Tag: Client Base

RIA Edge Podcast: Marshberry’s John Orsini on The Paths to Growth

RIA Edge Podcast: Marshberry’s John Orsini on The Paths to Growth

Marshberry’s director of financial advisory services on how advisors navigate their growth trajectories.

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, and John Orsini, director, of financial advisory services, at MarshBerry, discuss the recent RIA Edge research study detailing how firms are navigating their growth trajectories and approaching decisions around service expansion, fee compression and specialization.

Specifically, David and John talk about:

  • The services most RIAs say they are likely to add, which they aren’t, and why. 
  • The financial metric firms should keep in mind when designing a sustainable growth strategy. 
  • How smaller RIAs that strive to accommodate all client service requests eventually find that “stumbling forward” on the growth path can lead to more significant problems down the road.
  • Where the convergence of private equity, insurance tax, and estate planning in M&A has gained momentum and where it has not.
  • Some of the challenges “next-generation” advisors face as the industry evolves from a collection of practices to larger and professionally managed businesses.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With John Orsini:

About Our Guest: 

John Orsini joined MarshBerry as a Director in 2021 for its Wealth Advisory division. In his role, he is responsible for being the client-facing lead on merger and acquisition projects, developing strategy and implementing client deliverables, and maintaining client relationships to ensure successful project execution.

John has more than 15 years of experience in strategic finance, including product launches, technology investments, and the build-out of mutual fund distribution systems through wirehouses, banks and wealth advisors. In addition, he served in various finance leadership roles during stops at The Vanguard Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Nationwide Financial. Most recently, John was Associate Vice President of Business Development & Acquisitions for Nationwide Financial’s Investment Management Group. In this role, he led all aspects of acquisition strategy, deal execution, implementation, and strategic partnerships. He was the liaison between their leadership team and enterprise finance regarding all inorganic growth activities.

John currently maintains the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials Exam and Series 7, 63 and 79 FINRA registrations through MarshBerry Capital, LLC, the affiliated FINRA-registered Broker/Dealer of Marsh, Berry & Co., LLC. John holds an MBA from Widener University and a BS from Temple University and achieved certification from Wharton Executive Education in Mergers & Acquisitions.

RIA Edge Podcast: Brandon Kawal on ‘Life After the Gold Rush’ in the 2024 Deal Room Report

RIA Edge Podcast: Brandon Kawal on ‘Life After the Gold Rush’ in the 2024 Deal Room Report

Brandon Kawal reflects on the RIA M&A shift from gold rush mentality to an institutional arms race.

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Brandon Kawal, partner at Advisor Growth Strategies, about remaining buoyant in the M&A market despite the challenges of 2022. According to Kawal, factors such as ongoing interest from external investors and demographic changes have helped sustain activity. He emphasizes the significance of meeting the needs of both sellers and buyers, particularly in terms of succession planning and potential partnerships.

Specifically, David and Brandon discuss:

  • How deal structures are shifting toward greater use of equity and why.
  • The premium placed on firms that incentivize current next-generation advisors for long-term growth.
  • The private equity equation, and the avenues toward liquidity. 
  • What predicted growth means for private market investments.
  • How partnerships emerge as a solution to mitigate affordability constraints in internal succession plans.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Brandon Kawal:

About Our Guest: 

Brandon leads client engagements, thought leadership, and research. He is tasked with bringing insight, creativity, and analytical know-how to collaborate with and help our clients reach new heights.

Brandon enjoys writing about industry challenges and trends, especially all things millennial.  He authors and leads the annual M&A research for “The RIA Deal Room” which was recognized as the Industry Research Initiative of the Year in the 2021 Wealth Management Industry Awards.  Brandon has contributed to major industry publishers such as Wealth Management, Barron’s, Citywire, and ThinkAdvisor. Brandon has been recognized as a ThinkAdvisor Luminary in Dealmaking and Growth.

Brandon resides in Phoenix and, thus, always roots for the Sun Devils. Brandon will always be a Californian at heart. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Kristi, and chasing his two young daughters and young son.

A former New York Mets baseball player, Brandon never misses watching a game. He also enjoys water sports, traveling with his family, and a well-crafted microbrew.



