Tag Archives: BusinessGrowth

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: 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.




Build or Buy – or Both? Wealthstream’s Michael Goodman on building a $1BN RIA



The leaders of RIA firms have more options than ever before when evaluating growth opportunities in today’s market. M&A activity continues at an accelerated pace – and technology is allowing advisors to extend their services to an ever-increasing number of investors and clients.  

In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Michael Goodman, founder and president of Wealthstream Advisors, about the keys to building a successful and consistently growing RIA. Wealthstream, which recently crossed the $1BN threshold, has grown through a mix of strategic acquisitions, marketing and business development. 

Specifically, Mark and Michael discuss:

  • How an independent RIA can compete with increasingly influential professional buyers in the M&A market
  • The keys to evaluating the right acquisition opportunities
  • Creating a repeatable, scalable, business development process
  • Acquiring vs. hiring talent to drive growth

Connect With Mark Bruno:

Connect With Michael Goodman:

About Our Guest:

Michael Goodman is the founder and president of Wealthstream Advisors, Inc. As the company’s leader, he spearheads business development, designs and implements the firm’s strategic direction, and builds and manages client relationships. His passion is helping Wealthstream’s clients articulate their financial goals, then helping them find solutions and build plans in order to reach those goals.

After gaining experience in a variety of areas within the financial industry, Michael realized he could best serve clients in the way he wanted by striking out on his own. In 1996, he founded the independent practice that would eventually become Wealthstream Advisors. Michael’s goal then—as it remains today—is to embrace and deliver a “total financial strategy” for clients.