Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services has published three white papers that use the practice management best practices of a number of successful RIA firms in three key growth-building areas of concern to all advisors: referrals and marketing, how to make strategic hires inside a firm and how to address mergers and acquisitions.
David Canter (left), the executive vice president who heads practice management and consulting at Fidelity IWS, said the series grew from the RIA custodian’s benchmarking efforts, in which he and his team kept hearing from advisors, “How do I grow as fast and as cheap as the best firms?” While Canter said, “We have strategies, but wouldn’t it be great to capture the special sauce, if you will, of the best firms out there?” Those firms, including Buckingham from St. Louis and Brinton Eaton from New Jersey, were, he said, firms in the top quartile of growth as measured by three-year compound annual growth rate. “Let’s focus on bigger firms of $500 million and above—the upper echelon.”
While in that “sweet spot” for growth, between $500 million and $1 billion in assets under management, these successful companies implemented strategies to spur further growth. “A number of the strategies” employed by those firms, said Canter, might seem “back to basics—asking for referrals; asking why they don’t get referrals” from both end clients and centers of influence, and having a shared knowledge within the firm of how and where they wanted to grow.