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Content tagged "Focus Financial"


Focus Financial Partners, LLC

Filed under: Consolidator/Roll-up Firm
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Dan Sontag: I met with Rudy Adolf several times ... and I was suitably impressed.

Dan Sontag surfaces as new cog in Focus Financial machine for taking down wirehouse advisors
After laying low for five years, the passed-over Merrill heir apparent will help advise Chis Dupuy in budding 'Connections' program

Thursday 7.31.14
Rich Gill is bringing his analytical and personal skills to AMG's effort to replicate its asset mangement success on the RIA side.

Why AMG's poach of Rich Gill could be the missing ingredient for its V-8 roll-up engine
Loaded with cash, experience and $11.5 billion of market cap, the North Shore asset manager just downloaded the RIA roll-up app in hiring the Focus Financial veteran

Tuesday 7.22.14
Michael Paley: It would have been tougher to leave three years ago. It was still in the prove-it mode.

How a $1.3-billion Manhattan, Raymond James RIA won a top exec from the roll-up down the street: Focus Financial
Michael Paley comes to Klingman & Assoc. with a mandate to add billions in AUM for his fellow-but-elder Princeton tiger

Wednesday 6.25.14
Mark Tibergien on digital advisors: We will see if these platforms grow broke.

Mark Tibergien: Pershing is poised to double RIA assets in two years
In a Q&A the chief of the BNY/Pershing RIA custody says the volume of new $1-billion accounts is his basis for optimism

Thursday 6.5.14
Rush Benton: We're not afraid to take on a firm that is looking to sell.

Are 'for sale' the dirtiest words in the acquirers' lexicon? M&A mavens debate the point at a Philadelphia event
If 'Secrets of Successful Acquirers' didn't live up to its scandalous billing, some sparks did fly at Gladstone's annual confab

Tuesday 5.20.14
Marty Bicknell: Sales in the wealth division is hand to hand combat, sometimes in the asset manager world, reputation and being on the right platforms drive business on their own.

The explosive growth to $20 billion AUM of Marty Bicknell's second roll-up-like venture, Montage Investments, and where his $8 billion wealth manager fits in
With admirers saying he takes a page from Warren Buffett, the Mariner Wealth CEO 's side bet on disenfranchised, unappreciated A-grade money managers

Monday 2.10.14
Tom Nally: You've got to build a good team and it's not a one-man show.

What two things Tom Nally says 'no' to in managing his $270-billion RIA empire
The TD Ameritrade chief of RIA custody sees no reason to handle advisor commission business or serve roll-ups geared to hybrids

Thursday 2.6.14
What looks disorderly at TD has the dead reckoning of dollars following ROI opportunity.

An advertiser's-eye view of TD Ameritrade's national conference
Firms that rarely advertise had booths, including mega-RIAs, competing custodians and Marty Bicknell

Monday 2.3.14
Rudy Adolf: There is no other business in the RIA space that has even close to this level of capital.

What bet Rudy Adolf is making on RIAs by pre-borrowing $550 million from Bank of America and a wider syndicate
The Focus Financial CEO sees lending rate at rock bottom and ROI on RIA investing with room to rock

Wednesday 1.8.14
Laurie Kamhi: Being a partner and having a say in future development is important to me.

HighTower shifts into high gear with a three-team, $1.2 billion AUM in-three-weeks spree
An alpha predator in 2010, 2011, the Chicago-based rollup, now with with 260 employees, roars again, twice at Merrill Lynch and once at UBS

Monday 12.2.13
Mike Durbin: I won't be threatened until one of these folks wakes up and decides to be a custodian or a clearing firm. I don't find that to be a near- or medium-term risk.

Part II: RIA custodians' answer to challenges to their monolithic control: We still have big-time scale advantages
Roll-ups and other mezzanine firms are squeezing RIA custody margins as a value proposition but the big-brand custodians -- and some new ones -- are liking the cards they have to play

Monday 11.11.13
Mark Tibergien in Part II: The balance of power has shifted to advisors, regardless of whether they are on a broker-dealer platform or a custody platform.

