National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP) announced Tuesday that it had acquired Fusion Advisor Network, the network of advisors who receive and share practice management and business consulting best practices under the leadership of founder Stuart Silverman and noted industry guru Philip Palaveev, Fusion’s president.
Silverman said that he, Palaveev and marketing director Abby Salameh have been meeting with Fusion’s 240 affiliated advisors to explain the how and why of the transaction, which was effective July 2. “We haven’t gotten a negative comment yet” from those advisors, Silverman said in a Thursday interview, predicting that those advisors will see a number of “additional benefits from this union” and that the transition should be smooth, with “no repapering.”
While Silverman will become chairman emeritus, he dismissed the notion that he will be leaving anytime soon. “It’s not just through the transition” that he will remain, he pledged, noting that while the transaction “has taken off some of the financial pressure,” Fusion is “not just a business for me; I have relationships with these people.”
In the same interview, James Poer (left), president of NFP Advisor Services Group, said the genesis of the acquisition came from NFP’s “long history with Fusion; we’ve had shared success and we understand the talents and benefits that each party brings to the equation.”
In Investment Advisor’s 2012 annual independent broker-dealer directory, NFP Advisor Services was ranked 10th in annual revenue, at $369.2 million in 2011; it was ranked seventh in average annual gross production per advisor, at $274,483; and as of year-end 2011 it had 1,329 registered reps, putting it in 21st place among all the indpendent BDs in the directory.
Fusion’s advisors have used NFP Advisor Solutions Group as its broker-dealer for nearly 10 years. But while the “intellectual capital” of Fusion around practice management consulting has heretofore been available “to only 20%” of NFP’s representatives, its expertise will now “be integrated deeper into our platform,” Poer said, including its technology workstation, AdvisorComplete. In-person consulting will also be available to reps.
Poer declined to reveal the terms of the acquisition.
He did say, however, that the deal will constitute “a big deal on recruiting,” since it will attract higher-end advisors who can benefit from the business-building expertise of Fusion. Existing Fusion advisors, he said, will also be brought into the “leadership process of the organization.”