Succession Link, A New Listing Service For Advisors Who Want to Sell Firms, Debuts edit
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 17:05

Tags: succession planning

Succession Link, which provides business consulting and an online marketplace for advisors who are interested in buying or selling their practices, recently was launched.


This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only


Founded by Phillip Flakes and Nicholas Gudz, who are recruiters for BDs and RIAs, Succession Link does not charge transactional fees, listing fees or membership fees to sellers.


Sellers can also remain anonymous by opting to have communications from prospects filtered through Succession Link, who will then present only those potential buyers that meet their unique criteria, says a press release.



RIA Consolidator Beacon Pointe Announces Deal With $100 Million AUM RIA And Is Looking For 40 More RIAs edit
Monday, April 08, 2013 09:13

Tags: Advisor businesses | asset management | business strategy | mergers | RIAs; consolidation

Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors (BPWA) today announced the addition of a fourth advisor partner, $100M AUM RIA Independent Financial Advisors of Riverside, CA. It's the fourth deal consummated by Beacon Pointe within a span of four months from the last transaction. Independent Financial Advisors principals James Valmonte and Teri Parker join BPWA as Managing Directors and equity partners.

This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only

Beacon Pointe's RIA has $5.6 Billion under management and is afiliated with a CPA firm. Smaller RIAs are offered a chance to leverage Beacon's brand and "proven processes at the retail and institutional levels."


"Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors is actively looking to expand into the Northwest, Denver, Dallas, Boston and Connecticut markets, and aims to add 35 to 40 offices nationwide over the next 10 years," says a press release. "BPWA is looking for growth focused, qualified advisors in the $100 to $300M range to join as regional partners. BPWA’s proactive path to growth benefits clients first and foremost, by empowering partner advisors to provide the best possible, truly fiduciary, custom-built financial models possible."

Like Doctors, Advisors Don't Take Their Own Medicine When It Comes To Succession Planning Advice edit
Monday, June 18, 2012 08:57

Tags: Advisor businesses | life planning | practice management | succession planning

When it comes to succession planning, it turns out that advisors face the same hurdles as their business-owning clients. What should be done way in advance and in a manner that anticipates changes in life circumstances or life events often gets thrown together either at the last minute as the need to sell an advisor’s business becomes a realilty much sooner than originally anticipated.


A recent survey showed that out of 400 respondents, only 7% of advisors had implemented a succession plan and only 15% had one in place. Why are advisors so reluctant to do planning that could define their retirement lives in ways they may not anticipate?

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That’s a question that every business owner faces. And just like their business-owning clients, one primary answer is the emotional tie advisors have to their ‘babies’--the businesses they have started, grown, and caused to thrive from the ground up.
More broker-dealers are developing programs to help advisors plan their succession or, at least, have a foundation for the possibility that life might hand them something different than anticipated. An unforeseen illness, a second marriage, or simply a change in goals as advisors age can all instigate the need for impromptu planning. And that can compromise the value they receive at the time of sale.
Like their business-owning family clients, advisors are incapable of stepping back enough from the emotional attachment to their businesses to plan adequately on their own. Sorting out how you really feel about your business, what you want it to enable you to do personally, and the process of ensuring that the business is viewed as a viable asset instead of as just a practice takes time and effort but it’s worth the investment.
Just as you would advise a family to weigh its options carefully and to negotiate the best deal possible to get the greatest value of your entire life of work, starting sooner than later is key. It will enable you to have the life you want after your business is sold. Taking advantage of the tools broker-dealers have available or hiring a personal consultant to give you more personal guidance in the process is the best place to start.
Finding the right fit is essential for anyone seeking advice to accomplish a major life goal. We often think of life goals relative to our businesses. But it’s time we began thinking of life goals outside of the business and the business as the mechanism that will enable us to reach them.


Creating A Wealth Management Firm That Will Be Highly Valued When You Are Ready To Sell edit
Saturday, March 31, 2012 14:30

Tags: ensemble firm | enterprise value | succession planning

If you want your wealth management firm to have real value to an outside buyer, remember that buyers are interested in a increasing and ongoing revenue stream. They are not especially interested in buying a business that depends on your skills at working with clients or that requires highly specialized knowledge.  It’s not that these things aren’t valuable; it’s just not very valuable to a buyer of your firm.

This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only

A potential buyer of your firm will love an ensemble practice that really is an ensemble.  If you’re running a solo firm or a group solo practice buyers are not going to love your firm or pay you big money for it.  If you can find some way to change your firm to an ensemble practice, the enterprise value of the firm will dramatically improve.


What a buyer is interested in is having great Clients who are committed to doing business with your firm and not any individual within the firm.  To create this type of firm, it’s important to have more than one person work with the Client.  I personally like the model where three people work on a Client relationship.  This way, the Client has several people at the firm they can contact and it’s the firm who’s taking care of their issues not an individual.


The second thing that buyers love is when a Client base has a long-term relationship with the firm.  Having regular feedback from your Clients about what they like and what they would like to see improved is very useful.  There are several companies that will help you put together excellent surveys.  If you don’t want to use an outside firm, I suggest putting together your own questionnaire and find out why your Clients do business with your firm.


A final area that is important is to find a way that will help your buyer realize the value of your firm.  I’ve talked about metrics in the past, but they really are the Holy Grail in helping a buyer figure out why they should pay a large amount for your firm.  Showing historical figures and having institutionalized a key performance program will not only help you make more money today, but will help you get a higher price when it comes time to sell your business.

Succession Planning Service Wins Favor With Cambridge's Top Affiliates edit
Monday, March 12, 2012 10:03

Tags: retirement planning

Cambridge Investment Research may not be getting all of its affiliates to sign up for succession plan assistance, but a lot of its biggest affiliates are taking the plunge.

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Maybe 5% of the maverick firm's advisors have filled out the paperwork to smooth any emergency transition of clients and business to a designated successor and another 2% are in the pipeline.


However, these are top producers, representing about 30% of Cambridge production between them.


The program makes financing available for a junior advisor to buy into the business if a principal dies or is otherwise incapacitated, ensuring a more-or-less efficient transition.


In theory, these funds may also be used some day to allow Cambridge reps to sell their practice when they retire.


CEO Eric Schwartz has kicked in $9 million of his own cash to prime the pump.


The adoption rate among Cambridge stars is striking.


Maybe this is simply a matter of the most successful advisors having the luxury to think about the next generation. Or maybe successful advisors are simply older and more aware of their mortality.


Either way, this looks like a best practice that other advisors -- and their affiliated firms -- can do well to follow.


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