Part I: Is the era of the monolithic RIA custodian coming to an end?
RIAs, small custodians, co-ops, study groups, roll-ups, TAMPs, compliance shops, OSJ and IBDs are all chipping away at much of what fit under the roofs of Schwab, Fidelity, TD and Pershing

Friday 11.1.13
Adam Birenbaum: Someone will emerge from the RIA space to be the size and scale to compete with the largest wirehouses -- so why not us?

How a $20-billion RIA is buying its 'Microsoft' marketing agency as the engine for propulsion to $100-billion
Adam Birenbaum is betting on David Levin to be his J. Pierrepont Finch but to succeed by really trying

Thursday 10.10.13
Rudy Adolf: The partners and management gave up their majority ownership. It is not an issue whatsoever.

Partners at Focus Financial check their egos at the door to secure $216 million of hard cash
Polaris, Summit and CEO Rudy Adolf sell a portion of their stake in the big aggregator to Centerbridge Capital Partners -- and it puts them in a minority position for the first time

Tuesday 7.16.13
Adam Birenbaum: We can't compete against Morgan Stanley from an advertising budget.

Focus Financial gets a long-sought $400 million DFA RIA in Dallas -- with Adam Birenbaum's firm as the final added ingredient
Rudy Adolf's roll-up-like team used crerativity and persistence to get Jim Whiddon out for coffee; Matt Brinker at United Capital also closed a small deal but projects bigger revenue will come aboard soon

Tuesday 7.2.13
Matt Sonnen: I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I hope I can help others avoid those.

Focus Financial goes after $100-million wirehouse brokers after hiring five employees suited to the task
The big New York aggregator will put the brokers through a one-year seasoning process before placing them in RIA foster homes

Monday 4.15.13
Margaret Towle had stops at Russell Investments, Northern Trust, a hedge fund, an asset manager and Greycourt before coming to HighTower, and leaving it.

HighTower loses RIA with $1 billion of assets and Northern Trust street cred
Margaret Towle broke the HighTower mold somewhat for having an RIA, not coming from a wirehouse, and serving only 10 clients

Friday 4.5.13
Richard Yoken:  I’ve always decided to fly under the radar and now we don’t mind being picked up over the radar.

A $1 billion RIA in the NY burbs got there without marketing now Focus Financial is assigned the makeover
Portfolio Strategy Group sells to the New York-based RIA umbrella and a website is the first order of business

Friday 2.1.13
Haley Rockwell: It didn't make sense to structure it as an acquisition, because I want to grow with the business.

How three small firms backed with big-time M&A muscle brought in $450 million with strategic buys
There are vivid back stories behind each Focus-owned firm's deal; taken together they could show the way forward for the aggregator model

Thursday 1.24.13
Adam Birenbaum: We don't think it's happening anywhere else.

A $17-billion RIA doubles down on a social media strategy that netted it 50 Facebook employees
Super bloggers with real street cred are the missing ingredient for casting a Web net

Friday 1.11.13
Colleen Lindstrom: I typically gather and review a significant amount of data and input before making a decision.

Why it took Rudy Adolf seven years to win an elusive $1.5-billion RIA to cap a $14-billion-asset year
The $60-billion-AUA firm has its mojo back as it brings on a woman-run firm with a 49-state presence

Thursday 1.10.13
John Furey:  Ignoring changes to the market could be dangerous and outright irresponsible.

How RIAs are becoming as complacent as wirehouses -- and what it'll take to snap out of it
There is empirical evidence that challenges are increasing but also reasons to believe they can be met

Monday 12.10.12
Adam Birenbaum: What better place for them than with their current partner?

Buckingham Asset Management creates a structure with Focus Financial that enables it to roll-up the 120 RIAs that entrust it with $13 billion of DFA TAMP assets
With this co-creation of a de facto ISO-9000 for succession plans, smaller RIAs may have more options and metrics on the back end

Tuesday 11.13.12
Mindy Diamond says the Luminous deal shows that the potential payday of selling an RIA far exceeds the transition packages paid by wirehouses and other firms.

