Monthly Archives: December 2021

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18. Advisor Innovations: Mark Bruno on Billion-Dollar RIA



Ten years ago, the idea of a $1 billion AUM client-facing RIA was hard to fathom. Today, the $100 billion RIA is the new hurdle, and a few have already crossed it.

That speaks to the incredible growth and whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions in the independent advisory channel, and few have watched that transformation as close as Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, the home of Wealthmanagement.com, Inside ETFs and Wealth/Stack.  In this episode, David Armstrong talks to Bruno about the past decade, what’s fueling the growth of the most aggressive RIAs in the market and what that means for RIAs who are poised to join in the frenzy. Mark also reveals the evaluation drivers behind determining a businesses value and discusses the question of what the flood of private equity money in the space means for the future of the industry.

David and Mark discuss:

  • His tenure leading media and industry research efforts at Investment News as associate publisher and at boutique investment bank Echelon Partners
  • The explosion of mergers and acquisitions over the past decade, and why the velocity of deals is increasing
  • What growth funding from “outside” investors means for the wealth management space 
  • What valuation drivers mean the most to acquirers and investors;
  • The potential timeline of private equity investors and what they bring to the table in terms of professional management and M&A experience;
  • His plans for RIAEdge, a new initiative to create a business community around professionally managed RIAs with research and small-scale events to examine and understand the valuation drivers and dynamics of the fast-changing industry.  

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mark Bruno:

About Our Guest:

Mark Bruno is Managing Director, Wealth Management at Informa Connect. In his role, Mr. Bruno focuses on the expansion and enhancement of the organization’s Wealth Management media and event properties, which currently consists of WealthManagement.com, Inside ETFs podcast and the WealthStack podcast. He is also charged with driving several innovative new community and advisor-based initiatives.  

In addition, Mr. Bruno is overseeing strategic partnerships and acquisitions to accelerate Informa’s growth within the financial advisor and wealth management communities. Mr. Bruno brings over 20 years of experience in the wealth management and asset management industries to Informa, including prominent leadership roles in industry media, research, and consulting organizations. 

 


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17. The Wealthtech Landscape with LPL’s Gary Carrai



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Gary Carrai, former financial advisor, co-founder of Fortigent with Steve Lockshin, and currently executive vice president of LPL Financial in charge of third-party technology partnerships. Gary discusses the evolving affiliation options LPL Financial has opened for financial advisors and how he views the fintech ecosystem around wealth management, where he thinks LPL will turn next for fintech partnerships and his views in Cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence as it relates to financial advice. 

Gary discusses:

  • His career in financial services, including his early days as an advisor and selling his technology firm to Fortigent to LPL.
  • His current role overseeing wealth technology partnerships for LPL
  • What many advisors get wrong about their technology stack
  • The great bundled, to unbundled, to bundled again pendulum in technology ecosystems for independent advisors
  • How COVID-19 impacted financial advisors’ decision-making
  • LPL’s approach to cryptocurrency

Connect With Gary Carrai:

Connect With David Armstrong:


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16. Adam Holt on The Role of Technology for Advisors in Creating a Client’s Plan



Winners of Wealth Management’s 2021 Best Financial Planning Technology, Asset-Map  has grown from personal use cases to helping thousands of financial advisors make meaningful decisions to grow their business. 

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by the CEO and founder of Asset-Map, Adam Holt. Adam shares why he started Asset-Map, and how its success reflects the need for advisors to expedite the process of explaining each aspect of a client’s financial plan. He discusses how automation has entered the financial planning industry and the influence of technology for current and future financial advisors.

Adam discusses:

  • Why he started Asset-Map
  • How technology impacts how financial advisors deliver financial planning services to clients
  • How Asset-Map removes the “set it and forget it” expectation for a financial plan
  • What the six L’s are and how they pertain to a client’s plan
  • Expectations of the next generation of advisors

Connect With Adam Holt:

Connect With David Armstrong:

About Our Guest:

Adam Holt, Asset-Map’s Founder and CEO, was a financial planner frustrated by financial planning.

The long, research-packed reports he prepared for client meetings didn’t seem to engage clients or provide clarity. Adam realized that to better serve clients, he needed to help them focus on what matters most—making good financial decisions so they could reach their goals.

From that realization, Asset-Map was born. Created first as a tool used by Adam and his staff, his financial planning business became our software’s first success story as it grew by 300% revenue in three years and reached nearly $1 billion in assets in under a decade.

Today, Asset-Map is used by thousands of financial advisors across multiple currencies and languages to help families focus on what matters, make more engaged and confident decisions, and reach their financial goals.