As CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors, Marty Bicknell leads the firm’s strategic direction and growth strategies, analyzing and anticipating market trends and opportunities for Mariner.
When Bicknell founded the firm in 2006 with seven others and $300 million in assets under advisement, the goal was to keep clients at the center of all the firm did, according to the company. Bicknell wanted to build a company that could simplify clients’ lives by providing all the resources they needed under one roof.
Mariner — which is based in Overland Park, Kansas — continues to grow and had announced 12 acquisitions since early 2021, including a recent deal to buy Portland, Oregon-based Cascadia Advisory Services, which oversees $775 million in assets under advisement.
The firm has added over $15 billion in assets this year and now has more than $50 billion.
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Despite those acquisitions, Bicknell stresses the importance of organic growth for advisory firms.
Via email, we asked Bicknell a series of questions that touched not only on his professional knowledge, but also what he does off the clock.
1. What industry statistic or advisor trend are you watching most closely right now and why?
Marty Bicknell: As many people know, the RIA industry is very fragmented. There are over 4,000 firms and 90% of them are under $1 billion in assets.
It has been written that it’s rare for RIAs to grow organically. Most don’t grow at all.
At Mariner Wealth Advisors, our most important indicator is organic growth. We measure revenue from new clients to the firm monthly. Organic growth is the biggest component to the strength of a firm.
2, How has it been changing recently and how do you expect it to change in 2022?
Our growth has been consistently in the mid-teens year over year, and we expect that to continue.
3. What would you suggest advisors do now or consider doing in the future about it?
Firms should dedicate resources to organic growth. Without growth, how do you provide opportunities for professional development and growth to your entire organization?
Invest in growing your firm and your people.
4. Who or what critical source of information do you track, or follow online, to keep up with this and other trends?
I follow all the industry news, including ThinkAdvisor.