Tag Archives: Buyers

RIA Edge Podcast: Thrivent Advisor Network Carolyn Armitage on true drivers of growth in the RIA space



When it comes to business growth within the M&A space, you must be strategic in development while acquiring companies that fit your business model.

In this episode, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Carolyn Armitage, CFP®, CIMA®, Head of Thrivent Advisor Network, about the key findings from the RIA Edge study, focusing on developments within the M&A industry and how financial advisors’ vision for the future impacts their strategies for business growth through M&As.

Mark and Carolyn discuss:

  • The RIA edge study and historical growth rates and growth expectations for RIA firms over the next several years. 
  • Talent acquisition and the role that human capital can play in driving growth. 
  • What steps are necessary to solve wealth management’s widespread succession. problem and the differences between an internal transaction versus an external sale.
  • What is the role of TAN as a buyer in today’s marketplace and how are they a differentiator for financial advisors in the industry.
  • The qualitative versus quantitative fit when looking at Advisors to enhance the Thrivent Advisor Network business.

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, equity sharing structuring, and internal and external succession planning to the industry’s most elite firms through the firm ECHELON Partners. 




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.