RIA Edge Podcast: Jonathan Foster’s ‘Open Architecture’ Approach to HNW Markets

RIA Edge Podcast: Jonathan Foster’s ‘Open Architecture’ Approach to HNW Markets

Foster’s firm, Angeles Wealth Management, has a 40% compound growth rate without tapping the M&A markets by fostering a “culture of storytellers.”

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Jon Foster, president and CEO of Angeles Wealth, a firm that caters to individuals with investable assets ranging from $10 million to $100 million, bridging the gap between boutique advisory services and full-scale family offices. 

Foster shares his approach to this class of clients, prioritizing an “open architecture” service model, structuring unique investment opportunities in the private markets that put the advisor on the same side as the client, and his concerns over trends on the broader RIA market around short-term capital funding and market fluctuations. And if you’re applying for a job with Angeles Wealth Management, the one question you do not want to ask. 

Specifically, David and Jon discuss:

  • How Angeles Wealth’s managed a 40% compounded growth rate over recent years without tapping the M&A market.
  • Why his first filter for hiring employees is to look for people who are natural “storytellers,” genuinely enjoy meeting people and can showcase the firm’s capabilities and client outcomes.
  • Why the firm prioritizes organic growth over mergers and acquisitions, recruiting advisors with knowledge of estate planning, philanthropy and generational family dynamics. 
  • Using family discussions around philanthropy to unlock dynamics and spot potential red flags in multi-generational wealth. 
  • How Angeles brings alternative investments to clients with either a fund-of-funds or as a co-investor and explains how he came to the unique decision to not charge management fees on client assets that get called into the strategies, in favor of a performance fee after the fund’s harvest period. 
  • The benefits of retaining an “open architecture” when it comes to finding outside service providers—as opposed to bringing many of those services in-house—and why he never asks or expects a referral back from any outside estate attorney or service provider.
  • How culture is key for recruiting talent, and the one question that job candidates ask that ensures they will not be hired.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Jon Foster:

About Our Guest: 

Jonathan is responsible for executive leadership of Angeles Wealth Management. Jonathan has over 30 years of experience in wealth management as both a client advisor and in senior management positions. 

Prior to co-founding Angeles Wealth, Jonathan was President of two related companies, Carson Wealth Management Group, one of the nation’s premier full-service wealth management firms, and Peak Advisor Alliance, the largest independent coaching and consulting service focused on financial advisors. Jonathan is also the former Head of Wealth Management for E*Trade Financial, and CEO of Howard Capital Management. 

Jonathan received an MBA in Finance from Northeastern University, and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society. He received his BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was captain of the varsity squash team and an All-American.



RIA Edge Podcast: Brent Brodeski on the Strategy Behind Savant’s Rapid Growth

RIA Edge Podcast: Brent Brodeski on the Strategy Behind Savant’s Rapid Growth

Savant CEO and founder Brent Brodeski shares his playbook of success through M&A as a means to fill service gaps and to expand his service model across 15 states, with national ambitions. 

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Brent Brodeski, CEO and founder of Savant, about laying a cornerstone to long-term success by drawing top talent and keeping relevant with clients’ changing expectations. Brodeski warns against the dangers of stagnation, advocating for a balance between client service and expansion.

Specifically, David and Brent discuss:

  • What many firms get wrong about “growth.”
  • What 2023 meant for Savant as it acquired nine RIAs and two accounting firms, and what those deals say about the firm’s national ambitions.
  • How he doesn’t view deals as “big fish swallowing smaller fish” but rather looks to partner with specialized firms that see the benefits of the scale while excited—and incentivized—to add to the firm’s growth story.
  • How he balances a commitment to employee equity with the recent investment from private middle-market investors Kelso & Co.
  • Why the firm made the recent investment in Australian fintech firm Lumiant, what it says about where he thinks the industry is headed and why he expects they will make more such investments in the future. 

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Brent Brodeski:

About Our Guest: 

Brent is the CEO and founder of Savant. He has been involved in the financial services industry since 1988 and previously taught investment and finance courses at Rock Valley College, Rockford University, and Northern Illinois University. Brent earned a bachelor of science degree in finance and economics and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from NIU. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®).

