Will the increased technology and digital innovation across the financial services industry create more opportunity for mergers and acquisitions?
Matt Brinker, head of national partner development at United Capital, thinks so.
“I think the disruption in the innovation in our space is only going to facilitate more and more consolidation,” Brinker told ThinkAdvisor in an interview. “The consumer is demanding a way of consuming financial service like they consume everything else in their day-to-day lives – music, media, TV, movies, effectively an on-demand experience.”
When United Capital looks at acquisitions, it’s looking for firms that also recognize the importance of having what Brinker calls “a digitized client experience.”
“At every partnership we’re looking at there’s … a shared vision of how the future of the wealth management industry is going to play out over the next 10, 15, 20 years and the absolute importance of having a fully integrated, digitized client experience that helps streamline the local operations and have some semblance of capacity so our partners and staff can focus 75%-80% of their time with existing clients and growing,” Brinker said.
According to Brinker, the average age of United Capital’s partners is 48.
“They’re certainly keen on working for another 15-20+ years,” he told ThinkAdvisor. “They want to be powered by the digital infrastructure that we’ve been able to invest in aggressively over the last 10 years.”
The digital infrastructure that United Capital has put in place is Salesforce, which Brinker calls “the central nervous system of United Capital.”
Salesforce integrates with all of United Capital’s vendors and partners to deliver a financial planning experience electronically and physically.
“I think it’s becoming more-so-than-ever for advisors to pick their heads up and completely be honest about the demand of the next generation of clients and how technology is going to be impacting their business,” Brinker said. “I think our partners are that subset of advisors who recognize that the competitive winds are shifting.”
ThinkAdvisor talked with two firms that were recently acquired by United Capital, and both firms expressed similar sentiments to Brinker’s comments.
A week ago, United Capital Financial Advisers LLC announced the addition of more than $370 million in assets under management to its platform through two separate acquisitions.
First, United Capital acquired the assets of Bedrock Capital Management, located in Los Altos, California. The company was renamed United Capital of the Silicon Valley, and the firm’s primary principal, Joel Shaps, has joined United Capital as a managing director along with principals Eric Lewis and Tony Blagrove.