Category Archives: Uncategorized

RIA Edge Podcast: Carolyn Armitage on The Importance of Succession Planning for RIAs



The number of advisors looking to execute a succession plan in 2022 has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year, according to the latest RIA Edge Study “Pulse Poll” released in September. What is driving this accelerated shift?

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Carolyn Armitage, head of Thrivent Advisor Network, about the importance of creating a succession plan—and ultimately, the best and worst practices for putting a formal succession plan in place. 

Specifically, Mark and Carolyn discuss:

  • What is motivating RIA firm leaders to execute succession plans now
  • Why it’s important to have a formal written succession plan
  • How to determine when it is the right time for the founder to exit—and the employees to take over
  • Who business owners are choosing as successors and the importance of ensuring cultural alignment

Resources:

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Carolyn Armitage:

About Our Guest:

Carolyn Armitage leads Thrivent’s newly crafted independent RIA, Thrivent Advisor Network. With her extensive experience in the wealth management industry, Carolyn’s strategic guidance will enable the next phase of development for the organization.

Her experience includes roles as an independent Financial Advisor, producing Branch Manager, the head of multiple wealth management teams such as HD Vest – now Advantax, ING Advisors Network – now Voya & Cetera, among others. She also led the Large Enterprise Business Management Consulting team for LPL Financial. Prior to her current role of heading up Thrivent’s RIA, Thrivent Advisor Network, Carolyn provided investment banking and consulting services, including valuation, expert witness, strategic planning and positioning, compensation, incentives, and equity sharing structuring, and internal and external succession planning to the industry’s most elite firms through the firm ECHELON Partners. 


RIA Edge Podcast: Lisa Salvi on The Secrets of Top-Performing RIAs



The RIA industry has experienced a significant amount of growth in recent years – but a handful of firms have found the keys to driving sustainable, long-term growth that will set them up for success in the future?

What are the “secrets” to becoming a top-performing RIA? In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Lisa Salvi, Managing Director at Charles Schwab Advisor Services, about the results of Schwab’s 2022 RIA benchmarking study, and offers insights into the human capital and professional management approaches driving the growth of the industry’s top firms. 

 Mark and Lisa discuss:

  • Benchmarking growth in the RIA channel and the drivers of growth for the top 25% of the RIA industry
  • The intense battle for talent in the RIA segment, and how top-performers are successfully recruiting and retaining talent
  • The positions and skill sets that are the most sought after in the RIA market – and how it aligns with current and future growth opportunities
  • From a compensation perspective, the labor market has influenced both compensation levels, as well as the structure of compensation packages

 Resources:

Connect With Mark Bruno: 

Connect With Lisa:

 About Our Guest:

Lisa Salvi is a member of the Advisor Services leadership team and is responsible for Schwab’s Business Consulting and Education offer. Her team develops and manages programs and one-on-one consulting engagements designed to help independent advisors make lasting and significant improvements within their firms by focusing on key business, technology, and cybersecurity issues. Salvi’s team leads the annual RIA Benchmarking Study, the Compensation Study, and programs that support the development of advisor talent through executive education and student initiatives. They also provide insights and tools that help the Advisor Services sales and support teams deliver outstanding client service to




RIA Edge Podcast: Brian Hamburger on the Battle for Talent in the RIA Channel



While M&A has been one of the most dominant themes in the RIA industry over the last several years, the battle for a limited supply of talent might be the defining theme of 2022. With compensation increasing for high-quality talent, a number of firms are finding it easier to acquire talent than it is to hire talent. How will this continue to play out over the course of 2022?

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Brian Hamburger, Founder of Hamburger Law Firm and MarketCounsel, about competition in the RIA industry and the future of the independent channel.

Specifically, Mark and Brian discuss:

  • The major driving forces behind the competition to gain talent
  • How top companies are retaining talent compared to other businesses
  • How the competition for talent has influenced compensation and incentives
  • What causes M&As to fail

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Brian Hamburger:

About Our Guest:

Brian is an entrepreneur, attorney, columnist, and outspoken industry advocate for independent investment advisers.  For the past 19 years, he has served at the helm of the MarketCounsel companies and the Hamburger Law Firm. Brian was named an Innovator in InvestmentNews’ 2020 class of Icons & Innovators and included in “The IA25: Investment Advisor Magazine’s Annual List of the Top Influential People in the Industry” in 2020.  In 2015, Wealth Management named Brian as one of the top thought leaders in wealth management saying, “Over the past decade, Hamburger has been the architect behind almost all of the highest-profile breakaway deals in the industry, helping advisors navigate the legal thicket of transitioning away from brokerages and into independent business models. 


RIA Edge Podcast: Jim Gold on Breaking the Mold in the RIA Business



Steward Partners Global Advisory has become one of the largest and fastest growing independent firms in the wealth management industry over the last several years. The firm has accelerated its growth through a unique blend of models for advisors – as well as ownership structure replicated by few other, if any, independent firms with more than 100 advisors. 

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Jim Gold, CEO and Co-Founder of Steward Partners Global Advisory, on the biggest drivers of growth within his business.