How the Luminous deal is rocking the recruiting world -- and may set the stage for more fireworks
The former Merrill stars effected an outsized cash deal with First Republic, proving that independence can have monetary rewards to match the psychic ones

Thursday 11.8.12
David DeVoe: Literally hundred of firms need to be sold over the next several years -– just to solve for succession.

The RIA M&A market continues to be a no-show, though 2012 pace is ahead of 2011
Only the roll-ups seem to have the focus, knowledge, capital and deadly intent to get results in this market

Tuesday 10.23.12
Rudy Adolf: This is going to be a platform for smaller RIAs to join and also for brokers in the Chicago market.

Focus Financial gets its first beachhead in HighTower's backyard -- buying an exhibit-A organic-growth RIA with a hankering to go inorganic
Vestor Capital was born in the 1980s as an accounting firm with a dream, and now Brian Baker wants more

Friday 10.12.12
Shirl Penney (l.) and Elliot Weissbluth (middle) take their turns listening as Rudy Adolf (r.) explains his firm's impressive M&A feats.

What exactly the CEOs of HighTower, Focus Financial and Dynasty Financial revealed when they shared a stage in Las Vegas
Aggregator honchos appeared together under the unloved roll-up tag to highlight differing and evolving facets of their firms

Tuesday 9.25.12
Ron Carson: There was a lot more to [acquisitions] than we thought.

Ron Carson launches roll-up/TAMP-like venture with Envestnet, TD Ameritrade and Advizent as puzzle pieces
The biggest of LPL's affiliates shows a walk-before-run approach to inorganic growth

Monday 9.24.12
Joe Goldberg: [A Facebook employee] told me, 'I've met with Goldman, Merrill and Morgan and no one has given me a reason to pay them a dime.'

Why sudden wealth at Facebook is gushing into a $17-billion RIA and triggered a merger of two DFA giants
Buckingham Asset Management won a single Facebook employee and now it's all hands on deck as eight teams see prospects -- often til 2 a.m.

Tuesday 9.11.12
Alan Spoon: The only question is when we choose to do so.

Focus Financial VC backer says IPO still on the table after private auction yields no sale
After three private equity firms passed on the deal for the $50-billion aggregator, Polaris Venture Partners' Alan Spoon seems to be calling shots and comfortable with its options

Thursday 9.6.12
The M Resort is a sufficient RIA magnet -- though it shares characteristics with a suburban metroplex

'Ocean's Eleven'-grade RIA sharpies set to play Vegas at MarketCounsel's 2012 Summit
A remarkably varied lineup of industry A-listers are odds-on to spark lively conversation at the compliance confab

Friday 8.31.12
Richard Smith: Callan gave me an ultimatum.

Callan terminates a $1-billion RIA as a client after a 20-year run after the RIA turned its competitive guns on Callan
CapGroup Advisors began to subadvise fellow RIAs and make its own UMA products, and Callan saw it as a conflict; the RIA agreed

Thursday 8.9.12
New York not the center of the RIA world? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Why the slow-evolving metro New York area is still on course to be the capital of the RIA business
The city's sheer wealth and jungle-like powers of regeneration alone mean that it can stomp San Francisco

Wednesday 8.8.12
Jon Beatty: We see private equity participating directly and indirectly through the national acquiring firms.

Even as mired markets stalled Q2 merger deals, private-equity-fueled national acquirers revved up prices
Only eight M&A deals were inked in the second quarter according to Schwab Advisor Services but what there was, was 'cherce'

Friday 7.27.12
Adam Birenbaum: We all have our own individual management agreements, which is important to understand.

What RIA principals in the Focus Financial family have to say about a rumored deal for the consolidator
Buckingham/BAM, The Colony Group and LLBH leaders see it as business as usual that Summit would want to roll over ownership of its stake

Tuesday 7.17.12
Michael Nathanson promised deals -- and quickly delivered.

