July 1, 2020
Louis Diamond Quoted
By Jacqueline Sergeant
The pandemic has weakened, recession has taken a back seat, advisors have eased up on the brakes and recruiters in the independent broker-dealer space are at the ready, or have already begun, to deliver the goods. All signs for record-pace advisor movement within the industry in the months ahead.
Advisors are also prompted to consider moving when their firms consolidate, notes Louis Diamond, executive vice president and senior consultant at Morristown, N.J., recruiting firm Diamond Consultants. He points to mergers such as those of Ladenburg Thalmann, which, along with its subsidiary Securities America (and its own subsidiaries) was merged into Advisor Group. In other significant deals, Warburg Pincus bought Kestra last summer, and Genstar acquired Cetera in September 2018.
Deals like these, Diamond says, mean some advisors will feel displaced and other firms can scoop them up. “Anytime there is dislocation or anything like this, it’s an action that these firms that are recruiting can capitalize on,” he says.
And that could already be playing out, as three teams within six weeks recently exited Ladenburg’s Securities America subsidiary for LPL and Commonwealth. Ironically, Securities America was probably the biggest beneficiary of National Planning Holdings reps who felt displaced after LPL acquired that firm in 2017.
Succession planning, Diamond says, is one of the most pressing issues facing the industry. He argues that even for the best IBDs, once you get large enough “there may not be anyone who is large enough or sophisticated enough to buy you,” he says.
Because of the limited supply of those who can buy them, advisors then either sacrifice the quality of their succession planning or sacrifice the amount of money they can get for their business. Johnson says Securities America was proactive in providing access to information and consulting for advisors preparing to sell their businesses. When he went to Advisor Group, he found that it too had several resources and a program in place to help with succession and continuity planning.