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aRIA Reveals Path to Elite RIA Status for Savant and Beacon Pointe

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Call it an opportunity to grow like the best.

The Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors (aRIA), a think tank comprising six elite RIA firms which includes such notable names as Ron Carson and John Furey, principal of the advisor consulting firm Advisor Growth Strategies, on Tuesday released the first two case studies of a six-part series on their member RIA firms.

(aRIA was named to Investment Advisor’s IA 25 this year; see the firm’s extended profile here.)

Titled “How to Grow Bionically vs. Organically With an M&A Strategy” and “How to Identify and Invest in High-Upside Individuals,” the first two case studies detail the experiences and strategies of aRIA member firms Savant Capital Management and Beacon Pointe, which manage $3.3 billion and $5.6 billion in assets, respectively. Collectively, aRia members manage $20 billion in client assets.

In the Savant case study, CEO Brent Brodeski discusses the merger with The Monitor Group (TMG), “taking the reader behind the deal curtain to reveal challenges and specifics about the deal not previously released,” according to the group. The study analyzes Savant’s transition from being solely organic-growth focused to incorporating what it terms “bionic” growth through the merger of TMG, a $500 million AUM RIA based in McLean, Va.

Four key takeaways from the Savant case study include:

  • Growing your own advisory talent is a good strategy but it takes a lot of time.
  • Recruiting top quality advisors and expanding into new markets is difficult, expensive, risky and time consuming.
  • An efficient way to grow is by acquiring top talent via merger with another RIA.
  • Close alignment of culture, values, philosophy and a mutual commitment to growth helped the firm succeed in its recent M&A transaction.

The Beacon Pointe case study, by President Matt Cooper, details the creation of the firm’s successful financial planning practice with a focus on hiring well.

As with the each case study in the series, it looks at what went right and what went wrong, examining the early errors alongside the eventual successes.  This particular study demonstrates how Beacon Pointe was not only able to hire top talent, but also knew when the timing was right to so, which is crucial to any RIA’s growth. Three key takeaways include:

  • Hire for growth potential .Do not pay for past performance, only future results.
  • Identifying growth milestones is vital as it will indicate when you can not only hire, but retain, top talent.
  • In today’s world, reduce risk by leveraging other people’s investments in proven and great people.

“With this six-part case study series, we hope we are able to share our member firms’ secrets to success with our advisor colleagues, and these first two are indicative of the quality of thought leadership they are able to put forth,” Furey, aRIA’s founder and a former executive at Schwab Advisor Services, said in a statement. “We founded aRIA in the hopes of creating an elite advisor think tank that would benefit our entire industry and our members continue to express willingness to bare all for the sake of helping the RIA community in general. I learn from them every day and I hope others in the industry benefit from their experience as well.”

The remaining case studies will focus on the following aRIA member firms: Carson Wealth Management, Exencial Wealth Advisors, Highline Wealth Management, and Stratos Wealth Partners.


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