A conversation with David Canter, President, Bluespring Wealth Partners
The president of Kestra Holding’s Bluespring Wealth Partners discusses the firm’s mission of acquiring independent wealth management practices, and shares his unique perspective and advice on M&A, independence, business ownership, and more.
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NOTE: The views and opinions expressed by the guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Diamond Consultants. Neither Diamond Consultants nor the guests on this podcast are compensated in any way for their participation.
About this episode…
You might say that David Canter’s role as President of Bluespring Wealth Partners clearly demonstrates a continually evolving industry.
The subsidiary of Kestra Holdings launched in 2019 with a mission focused on acquiring independent wealth management practices that have their sights set on growth, succession, and continuity.
And it was a mission that proved to be a powerful draw for the nearly 13-year veteran of Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions—and a perfect match for his experience and knowledge around M&A and the RIA space.
David was first a guest on this series in September of 2018 when he was the Executive Vice President and Head of the RIA segment for Fidelity, responsible for driving the execution and results of more than 2,800 RIA firms across eight territories throughout the U.S. In that episode, he shared an extensive view of independence and the custody industry (with commentary that is still relevant today, so be sure to listen in).
No doubt, independent business owners have a growing field of options when considering selling all or a piece of their business. And in what continues to be an active M&A market, Bluespring has been attracting its fair share of headlines. For instance, they closed out 2022 with 9 acquisitions—more than $3B in AUM.
Yet one of the biggest announcements last year could be that of David taking on the leadership role of the firm.
Because there are few people in this industry who have David’s unique combination of experience and knowledge—nor is there anyone as generous in sharing all that he knows.
In this episode with Louis Diamond, David talks about an evolving industry, including:
- Life in the independent world “before it was cool”—and how it’s changed today.
- His view of the custody world—and why he sees it as a utility business and not a commodity.
- The options advisors have when considering a capital partner or exit strategy—and how Bluespring fits into this ecosystem.
- Bluespring’s unique value proposition—and why he sees the firm as a “force multiplier.”
- The talent shortage—and why he’s optimistic about well-trained next gens rising up.
- The bull market for advisors and advice—and the 4 key things continuing to drive movement and M&A activity.
- Plus, David talks in-depth about finding your “unfair advantage”—and why it’s one of the most important aspects of any successful business.
- And much more!
It’s an episode that covers a lot of ground—an in-depth knowledge base for employee advisors and independent business owners alike.
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David Canter is widely known across the RIA industry. As President of Bluespring Wealth Partners, David is focused on positioning our organization as one of the premier acquirers in the industry. This includes overseeing the day-to-day operations and identifying new areas of opportunity and growth for Bluespring Wealth Partners.
In his previous role as Executive Vice President and Head of the RIA segment for Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, he led a team that provided a comprehensive custody platform, brokerage services, trading capabilities, and practice management and consulting services to registered investment advisors. David was responsible for driving the execution and results of sales and relationship management of more than 2,800 RIA firms across eight territories throughout the U.S.
During his career, David has held numerous positions at several well-respected financial institutions gaining experience in multiple facets of the industry. From Head Legal Counsel of Schwab Institutional, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Post Advisory Group, and other roles focused on practice management, trading and operations, consulting, and investments—making David a well-rounded leader in the RIA space.
David currently sits on the board of two charitable organizations, including Invest in Others and Foundation for Financial Planning. Invest in Others is an organization that helps financial advisors make the most of their charitable work and create a bigger impact within their communities. Freedom For Financial Planning provides veterans, cancer patients, and people in crisis access to pro bono financial planning and financial resources.
In 1990, David received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore Law in 1993. He currently holds his FINRA Series 24 license and is a California State Bar member.
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