Category Archives: Finance

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Brian Portnoy on Helping Clients Rethink Wealth



Sometimes, your clients might get emotionally carried away and make irrational money decisions, especially during times of high market fluctuations. It is your responsibility, as their advisor, to remind them that money is not the end goal, but only the means to the goal — a joyful and meaningful life.

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by author and founder of Shaping Wealth, Brian Portnoy. Brian explains why the true definition of wealth should be “funded contentment,” or the ability to live a life of purpose and meaning. He also reveals the tools and language that help financial advisors and clients with their subconscious biases. 

Brian discusses:

  • How funded contentment helps underwrite a meaningful life
  • The right language to provoke conversations around money mindset with clients
  • Why financial advisors shouldn’t pathologize the human experience of money
  • How he works with financial advisors to promote financial well being

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About Our Guest:

Brian is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of money.  He has written multiple bestselling books, including The Geometry of Wealth, and has 20+ years of experience as investor and educator in the hedge fund and mutual fund industries.  He is a CFA Charterholder and earned a PhD at the University of Chicago.


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Advisor Innovations: Carter Gibson on Planning for the Future of Your Firm



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Carter Gibson, vice president and head of advisor M&A at LPL Financial. Working with a network of some 20,000 independent advisors, Gibson and his team have consulted with firms across the spectrum, giving him unique insight into how advisors think about, plan for, and execute, successful succession strategies. Whether that’s transferring a firm to junior advisors or merging with another, the process, he stresses, should be based first and foremost on your objectives and goals for the future of the business and your career; identifying those aspirations is a crucial first step. Gibson discusses what is driving the recent frenzy in M&A, what to look for in buyers or merger partners, and the best post-transaction practices to ensure a successful integration. 

Carter discusses:

  • What’s driving the recent frenzy in M&A activity and firm transitions.
  • Why today’s challenge isn’t a lack of buyers –– but finding the right one for your firm.
  • How current succession-planning transactions are structured
  • How to identify “cultural fit” and why it’s so important, even if the plan is to sell the firm outright. 
  • The three lenses to every deal –– financial, operational, and emotional –– and why the emotional one is the trickiest and most likely to derail a plan. 
  • Why the fear of alienating clients during a transition is overblown—if the process is planned correctly. 

Connect With Carter Gibson:

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About Our Guest:

Carter Gibson is a senior vice president at LPL. He brings 15+ years of experience across business strategy, corporate finance, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions. Carter currently leads the company’s M&A, succession, and catastrophe planning groups.




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Advisor Innovations: Max Schatzow on The SEC’s New Rules for Advisor Marketing In 2022



By November 2022, all advisors will have to be in compliance with the new rules for marketing and advertising their firms, including the use of client and third-party testimonials. Understanding what these new rules are and how they will impact an advisors’ ability to market their services is crucial. 

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Max Schatzow,  founder of RIA Lawyers, to dissect the new rules and compliance regulations surrounding marketing for advisors. Max shares some of the old prohibitions that carry over with the new rules and the importance of coming into compliance with the new rules before the end of November 2022.

Max discusses:

  • The biggest changes in marketing rules coming in 2022
  • What the opportunities, and risks, are under the new regulations
  • What the new rules say about touting a portfolio’s financial returns and financial performance
  • What we still don’t know, and what the SEC has yet to issue guidance on, regarding how the rules will be enforced.. 

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About Our Guest:

Max advises investment advisors and broker-dealers on a range of financial regulatory matters. Max advises private investment vehicles, financial institutions, and other market participants on structure and operations, regulatory guidance and interpretation, investment adviser compliance and controls, and internal and regulatory investigations. He also advises these same entities through examinations, administrative proceedings, and enforcement actions.


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Advisor Innovations Podcast: GeoWealth’s Colin Falls



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Colin Falls, president of GeoWealth, on the firm’s growth trajectory, what it means to be an “advisor-driven” turnkey asset management platform for RIAs, and how technology can ease the tension for RIAs between model portfolios and customized investment management, and what the company’s recent capital raise means for the future of GeoWealth.

