M&A activity has re-shaped the wealth management industry in recent years – but it also accelerating the evolution of the business, and ultimately access to financial advice.
In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Wealth Management, about the firm’s inorganic and organic growth, as well as its objective to extend advice to millions of new investors.
Specifically, Mark and Brent discuss:
How Savant Wealth evaluates potential acquisitions and what a good fit looks like
Where the overall industry is currently in the M&A cycle
The difference between return on investment and return on “impact”
What do RIAs need to attract more talent in the future
Brent is the CEO and a 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®).
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
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.
As organizations grow, employees from top-to-bottom need to be aligned and appropriately motivated — and recruiting new talent will be essential to driving and creating exponential growth.
In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Martine Lellis, chief talent and administrative officer with Mercer Advisors, on human capital and talent management within the firm. Martine shares her extensive views on the intense war for talent in the RIA space, and dives into the evolving NextGen and G2 talent shift.
Specifically, Mark and Martine discuss:
The driving forces behind the demand for talent, and how Mercer views the competitive landscape in the RIA space.
What role does talent acquisition play in Mercer’s M&A strategy?
How firms are staffing today to support, manage and create growth
When thinking about NextGen and G2 talent, how does Mercer approach those conversations, and where are new talent pools emerging in the industry?
The role talent acquisition plays in Mercer’s overall M&A strategy
Martine oversees Talent Management, HR, and Compliance at Mercer Advisors as well as leads cross-functional initiatives aimed at improving offerings for clients. Before joining Mercer Advisors, Martine was a Principal and both the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, an RIA in Mclean, VA.
Martine has a degree in Mathematics from Duke University and an MBA from Georgetown University. She’s a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. She consulted with Keir Educational Resources as a writer and instructor for CFP® exam review courses. In addition, Martine served as a member of the Schwab Advisor Services Technology, Operations & Service Advisory Board.
A small, but growing, number of influential independent advisory firms are on the fast track to becoming truly national wealth managers. M&A has been a tool that has allowed regional firms to expand their footprints, and Merit Financial Advisors is perhaps one of the industry’s best examples of how strategic M&A can be transformational – and ultimately lead to accelerated growth.
In this episode of RIA Edge, Mark Bruno, managing director at Informa Wealth Management, speaks with Kay Lynn Mayhue, CFP®, AEP®, RFC®, president of Merit Financial Advisors, about her firm’s rapid growth in recent years.
Kay Lynn offers a look under the hood at some of Merit’s recent acquisitions, while also providing more detail on the strategic partnership the firm formed with Wealth Partners Capital Group and a group of private investors led by HGGC.
Specifically, Mark and Kay Lynn discuss:
Merit’s growth trajectory and plan to reach $10B in AUM
How Merit evaluates acquisition targets and opportunities
How Merit’s organizational structure is evolving to facilitate future growth
Insights into Merit’s 2022 pipeline and future M&A strategy
Kay Lynn Mayhue, CFP®, AEP®, RFC® serves as President of Merit, which oversees $4 billion* in RIA and brokerage assets under management. A seasoned veteran of the financial services industry with more than 20 years of service under her belt, Kay Lynn now shares her wealth of experience and refined leadership skills with the partners and team at Merit. She primarily focuses on the implementation of company objectives to advance Merit’s mission and to promote growth and profitability as an organization. She also oversees operations to ensure production efficiency, top quality, exceptional service, and cost-effective management of resources. Driven by results, Kay Lynn works tirelessly to implement, direct, and evaluate the organization’s operational and fiscal function and performance. Her critical expertise in succession planning has paved the way for countless advisors to achieve the future of their dreams, and secured Merit’s legacy as a firm that will continue to serve others for generations to come.
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.