Mintz Levin sells its $1.2 billion RIA, and Focus Financial nabs the assets through a partner firm
In an all-Boston deal, The Colony Group becomes a $2.5 billion behemoth only months after hooking up with the big New York consolidator

Thursday 5.31.12
Rudy Adolf has made Focus Financial a giant among buyers, but now it may be looking for its own buyer.

Summit Partners is reportedly shopping around its stake in Focus Financial
Focus has wheeled and dealed this year with acquisitions and big lines of credit -- now this

Thursday 5.24.12
Danny Sarch: Some guys at Merrill have targeted this date for more than a year.

Merrill Lynch springs a 62-advisor, $13 billion asset leak in the first quarter
February was a cruel month for the wirehouse as payouts and retention bonuses came due; UBS came out smelling like a rose

Tuesday 4.17.12
John Copeland: We've been having a number of terrific conversations articulating our growth proposition to independent advisory firms.

AMG makes a dramatic entry into wealth management arena, buying majority stake in $10B Veritable
Veritable LP is the first in a series of very big RIAs the giant asset management firm has its eye on

Wednesday 3.21.12
Scott D'Alessandro is known to be a driven competitor and only sat out a few months after leaving Fidelity -- probably with decent severance pay.

Former Fidelity rainmaker lands at Schwab after both big custodians reshuffle their East Coast staffing
Scott D'Alessandro could boost Schwab's efforts to gain better traction with aggregators like United Capital and HighTower

Tuesday 3.20.12
John Beirne: It was really traumatic to go to my manager's office and resign.

A $2 billion, 69-year-old Merrill Lynch advisor passes up the gold watch in favor of breaking away
Fearing the loss of massive public accounts, John Beirne swallowed the idea of independence with help from Focus Financial

Thursday 2.16.12
Rudy Adolf: We have more capital than anyone else in the (advisory-buying) industry.

Focus Financial gains access to 'huge money' -- $320 million in credit
The capital hoard positions the big aggregator to double its advised assets, one observer says

Wednesday 2.1.12
Garry Taylor says he likes the Focus model better because advisory firms get to keep their identity.

Second ex-Fidelity exec in a year nabbed by Focus Financial
Garry Taylor's hire comes as Focus shifts it emphasis from acquiring existing RIAs to luring breakaway brokers

Friday 1.20.12
Peter Hess drove the Advent-Black Diamond merger and may have created an RIA-friendly monster.

The 10 most influential figures in the RIA business going into 2012, Part 2
These advisors and executives made dramatic moves that advanced the business of registered investment advisors

Wednesday 1.4.12
Dina Hampton: Social media brought me good tidings in 2011.

An East Coast editor travels to the Bay Area to see the RIABiz team in action
In which your correspondent sees the day-to-day operations of RIABiz, not to mention a coyote

Thursday 12.29.11
David Selig: I’ve had numerous confidential conversations with other large RIAs who are considering buying themselves back from holding companies.

RIAs reveal their M&A war stories with 200 Schwab IMPACT attendees
Panelists discuss pitfalls to avoid if you're thinking of selling your RIA

Monday 11.7.11
Lori Van Dusen has been thinking about starting an RIA for 20 years but the 'pieces' couldn't be assembled to her liking, until now.

Dynasty Financial wins the account of Lori Van Dusen's new RIA through Focus Financial
The arrangement holds the possibility of a symbiotic advisor-vendor relationship between the wealth management platform and the big aggregator

Tuesday 10.18.11
Felipe Luna: While the wirehouse model certainly has its detractors the one thing it does really well is it support the advisor on client-based activities and that's why they're so much more productive. That's the crux of our model.

CONCERT Wealth Management nabbed 12 wirehouse teams in the last 12 months and this wirehouse-lite is just getting started
The San Jose-based firm targets advisors with as little as $100 million and it doubled in size in the last year

Tuesday 9.27.11
Michael Nathanson: If there is no IPO, we'd still be comfortable holding shares.

