Kestra Financial has launched Bluespring Wealth Partners, a business focused on acquiring experienced RIA and wealth management firms.
The new subsidiary, led by Stuart Silverman, aims to be a “fully customizable solution” to the challenges of succession planning via successor identification and training, according to a statement. It will work both with the 2,000 advisors affiliated with its group of independent broker-dealers and RIAs and those who are not.
“We won’t buy a business with less than a million dollars of earnings or EBITDA, and we won’t buy less than 51% of the company,” Silverman told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview. “But, other than that, we’re open on the upside as long as they’re high quality, high integrity and have a really good business model.”
The idea for Bluespring Wealth sprung up about a year and a half ago, when Kestra CEO James Poer approached Silverman and pointed out that Kestra already owned close to 10 RIA wealth management firms and could get more aggressive about adding more, Silverman recalled.
For much of last year, the company researched the sector, built out an infrastructure for Bluespring and worked on ways to differentiate its business, he noted. In January, as part of a “soft launch,” the company started “aggressively talking to firms” about their succession plans, he said.
Over the next month or so, “You’ll be hearing some announcements” about acquisitions, according to Silverman.
Advisor firm owners are concerned about what happens with their companies when they depart. While some have found successors for these businesses, “Many of them have really struggled …,” he said, pointing to research that shows just 11% of the industry is 40 or younger; this means “we have done a terrible job attracting … the next generation.”