Specifically, Mark and Jim discuss:

  • How Steward Partners’ value proposition differs from other RIA firms
  • How Steward Partners evaluates M&A and recruiting opportunities, both quantitatively and qualitatively
  • What fast-growing RIAs are doing differently to achieve accelerated organic growth
  • How the RIA business has changed (and opportunities moving forward)

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With GUEST:

About Our Guest:

Jim Gold serves as CEO, is a Founding Partner, a Board Member, and a member of the Executive leadership team at Steward Partners Global Advisory. He has extensive experience in the Financial Services industry, having held several Senior-level roles, most recently as Executive Director at Morgan Stanley. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Gold ran the Southern Connecticut Complex, headquartered in Greenwich CT. Mr. Gold spent 18 years with Smith Barney, beginning in 1995 as a Financial Advisor. He went on to hold numerous management positions at the firm, including National Training Officer, Assistant Branch Manager, Branch Manager, and Complex Manager. Mr. Gold received numerous accolades from the firm during his tenure, most recently he was recognized for his accomplishments in Diversity.


RIA Edge Podcast: Matt Cosgriff on the Journey to $2 Billion in AUM



Leaders of RIA firms have a number of strategic options to consider when evaluating organic growth opportunities. When your RIA is part of a broader national tax planning business, however, the opportunities for growing a wealth management business can be plentiful – provided you have the right strategies and processes in place. 

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Matt Cosgriff, Director of Wealth Management at Bergen KDV, on the growth strategies used by Bergen KDV to expand its wealth management business into a firm that now advises on over $2BN in assets.

Specifically, Mark and Matt discuss:

  • How Matt and his group have been leveraging Bergen KDV’s accounting and tax planning businesses to drive scalable, repeatable growth
  • How Bergen KDV’s wealth business has also successfully leveraged custodial referral programs
  • The role M&A could play in Bergen KDV’s future growth in in wealth management
  • What is EOS and why are more firms embracing it within the wealth management space

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Matt Cosgriff:

About Our Guest:

Matt leads the wealth management group and is passionate about ensuring the team is constantly focused on its mission to positively impact the lives of its clients. As the group director, Matt works to ensure that the Private Client, Retirement Plan Solutions, and Investment Management teams are working diligently to exceed client expectations at every opportunity.

Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in finance from Saint Olaf College and serves on the Breck School Alumni Council. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a certified plan fiduciary advisor. Matt has been featured in numerous industry publications, most recently being named to the 2019 40 Under 40 class by InvestmentNews.


RIA Edge Podcast: The RIA M&A 2022 Mid-Year Outlook



For the longest time, mergers and acquisitions have been one of the most dominant, if not the most dominant, themes within the RIA channel. During the last quarter, however, the market and economy have changed substantially — throwing potential challenges into the red-hot RIA M&A market. 

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Allen Darby, CEO of Alaris Acquisitions, on the current state of M&A activity and valuations, and offer perspectives on how the remainder of 2022 will take shape. 

Specifically, Mark and Allen discuss:

  • How deal structures are changing and evolving
  • Are RIA valuations still at record high levels?
  • How many high quality acquisition targets currently exist on the market and how does the supply side of M&A impact the future of the market
  • What the future of RIA M&A holds

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Allen Darby:

About Our Guest:

Allen Darby managed the outbound sourcing and negotiation on 32 acquisitions for United Capital. After United sold to Goldman Sachs in 2019, Allen formed Alaris Acquisitions. As a buyer advisor, Alaris represents multiple National and regional firms in the Wealth Management industry seeking to grow via acquisitions. 


RIA Edge Podcast: SVB Private’s DeChellis on Embracing a Growth Mindset



There is a “CEO state of mind” that some leaders of advisory firms have adopted to ensure that growth is front-and-center for all of its team members every day. SVB Private is one of the best examples of this and their growth mindset can provide a blueprint and framework for hundreds of RIAs to learn from. 

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Anthony DeChellis, CEO of SVB Private Bank, on growth within the RIA market. Anthony reveals how a client’s financial planning needs influence who they go to for financial advice, and how RIAs can expand through organic and inorganic strategies. 

Mark and Anthony discuss:

  • How does SVB approach the market given its history in the RIA space and what are some of the unique problems it solves for.
  • What drew SVB to acquire Boston Private in 2021 and how it’s transforming the company.
  • How SVB Private approaches M&A activity and evaluates acquisition opportunities
  • Best practices for creating truly strategic – and repeatable – organic growth

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Anthony DeChellis:

About Our Guest:

Anthony DeChellis is the Chief Executive Officer of SVB Private. He served as the CEO and President of Boston Private and President and a member of the Boston Private Board of Directors for 2 years prior to the close of SVB Financial Group’s acquisition of the firm in 2021.

Anthony has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Boston Private, he was President of OurCrowd Venture Capital, an equity capital crowdfunding platform. From 2006 to 2013, Anthony was the CEO of Credit Suisse Private Banking, Americas, where he led dramatic growth of the Private Banking & Wealth Management businesses across North and South America.

