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What happened when Fidelity Investments called 25 deal-making protagonists to its Boston sanctum for a talk about the suboptimal RIA M&A market

David Canter recounts what his company set out to do, who showed up and what the pooling of ideas yielded

Author Guest Columnist David Canter September 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM
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David Canter: From the session on valuation, we learned that it's more complex than most are willing to admit.

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Range Rovers screeched in and drivers joined a grim queue to get their cash, and cookie • The Schwab-TDA deal cull count now stands at roughly 3.5% of its staff • FMR's hockey star president has stepped down • SEC chief wants more enforcers • An Envestnet executive proves joining a rival is good business • LPL now has an in-house robot.

April 29, 2023 at 1:36 AM

Fidelity will hire 4,000 staff in first half -- a staggering number but a tapering off from 'unprecedented' rate in 2021-2022 that catapulted it to 68,000 employees

The $10.3 trillion giant explains its hiring -- in a layoff environment -- as an RIA-like goal, namely having the human bandwidth to develop 'lifetime' relationships with its 40 million investors

February 17, 2023 at 2:49 AM

Fidelity Investments loses Kathleen Murphy who largely caught up Fido to Schwab (near $4T) on the retail side by reversing net promoter scores

The 'no whining allowed' leader of the Boston giant's retail business, who oversaw $2 trillion in net new assets, was ready to exit but hung in through a year dominated by COVID-19 challenges

January 23, 2021 at 2:02 AM

Fidelity Institutional looks like a big TAMP after Mike Durbin removes last internal walls between products and advisors after 'meteoric' 2019 leap; two Fido RIA sales legends depart amid the shift

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March 13, 2020 at 10:36 PM

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Mentioned in this article:

Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: John Furey

DeVoe & Company
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: David DeVoe

Mariner Wealth Advisors
RIA Welcoming Breakaways, RIA Seeking to Hire Advisors, Advisory Firm
Top Executive: Marty Bicknell

Park Sutton Advisors, LLC
Mergers and Acquisition Firm
Top Executive: Steven Levitt

Dave Welling

Dave Welling

October 3, 2013 — 4:47 PM

A great topic and a great group of folks to provide perspective. From my years at a major custodian which included running the practice management group and my current role working with close to 500 advisor firms I can tell you the themes have been constant over the years despite the ups/downs in # of deals. Here are a few that I see regularly…

1. Sellers often have an inflated view on the value of their business
2. Many firms still running a practice, not a business and haven’t addressed risk issues (succession, dependency on 1 individual etc.) – see #1 as this is a key reason why the perceptions of value are so different.
3. A lot of the bank and other public company deals didn’t work out great for the seller. Financially maybe, emotionally less so. Advisors know this. Seems like the banks know it too.
4. The more successful deals appear to be the mergers, fold ins to existing RIAs. Especially if they align to create one firm. These are hard for all the reasons you cite at the beg. of the article.

Lots of other good guidance in the article. Especially liked the met with 120 to acquire 4.

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

October 3, 2013 — 4:51 PM


Thanks for lending your hard-earned perspective and writing it in terms we can get.




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