Brent is a co-founder and past president of Zero Alpha Group (ZAG), an industry association. He is also a co-founder of the Alliance for RIAs (aRIA), a prestigious industry group. Brent was a long-term participant in Vistage (previously known as TEC) and The Strategic Coach™.  He is currently a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and serves on the boards of the Northern Illinois University Foundation and the Rock Valley College Foundation.



RIA Edge Podcast: Modern Wealth’s Mike Capelle on Lessons Learned at United Capital, Goldman Sachs

RIA Edge Podcast: Modern Wealth’s Mike Capelle on Lessons Learned at United Capital, Goldman Sachs

An early architect of Joe Duran’s United Capital, and a former Goldman Sachs PFM exec, Mike Capelle and his partners secured $200 million to build a national RIA with a vision of bringing all a client’s planning needs—tax, insurance, estate planning—under one roof.

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Capelle, co-founder and co-CEO at Modern Wealth Management, about the firm’s goal to serve the mass affluent and the “millionaire-next-door” with a suite of holistic services, including financial planning, taxes, insurance and trusts. 

Specifically, David and Mike discuss:

  • What Modern Wealth’s trio of founders learned from helping grow United Capital to a $25 billion firm acquired by Goldman Sachs.
  • The 2023 launch of the firm and how they rapidly identified and acquired the building blocks to set the stage for future growth.
  • What pieces of the puzzle the firm’s principals are looking for now.
  • Challenges in the RIA Industry when it comes to attracting talent, and why it is important to execute on an organic growth plan even amid a phase of rapid acquisition.
  • The strategy behind acquiring a retirement plan advisory business.
  • How acquired firms will adopt the Modern Wealth Management brand and platform while retaining key personnel as managing directors.
  • A potential expansion of Modern Wealth Management’s offerings into banking services, focusing on lending and cash management through strategic partnerships.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mike Capelle:

About Our Guest: 

Mike Capelle is a co-founder and co-CEO at Modern Wealth Management. From his decades-long career in wealth management, Capelle has experience building advisor-client wealth management platforms to drive continuous growth. Prior to co-founding Modern Wealth, Capelle was a managing director at Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, where he was the Head of High-Net-Worth Product.

In addition, Capelle was part of the team that co-founded, scaled, and sold United Capital, a $25 billion RIA with 90 locations, to Goldman Sachs for $750 million, where he served as Chief Platform Officer. Capelle was responsible for the company’s operating platform and technology and for driving enterprise innovation. He was also a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.



RIA Edge Podcast: Regent Peak’s Craig Robson on the Contrarian Strategy that Led to Rapid Organic Growth

RIA Edge Podcast: Regent Peak’s Craig Robson on the Contrarian Strategy that Led to Rapid Organic Growth

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Craig Robson, founder of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors, about why, after 25 years at Merrill Lynch, he ventured into independent practice where, over the past five years, he’s built a growing practice catering to wealth creators by simply paying deeper attention and surrounding their families with advice. 

Specifically, David and Craig discuss:

  • The specific situations that drove him to leave Merrill Lynch after 25 years to start his own RIA. 
  • Training his advisors to uncover useful insights into a family’s values and motivators through one-on-one interviews, family meetings and an exercise in philanthropic giving. 
  • Deliberately structuring his practice to have a higher employee-to-client ratio than most other firms, ensuring clients are never out of contact with a known advisor. 
  • Managing a high rate of organic growth without asking clients for referrals. 
  • How clients often bring investment opportunities that can be shared with other Regent Peak families, and why he invests his own wealth in the same portfolios.
  •  The strategy behind keeping a referral network for ancillary services, like estate planning, instead of bringing those in-house. Hint: It’s less conflicted and a competitive differentiator. 

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Craig Robson:

About Our Guest: 

Craig is the founder of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors. During his 25 years at Merrill Lynch, Craig became the Founder and Managing Director of Robson & Associates, a high-net-worth wealth advisory practice within the firm. At Regent Peak, he serves as Managing Director and sets the firm’s overall vision and strategy. The creation of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors, an independent advisory firm, is a direct result of Craig’s desire to provide all relationships with objective advice free from the conflicts of interest that might come from large institutions.

Craig has been recognized for his investment acuity and was recognized by Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in 2019. Craig holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation and he is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional. Craig holds all the relevant general securities registrations and insurance licenses.