A look inside Focus Financial's big deal with The Colony Group
The Boston RIA put the big New York aggregator under a microscope and used high-end lawyers and investment bankers for added vetting

Friday 9.23.11
Mike Papedis: HighTower has had five 'eighth-inning' conversation in the last two weeks with with wirehouse teams with a combined $9 billion of assets.

Three telling conversations about where the RIA business is headed
In which RIABiz editor Brooke Southall talks with a recent widow in search of an advisor, the recruiting director of HighTower and the CEO of Focus Financial and gains a snapshot of the RIA arena, circa summer 2011

Thursday 7.14.11
Mark Tibergien: My goal is to upset you.

Tibergien uses brutal honesty to captivate big Schwab RIAs and others at San Francisco event
The Pershing leader and former Moss Adams star lit into advisors on practice management issues

Friday 6.24.11
Rich Gill: You may be biting off more than you can chew - or are willing to chew.

Purchasing too much technology has its own dangers for RIAs
The more sophisticated the system you buy, the more commitment and expertise it will require

Tuesday 5.24.11
Rudy Adolf: “This is an area we wanted to invest in and we wanted to add additional resources. The thing we’ve figured out better than anyone else is how to invest in entrepreneurs.”

Focus Financial pivots to breakaway strategy with Fidelity recruit
Mark Dupont will put a new spin on the big aggregator but entrepreneurial bent remains

Monday 5.9.11
Shirl Penney: We all believe this is a unique time for a mature industry.

RIABiz goes to New York in search of RIA life in the land of investment banking giants
The ambitions of Dynasty Financial's Shirl Penney and Focus Financial's Rudy Adolf match the city's scale

Thursday 3.24.11
Chip Roame: This round of financial advisor aggregators is far better capitalized, and has far deeper management teams – and boards of directors.

This generation of advisor aggregators puts the roll-up ghosts to bed, for now
Questions linger about what some firms will look like post-IPO or merger

Thursday 2.3.11
Brian Hamburger: The SEC is lining up the facts so that later the conclusion becomes obvious (it can’t regulate advisors with current resources). ... It’s genius, what they’re looking to do, but it’s incredibly transparent.

The RIABiz list of winners and losers in the wake of the SEC's fiduciary study
The race is on as laggards adapt to new vision of the future

Friday 1.28.11
Rudy Adolf: We have plenty of capital and a $40 billion business has a very good cash flow.

After one-year hiatus, Focus Financial buys a large RIA and hits a milestone
The deal brings it to $40 billion as the company makes a big Midwest push

Wednesday 1.12.11
John Carnevale: This makes us an 800-pound gorilla for what we do.

Geller Group finds its white knight within the Focus Financial family
The DOL investigation goes on but -- undeterred -- a Massachusetts company takes the TPA under its wing

Thursday 11.4.10
Dick Smith: SEI’s gone through a lot of iterations and they made special considerations for us. Yet, still, you’re constrained by the standardization they employ.

Unravelling why a big, loyal SEI advisor moved its assets to Schwab
In automating wealth management, Dick Smith chose Adhesion and needed custody

Monday 9.27.10
Joe Duran: We’ll be a $100-million revenue RIA in two to three years.

One of a new breed of roll-ups taking center stage, United Capital is churning out deals again
After a broken engagement slowed its progress, the company is on a buying spree

Monday 9.20.10
Marc Channick: Any of the three of us could have turned the other two in and tripled their book of business

A Harvard lawyer, a Columbia MBA and an engineer break away from AllianceBernstein private client unit to form an RIA
The San Diego-based advisors may be among the first to leave the company to turn independent

Wednesday 6.16.10
David Brochu says in an e-mailed letter: If Focus wants me to leave I will do so.

