By Louis Diamond – According to a 2017 Cerulli report, 39% of the financial advisor population is over 55 years of age—and of course, no one is getting any younger. Over the past decade, many quality brokerage firms responded to the strong outcry from advisors who had no tangible way to monetize their life’s work in place. As such, firms launched attractive sunset programs like UBS ALFA, Merrill Lynch CTP, and Morgan Stanley FFAP—each providing pathways for senior advisors to unlock liquidity before formally retiring and passing the business along to the next generation.
By Louis Diamond – While the financial advisory profession is still largely a meritocracy, your production and book of business no longer solely dictate how attractive you are to prospective employers. As wirehouses have scaled back on hiring advisors (not entirely by choice), regional firms, boutiques and independent platforms now control the recruiting market. The result? Cultural fit and likeability can make or break a deal.
By Louis Diamond – The conversations around movement to the independent space often center around the “big picture”: The opportunity for an advisor to get out from under the auspices of a larger firm to build an enterprise and legacy based on his own vision and terms.
By Louis Diamond – Many independent firms reach a point in their business when they’ve hit the proverbial ceiling. That is, they recognize that they cannot sufficiently grow or compete any further on their own. The ability to break through that ceiling, gain scale and even solve for succession typically means considering a merger or acquisition opportunity. Yet finding the right M&A partner can be an arduous task.
By Louis Diamond – Going independent seems to be the loudest buzz these days. It’s clearly where the puck is heading for more and more wirehouse teams—especially since 3 of the 4 major firms have announced plans to pull back on recruiting (at least for now). However, while the basic tenets of independence – autonomy, flexibility, control, creativity, superior take-home economy, empowerment – are particularly appealing to many, it is near impossible for the majority of even the most entrepreneurial advisors to get from “here to there”.
By Louis Diamond – Second of a series on advisor transition and transition deals: Analyzing transition packages attached to big firm moves and the components of these deals to help answer a burning question for many advisors: “What is the best deal on the Street?”
By Louis Diamond – The reality is that we are in the midst of a “seller’s market”, and as such, there are plenty of firms that would benefit from M&A, yet the fact remains that many of these potential sellers don’t really have a clear picture of how much their businesses are worth, let alone the benefits they may gain from a merger or acquisition. Whether an advisor is the owner of his own firm or an employee at a major brokerage firm, these 7 areas provide key markers that drive enterprise value.
By Louis Diamond – R-I-A: These three letters are dotted across industry publications and conference agendas, and on the minds of most advisors (especially post-DOL ruling), but why all the hype? And, why are we watching so many long tenured top advisors and teams moving in that direction?
By Louis Diamond – Independent broker dealers (IBDs) serve a great purpose within the marketplace. By allowing advisors to own their business, self-brand and take control of their financial destiny, IBDs are often a breath of fresh air for breakaway brokers and entrepreneurial spirits. Yet while there are many multi-million dollar businesses within IBDs, there are often instances where a business has outgrown this model in favor of the registered investment advisor (RIA) hybrid space.
By Louis Diamond – We often hear principals of independent firms speak of their desire to increase assets under management, and how they feel that doing so will help ensure their relevancy and solidify their position in the marketplace. While this singular notion may have been a focus in years past, increased competition has caused a shift in goals for many quality firms, a shift towards increasing overall enterprise value by paying attention to the things that most impact it (as discussed in my last post).
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