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
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.
While every RIA has its own unique approach to adding new clients and talent, the top-performing firms share some common strategic approaches to accelerating and driving organic and inorganic growth.
In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Jeff Pierce, CEO of Wipfli Financial Advisors, about the keys to his firm’s march to $5 billion in assets. Jeff specifically shares his thoughts on how his firm is beginning to use M&A to acquire both clients and talent that will drive future growth. In addition, Mark and Jeff discuss:
Creating consistent, scalable growth
The current “talent wars” in the RIA market
2022 M&A opportunities
Opportunities to add planning and advice services for Wiplfi’s accounting clients
When it comes to his client philosophy, Jeff says one key tenet has always been clear: Investing is about more than just money. It’s a guiding principle he reinforces across the business, emphasizing the importance of fostering client well-being beyond their financial lives. For Jeff, that means helping Wipfli Financial’s advisors create alignment between their clients’ resources, values and aspirations.
Mergers and acquisitions are becoming a more common way for larger RIAs to grow. But successfully managing a merger or acquisition after the deal closes is anything but a straight line — and many RIAs are looking for guidance on how to build a “culture of one.”
In this episode, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Greg Friedman, chief executive officer & founder of Private Ocean Wealth Management and Cynthia Greenfield, chief experience officer at Private Ocean Wealth Management about strategies for successfully navigating a company merger or acquisition. Greg and Cynthia discuss their most recent book, Integrating Culture in Successful RIA Mergers and Acquisitions, as a way to share their experience and expertise.
Mark, Cynthia and Greg discuss:
The importance of culture in the success of a merger or acquisition
Strategies that have worked for Private Ocean in the past to build a active employee-employer relationship through mergers and acquisitions
How coaches and facilitators can help in developing more proactive and rewarding meetings
Strategies to bring employees together after a merger
What Private Ocean is doing today to enhance the culture they want to create in their workplace
About Greg Friedman: Greg Friedman is the CEO of Private Ocean, an innovative West Coast wealth management firm, and the founder of Junxure, a CRM platform that defined technology for financial advisors. In 2007, Charles Schwab honored him with its prestigious IMPACT Award® for “Best in Tech.” In 2008, Financial Planning Magazine included Greg in its elite list of financial “Movers and Shakers”. Greg was also recognized in InvestmentNews’ 2017 Class of Icons and Innovators for his contribution to the advancement of the financial advice profession and for conceiving new ideas and tools that have propelled the industry forward. In 2018, Greg was named CEO of the Year at the WealthManagement.com Industry Awards.
About Cynthia Greenfield: Chief Experience Officer, Leadership Coach and Author. Cynthia develops strategies that deliver on a company’s mission and enhances the employee and client experience through organization, communication and engagement. She combines over a decade of experience in the financial services and technology industries with life coaching techniques to help build people stronger relationships that lead to successful partnerships. She is a community liaison who strives to partner firms with non-profit organizations and external vendors and she spearheads the event strategy for a $2B+ RIA firm. An advocate of healthy company culture, she helps drive cultural integration efforts during times of growth and transition and is responsible for developing and training staff on how to deliver a consistent client experience. In 2021, Cynthia co-authored the book, Integrating Culture in Successful RIA Mergers and Acquisitions, aimed toward business leaders within the financial services industry.