DeSola Group and PFI Advisors Release Industry Report: “Capitalizing on RIA Consolidation: Branding Yourself a Successful Buyer”

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Latest report highlights the 5 Building Blocks to Becoming a Successful RIA Buyer and emphasizes a Buyer’s need to shape an authentic brand on three core value levels: strategy, operations, and culture in order to become an attractive landing spot for Sellers

It’s an exciting time for RIAs, as consolidation intensifies, Buyers who sharpen their brands and value propositions will be ideally positioned to engage, negotiate and integrate Sellers, and ultimately build a scalable model for growth. - Mike DeSola

DeSola Group and PFI Advisors (“Pure Financial Independence”) announced today the release of a new industry report focused on helping RIAs capitalize on an increasingly consolidating industry.

There are over 12,000 SEC-Registered Investment Advisors in the country – all trying to build their businesses in a competitive and fragmented RIA landscape. Larger RIAs are moving fast and turning to M&A to accelerate growth – and most experts predict that this consolidation trend will intensify with deals becoming larger and more complex.

As revealed in the report, consolidation means a world of opportunity for Buyers who think beyond writing a check and take the time to shape their brand. Doing so can help Buyers realize greater bang for their M&A buck by reframing the negotiation around the power of what’s possible together versus price alone, and allowing both the Buyer and Seller to more effectively assess and determine whether the fit is real and additive for both firms – or just simply appealing on paper.

DeSola Group and PFI Advisors recommend that RIA Buyers put five building blocks in place to help them become a Successful Buyer, including their: (1) Buyer Brand; (2) Specific Advisor Pitch; (3) Onboarding Plan; (4) Client Messaging & Communications; and (5) Post-Merger Integration process for clients and employees.

“Advisors spend all their time perfecting their client pitch. However, they also need to spend time perfecting their pitch of their people, processes, and technology in order to attract Sellers,” according to Matt Sonnen.

It’s important for Buyers to remember that Sellers often want more than just a payout. Strategically, they want a Buyer whose vision and value proposition align with their own beliefs and goals. Operationally, they want a Buyer with a structure to integrate and grow the Seller’s business, and deliver an experience that supports and adds value to clients. Culturally, they want a Buyer committed to empowering employees and developing talent.

“It’s an exciting time for RIAs,” said Mike DeSola. “As consolidation intensifies, Buyers who sharpen their brands and value propositions will be ideally positioned to engage, negotiate and integrate Sellers, and ultimately build a scalable model for growth.”

To read the industry report, please see the attached PDF.

About DeSola Group

DeSola Group is a recognized leader in strategic management, brand and marketing consulting. The firm has delivered decades of industry-leading results across financial services – including RIAs, traditional broker-dealers, insurance, retirement, banking and fintech – as well as with Fortune 1000 leaders, major brands and emerging businesses across numerous industries.

DeSola Group helps leaders grow their companies with purpose, unlock the true potential of their businesses, and make a significant difference for their clients, industry and society. The firm does so by partnering with clients to tap into the soul of their organization, challenge assumptions, discover new possibilities, and shape inspiring and engaging brands, experiences, and cultures.

DeSola Group operates with a “shape or be shaped” philosophy – reinforcing our belief that as transformation sweeps across industries, leaders – and RIAs specifically – must adapt to change and assertively design, tell and deliver their story – or risk becoming defined or disrupted by others.

The firm is 100% private, independent and driven by a proven and dedicated team of seasoned experts.

Michael DeSola
CEO at DeSola Group

About PFI Advisors

PFI Advisors (“Pure Financial Independence”) was founded in 2015 with the following mission in mind:

To further evolve the RIA industry from a collection of practices to businesses, and to be a continued voice in validating the industry as a legitimate landing spot for billion-dollar teams and their clients.

PFI Advisors is an operational consulting firm that supports the unique back office, technology, and operational needs of RIAs in growth mode. PFI Advisors conducts Technology Assessments, manages Technology Conversions, and provides M&A Preparation and Integration Services to RIAs seeking growth support. The firm announced the launch of COO Resource in January 2018, an ongoing retainer-based service in which RIAs and their Chief Operating Officers can leverage the knowledge and expertise of PFI.

For breakaway advisors, PFI Advisors manages full RIA set up and transition to Independence, including office buildout, RIA infrastructure development, client transition, and billing services – all for a simple consulting fee. There is no complicated long-term AUM fee structure or equity stake required to build the firm’s future and provide advisors Pure Financial Independence.

Matt Sonnen
Founder & CEO at PFI Advisors

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Anna Maria Garcia
PFI Advisors
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