RIA Edge Podcast: Adding Client Services Doesn’t Always Add Value

RIA Edge Podcast: Adding Client Services Doesn’t Always Add Value

Growth-minded RIAs often look to bring new services to clients. Research from WMIQ and Marshberry shows widely different motivations and approaches—and sometimes elevated expectations for the impact on firm value.

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, managing director of editorial and content strategies for the Wealth Management Group at Informa, talks with Rob Madore, vice president of financial services for MarshBerry, about recent research the firm has done with Wealth Management’s WMIQ to explore how firm leaders think about adding new client services, both to pursue organic growth and preserve fees. With over 70% of advisors actively exploring ways to enhance services, Madore warns it’s no panacea. Firms that make it work need to undergo a ruthless self-appraisal and have a clear view of how the move will impact the business’ bottom line. 

Specifically, David and Rob discuss:

  • The top reasons firms look to expand client services, and the services most firms are looking to add.
  • How firms decide whether to outsource, acquire, or partner with others to bring clients additional services.
  • What RIAs often get wrong about service expansion, and the impact on the business. 
  • Where fee compression and margin dynamics fit in the decisions and strategies RIAs pursue.
  • Why technology is the pivotal enabler for enhancing client experiences.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Rob Madore:

About Our Guest: 

As a Vice President on MarshBerry’s Financial Advisory team, Rob helps RIAs develop and implement sustainable growth strategies.

Prior to MarshBerry, Rob held leadership positions at companies like Wise Rhino Group, WebMD and Questis, where he was a sought-after speaker and consultant focused on giving firms the tools to thrive through the convergence of the wealth, retirement and insurance industries.

He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business and is a proud supporter of veteran groups like SEALKids.

Previously a collegiate and professional hockey player, most recently with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, Rob now lives in Charleston, S.C., with his wife, Allie, and his two sons, Louis and Teddy.



RIA Edge: Mark Hurley Looks to the Future of Wealth Management and Sees a Jungle

RIA Edge: Mark Hurley Looks to the Future of Wealth Management and Sees a Jungle

The seasoned RIA executive has penned a nearly 100-page whitepaper sketching a bleak but compelling future for the wealth management industry. 

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Mark Hurley, founder of Fiduciary Network who heads the cybersecurity firm Digital Privacy & Protection. Hurley’s recent white paper, “Welcome to the Jungle,” analyzes the trajectory of the RIA industry and sees a far more competitive industry where mid-sized, generalist advisors can’t compete, squeezed between national-branded RIAs and hyper-specialists. 

Specifically, David and Mark discuss:

  • What low-interest rates and rising markets have meant for the RIA industry, and how that is changing.
  • How the role of technology fits in financial planning and where certain functions are increasingly automated, leading to shifts in compensation for such roles.
  • Why hyper-specialization can benefit firms as a means of differentiation, especially smaller firms, looking to carve a niche in the market.
  • How cybersecurity is emerging as an existential threat and the impending regulatory changes emphasizing the need for robust measures to avoid legal and reputational fallout.
  • The acquisition of specialized talent and targeted marketing, and how they emerge as critical strategies for smaller firms to thrive.
  • Why private equity investment in the public model may not be conducive to long-term value creation in wealth management.

Resources:

RIA Edge Podcast

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mark Hurley:

About Our Guest: 

Mark Hurley is the CEO of Digital Privacy & Protection, LLC, a company which provides a digital protection service to the clients of wealth managers. He has co-authored several major white papers on the wealth management industry over the past twenty five years.  He previously founded Undiscovered Managers, a mutual fund company that he sold to JPMorgan, and Fiduciary Network, one of the wealth management industry’s first aggregators. Earlier in his career he was a managing director at Merrill Lynch and a vice president at Goldman Sachs. He also served as a Presidential Appointee at a bureau of the United States Treasury. Hurley is a graduate of West Point and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

RIA Edge: Wealthspire’s Mike LaMena: Building a Firm That Clients “Will Never Outgrow.”

RIA Edge: Wealthspire’s Mike LaMena: Building a Firm That Clients “Will Never Outgrow.”

Wealthspire Advisors’ Mike LaMena on the secret to building a national RIA with a single identity that still empowers advisors to bring their “personal brand” and credibility to local communities and niche markets.

