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Ron Cordes tells about his Next Big Thing after selling AssetMark

The Genworth exec headed to Africa to dig wells after cashing out of AssetMark but realized he could do more with impact funds

Author Lisa Shidler July 1, 2011 at 1:57 PM
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Ron Cordes in Buyobo, Uganda in Nov 2008: I’m hard wired to build financial projects and evangelize where I think the financial industry is going.

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

July 1, 2011 — 4:05 PM

Let us add two observations, one based on research we’ve seen and one our personal experience with M+A work we do for both sellers of practices and buyers:

- The outcome research on charitable work shows good results for charitable projects are increasingly problematic. “Saving the world” is much more difficult than popular notions would suggest, of course.

Firms as sophisticated and well funded as the Gates Foundation are finding that unintended consequences and “blow back” are often more common than good results for charity “investments.” It’s a lot more complicated than getting and spending money — of course.

- Using a practice to fund retirement is common, however, it can also drain the value from the practice for any purchaser. The twin goals of funding a lifestyle and building salable equity in a practice are fundamentally incompatible.

Unfortunately, like all our clients, immediate needs and current consumption, in this case of the accumulated equity and value in a practice, win over longer-term and higher rewards. One needs to take a sober view of cognitive and business abilities past 60 for the owners. Brain abilities and capabilities clearly decline in many professionals and business people. So what is best for the clients rather than just the owners is important.

Not a pleasant or comfortable reality but those are the medical facts.

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