Brochu drops lawsuit against Focus Financial but $500,000 is still at issue
Rhode Island advisor backs off initial suit after getting most documents

Thursday 5.27.10
David Brochu: The statement that Focus obtained a restraining order against me is a gross mischaracterization of the circumstances.

[Updated] Focus Financial amended statement today to say it obtained restraining orders against David Brochu of StrategicPoint
Brochu says he is restraining himself without being ordered to do so by a judge

Thursday 5.13.10
What really happened with Charles Goldman leaving Schwab is finally coming out in a lawsuit

What the Charles Goldman and David Brochu lawsuits say about the RIA business
Good people and good companies sick lawyers on each other when so much happens so fast

Thursday 5.13.10
Readership on RIABiz has been surprisingly international

What do RIAs care about?
A breadcrumb path through RIABiz into the mind of financial services entrepreneurs

Wednesday 4.7.10
David Brochu: I am paying the price for asking questions.

[Updated] David Brochu finds his lawsuit against Focus Financial is a rough experience
The Rhode Island RIA keeps up the legal battle to clarify the size of his firm's equity stake

Tuesday 3.30.10
Joe Duran: Nobody thinks of Cisco as an acquiring company because they have one culture [and by following that example] that's how we end up with an arbitrage

The faces of United Capital on an idyllic spring day on the Berkeley campus
Photographs of United Capital partners and executives at the Haas School of Business event

Friday 2.26.10
Jessica Bibliowicz is taking big steps to keep her company out of the red

NFP found profitability but shed firms and office space last quarter
Big roll-up is using drastic measures to make ends meet

Wednesday 2.10.10
Frank Shull: Our pipeline is very full.

Focus Financial looks more like a consolidator-of-consolidators as its partner firms go on buying sprees
Lara, Shull pulls off five deals to nearly double its assets in a year

Tuesday 2.9.10
Bridgewater Wealth has long experience reining in athletes and their money

[UPDATED] Focus Financial breaks into the American sports world with its latest RIA deal
Bridgewater purchase gives New York roll-up specialized knowledge of managing sudden fortunes accumulated in sporting world

Wednesday 1.20.10
Malcolm Gladwell's insights on entrepreneurs in last week's New Yorker pertain to RIAs

What RIAs can learn from Malcolm Gladwell’s writings on entrepreneurs as risk averse
RIAs' success as entrepreneurs is in keeping with studies covered in a New Yorker article

Wednesday 1.20.10
Jim Pratt-Heaney:[Making acquisitions] would be very difficult [to do] on our own.

RIAs join Focus Financial with their own acquisition plans
Making purchases is much less scary with a big roll-up at your side

Wednesday 12.16.09
David Brochu's company's lawsuit alleges that Focus Financial is buying transaction-based practices in the NFP mold

StrategicPoint sues Focus Financial for information
RIA claims its holding company is acting too much like National Financial Partners for comfort

Thursday 12.3.09
Rudy Adolf: Some people just want to make a lot of noise

What's really going on with Focus Financial?
Somebody is going to be unhappy in a large organization, Adolf says

Monday 11.30.09
Like Tom Turkey, many RIAs were thankful to survive 2009

Taking A Break From the Turkey?
RIABiz's top 10 stories from the past month offer a window into what RIAs care about

Thursday 11.26.09
Doug Swope: There’s no independence per se [at a wirehouse]. You’re [restricted] by the [inventory of] products.

Independent-within-Smith Barney breaks away after hitting wall
Former Smith Barney peers light fuse for Swope independence

Wednesday 11.18.09
Ed Friedman: “We ask them, do you really need somebody just to get lunch and coffee?”

The seven things I learned from roll-up executives in Princeton, including not to call them that
Four CEOs of aggregators choose four different paths to growth

Tuesday 10.27.09
Brian Hamburger: “I’ve been critical of investment advisers. I don’t think they’ve taken advantage of this time [of upheaval].”

Merger and breakaway experts convene near Princeton at old Merrill Lynch lair
Attendees will shares notes on how to dismantle wirehouse salesforces

Thursday 10.22.09

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