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, editorial director for Informa Connect’s Wealth Management Group, talks with Mike LaMena, chief executive officer of Wealthspire Advisors, about how his firm navigates the shift from traditional stock-centric advice to a holistic life-coach approach and does so at an ever-growing scale. Having recently acquired a $3 billion firm, LaMena is optimistic on the prospects for more mergers and acquisitions to find complementary capabilities that, he says, empower advisors to focus on demonstrating their credibility in niche markets while benefiting from a national brand and consistent client experience. 

Specifically, David and Mike discuss:

  • The recent acquisition of $3 billion AUM GM Advisory Group and where that firm sits in Wealthspire’s growing UHNW service model. 
  • How one-third of Wealthspire’s clients have multi-generational wealth, and what the firm offers those clients to bring the generations together. Hint: Philanthropic planning and in-house family dynamic specialists are key.
  • Why a highly personalized client service model, ironically, requires growth and scale.
  • Why firms are required to adopt the Wealthspire brand, and how that helps, not hurts, the advisor’s personal brand and credibility in the marketplace. 
  • How he’s seen no slowdown in M&A opportunities even with higher interest rates, and how demographics and new opportunities continue to lift the entire industry—even as the firms that were offering “crazy valuations” seem to have quieted down. Still, the pipeline for quality deals remains high.

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mike LaMena:

About Our Guest: 

Mike LaMena is the Chief Executive Officer of Wealthspire Advisors, joining the firm in September of 2017. He has over 27 years of experience building, operating, and leading global wealth management organizations. His commitment to service excellence and his fundamental belief in the power of the firm’s independent, conflict-free model of financial advice inspires his enthusiasm to serve clients and expand the business. At Wealthspire, Mike has helped grow the organization to over $20 billion in AUM with 22 offices nationwide and more than 300 employees.



RIA Edge Podcast: A Blueprint for Navigating Growth and Building Client Wealth with Dan Seder

RIA Edge Podcast: A Blueprint for Navigating Growth and Building Client Wealth with Dan Seder

Dan Seder shares Blue Chip Partners’ unique approach to managing human capital and building a growth engine inside a $1 billion AUM firm. 

In this episode of the RIA Edge Podcast, David Armstrong, managing director of editorial and content strategies for the Wealth Management Group at Informa, talks with Dan Seder, managing partner with Blue Chip Partners, about the firm’s rapid, and continuing, trajectory from a modest $300 million firm just a few years ago to one now approaching $1.2 billion. He discusses bringing a structured sales process into the RIA, including a strategic approach to client referrals, and why he feels a focus on growth is something the firm owes to its employees. 

Specifically, David and Dan discuss:

  • How Dan brought sales skills from the insurance world to the RIA and quickly grew the client base, and his ownership stake.
  • How he and his partner realized early on that rapid growth requires more structure around the business and adopted the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) program; Dan describes what EOS is and how it helped them build a better chassis to support their growth. 
  • How they are looking to expand services to include taxes and estate planning to not only provide current clients more services, but as a tool toward more client acquisition.
  • The six core values the firm adopted to achieve their goals.
  • The firm’s decisions around their investment strategy for clients.
  • The rewards of building a strong team culture that fosters a collaborative, vibrant workplace, and why growing the firm is important to ensure employees feel they have opportunities in the business. 

Resources:

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Dan Seder:

About our Guest:

As Managing Partner of Blue Chip Partners, Dan is a holder of the right to use both the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and Chartered Market Technician® (CMT®) designations. He is also a Certified  Financial Planner™ professional.

Dan joined Blue Chip Partners in 2005 and became a shareholder in 2010. Dan specializes in addressing the unique needs of corporate executives. This includes demystifying complex compensation packages, maximizing executive benefit platforms, and integrating equity grants (i.e., stock options, restricted stock, performance shares) into a financial plan. In addition, Dan leverages technical analysis when structuring 10b5-1 trading plans for executives interested in reducing their concentration in company stock.

Dan graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan, where he was a four-year member of the varsity wrestling team. Dan is the former president of the CFA Society of Detroit, a member of the CFA Institute, and has served as an instructor for the Stalla CFA Exam review program.