 


RIA Edge Podcast: Sanctuary Wealth’s Jim Dickson on Balancing M&A and Organic Growth



While M&A activity gets the majority of the attention in the RIA industry, strategic and sustainable organic growth is actually the secret to success for the industry’s top firms. 

The fastest growing and most influential RIAs have a balanced approach to M&A and organic growth. They are always thinking about how the two forms of growth can complement and accelerate one another.

Sanctuary Wealth is writing the RIA playbook on how to balance organic and inorganic growth. In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Jim Dickson, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Sanctuary Wealth, about how RIAs can strategically approach mergers, acquisition, recruiting and sustainable organic growth. .

Specifically, in this episode of RIA Edge, Mark and Jim discuss:

  • How Sanctuary Wealth is providing growth opportunities to its advisors and acquisition targets
  • Key factors that contribute to valuation and differentiation in the RIA channel
  • How does Sanctuary Wealth assess the quality of a firm’s growth and what does “good growth” look like?
  • Why “growth” and “talent” are the two most important factors to consider in M&A deals and how is it embedded into the mindset of your team.

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Jim Dickson: 

About Our Guest:

Jim Dickson is the visionary who led the founding, development, and launch of Sanctuary Wealth as an innovative, partnered independence network for elite advisors. Jim spent 20+ years in numerous senior leadership roles at Merrill Lynch. Reporting directly to the CEO, Jim spent the last six years as a divisional executive and member of the firm’s executive committee. In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Jim was actively involved in spearheading Bank of America’s leadership development program and helped inspire and train the next generation of the firm’s managers. Having begun his career at Ernst & Young, Jim has gained a distinctive perspective and valuable experience in developing and optimizing organizations of all sizes.

Known throughout the financial services industry for his thought leadership, Jim is an active and highly sought-after speaker, recognized for his insights on delivering growth in the wealth management space.




RIA Edge Podcast: Cresset’s Doug Regan on Strategic, Purposeful Growth



While market appreciation, traditional referrals and word-of-mouth marketing has driven growth for a number of RIAs, the industry’s largest and most successful firms are strategically leveraging M&A, digital marketing and data to drive their next wave of growth. 

Cressit, the $23 billion RIA based out of Chicago, may be one of the industry’s best examples of how to drive purposeful, scaleable – and consistently thoughtful growth. 

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Douglas Regan, founder and co-chairman of Cresset, on growth within the RIA channel and zeroes in on mergers and acquisitions, organic growth tactics and the importance of ensuring cohesion when acquiring firms and talent.

Specifically, Mark and Douglas discuss:

  • The role Cresset plays in the RIA ecosystem, and how it is unlocking growth potential for its recently acquired firms
  • How M&A has – and will continue to transform the RIA industry
  • How Cresset looks at their talent acquisition strategy – and how it balances hiring and acquiring talent
  • How Cresset has leveraged digital marketing to drive over $1 billion in new client assets to the firm

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Douglas Regan:

About Our Guest:

Doug Regan is a founding partner & co-chairman, executive managing director of Cresset. Doug is responsible for Cresset’s Wealth Advisory Practice; Wealth Strategy and Planning; and Family Governance and Education. He works directly with Cresset Advisors, centers of influence, and most importantly, clients.

Doug spent 27 years at Northern Trust in a variety of executive positions including president of the Global Family Office business. Prior to that position, Doug was chairman and chief executive officer for the Southeast Region of Northern Trust, N.A., with responsibility for 29 offices throughout Florida, Atlanta, Georgia.




RIA Edge Podcast: Beacon Pointe’s Matt Cooper on Driving Exponential RIA Growth



From one small firm in 2011 to a national RIA with 36 offices in 2020, Beacon Pointe has experienced tremendous growth within the industry in a short period of time.

Beacon Pointe’s M&A strategy has played a large role in its growth and they have evolved into one of the leading, most active – and most strategic acquirers in the industry.

In this episode, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Matthew Cooper, Founding Partner, President, Beacon Pointe Advisors to discuss the firm’s growth strategy, and best practices for buying and selling a business.

Mark and Matt discuss:

  • How the challenges of smaller RIAs, the competition for talent, and the evolution of technology all influenced Beacon Pointe’s M&A strategy
  • The profile of an ideal acquisition for Beacon Pointe
  • What are the primary motivators for RIAs that are looking to exit their market
  • When bringing firms together under Beacon Pointe what happens “after the close.”  More specifically, how Beacon Pointe approaches operational and cultural integration to create new growth and value

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Matt Cooper:

About Our Guest:

Matt is a founding partner of Beacon Pointe Advisors and oversees the firm’s strategic plan focused on mergers and acquisitions, creating synergistic partnerships between Beacon Pointe and other wealth managers across the country. He regularly speaks on a host of wealth management and industry-related topics across various national conferences. Matt has a passion for continuous lifetime learning with a focus on the wealth management and financial life management industries. At a time when the RIA industry is changing more rapidly than any other point in history, his focus is on building the best possible business to serve clients and to assist other wealth advisors in meeting their lifetime goals. Matt graduated from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business with a BS in Finance and Business Economics.