll-ups aspire to be -- an RIA that serially acquires other big RIAs, or even smaller ones, at will. It does so by swapping its stocks for theirs.  Read More

December 6, 2016

Designing an optimal compensation program

The cost and complexity of developing effective compensation programs for advisory firm employees represents an ongoing challenge for firm principals. A successful approach to the issue is to focus on a top-down, strategic approach to compensation rather than bottom-up approach designed at the individual level.

That was the suggestion of IMPACT speaker John Furey of Advisor Growth Strategies, who focused on compensation and equity plans that he believes can drive excellence, not entitlement. Read More

November 22, 2016

Best Buy founder among outsiders betting on financial advice firms

The demand for advisory firms to grow larger and larger has some reaching out to strange bedfellows for financial support.

Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze is among the investors who recently took a 25% stake in Meristem Family Wealth, a $2.35 billion family wealth management firm seeking to expand. Read More

November 17, 2016

Best new compensation plans for advisers

How should firms distribute, determine and design compensation packages for advisers and support staff?

Compensation makes up the single largest cost for RIAs, according Schwab’s most-recent RIA Benchmarking Study, yet many firms do not have a well-defined incentive package in place to reward and retain talent. Read More

October 13, 2016

Savant Capital Targets $1B Annual AUM Growth

The march towards heightened M&A activity might not be ready to fade anytime soon. But any such mergers and acquisitions frenzy by RIAs, say experts, is likely to be in large part driven by succession planning issues as much as competitive economic pressure.

A prime case in point is a recent move by Savant Capital in Rockford, Ill. The 30-year-old regional giant among wealth managers has used M&A as a growth strategy over the past four years to push assets under management past $5 billion.Read More

October 5, 2016

How Brent Brodeski 'cut the middleman out' to get a no-strings $50 million for succession nirvana

Brooke's Note: RIAs have proven to be mostly unbeatable because of their ability to evenhandedly quarterback financial challenges on behalf of clients. But when it comes to funding their own futures, RIAs have tended to seek off-the-rack solutions, which, by definition, do not fit all sizes. Keeping control is a big problem and can be a fatal flaw considering that control is at the heart of what makes RIAs not only great businesses but great places for self-actualization. Read More

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