Colin discusses:

  • The history of GeoWealth, how it launched as a family office-backed tech platform that acquired an RIA to develop its technology in real-time, and where Falls sees the firm in the larger ecosystem of advisor technology now.
  • The never-ending arms race in digital product development and engineering, and how GeoWealth’s recent capital raise is going to be deployed.
  • How technology is making customized model portfolios for smaller RIAs a scalable proposition.
  • GeoWealth research which shows the benefits of outsourcing investment management on an RIA’s growth.
  • A sneak preview of GeoWealth’s upcoming tax-focused technology integration announcement.
  • How he sees ESG and direct indexing impacting the future of investment management for RIAs and the trajectory of GeoWealth.
  • His background playing professional basketball in Italy and Eastern Europe, and thoughts on the conflict in Ukraine.

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About Our Guest:

Prior to joining GeoWealth in 2012, Colin served in various roles and departments – ranging across advisory and back office – at Frontier Wealth Management, a Kansas City based Registered Investment Advisor. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business with a B.A. in Management and Entrepreneurship. As a captain of the Notre Dame Basketball team, Colin earned First Team All-Big East honors as a senior and finished his career with the most three-point field goals made in Notre Dame and Big East Conference history. Colin went on to play basketball professionally in Italy and the Czech Republic.


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Advisor Innovations: Merit Financial’s Kay Lynn Mayhue on Plotting an Aggressive Growth Trajectory



In this episode, David Armstrong talks with Kay Lynn Mayhue, president of Merit Financial Advisors, about the $7 billion firm’s aggressive growth trajectory.. 

Kay Lynn discusses:

  • The strategy that’s fueled Merit’s aggressive growth rate since 2017.
  • Merit’s “hub and spoke” approach to acquisitions and partnerships. 
  • How Merit evaluates its acquisition prospects—and what will kill a deal.
  • The long search for a capital partner and learning which equity investors made sense—and which didn’t.
  • Why Merit separates client development from the advisor’s role and centralizes financial planning to accelerate organic growth.
  • Why technology is a significant part of Merit’s budget

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About Our Guest:

Kay Lynn Mayhue, CFP®, AEP®, RFC® serves as President of Merit, which oversees $4 billion* in RIA and brokerage assets under management. A seasoned veteran of the financial services industry with more than 20 years of service under her belt, Kay Lynn now shares her wealth of experience and refined leadership skills with the partners and team at Merit. She primarily focuses on the implementation of company objectives to advance Merit’s mission and to promote growth and profitability as an organization. She also oversees operations to ensure production efficiency, top quality, exceptional service, and cost-effective management of resources. Driven by results, Kay Lynn works tirelessly to implement, direct, and evaluate the organization’s operational and fiscal function and performance. Her critical expertise in succession planning has paved the way for countless advisors to achieve the future of their dreams, and secured Merit’s legacy as a firm that will continue to serve others for generations to come.

 


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TAMP Technology Changing The Onboarding Process with Scott MacKillop



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Scott MacKillop, CEO of First Ascent to discuss TAMP services, differentiating themselves from the competition through the team they have and how their team works. Scott shares the benefits of technology within the business, both for the advisors they work with and within their own team, while revealing the problems that arise from a legal and fiduciary standpoint when advisors don’t understand the context surrounding TAMP and it’s uses with clients.

Scott discusses:

  • How First Ascent has adapted to a digital workspace and how they have benefited
  • Why they acquired a client onboarding technology to increase value
  • The value of TAMP for advisors and clients, including why advisors are looking for TAMP software, how it is implemented and what clients get out of the technology
  • The legal and fiduciary problems surrounding TAMP-based services used by advisors without consideration

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About Our Guest:

Scott MacKillop is the founder and largest shareholder of First Ascent Asset Management, LLC. Prior to establishing First Ascent, Mr. MacKillop served for 8 years as the President of Frontier Asset Management. Mr. MacKillop has also served as President of US Fiduciary Services, President of Trivium Consulting, President and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PMC International, Inc. and President and Senior Vice President of ADAM Investment Services. Mr. MacKillop also served as an independent trustee of First Western Funds Trust.

 


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Advisor Innovations Podcast: Facet Wealth’s Anders Jones



Facet Wealth’s Anders Jones on Building a Hyper-Efficient Financial Planning Firm for the Mass Affluent.

In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Anders Jones, co-founder and CEO of Facet Wealth, to discuss the firm’s recent $100 million equity raise, how the business model of Facet Wealth has evolved from a buyer of clients’ business from other RIAs to a consumer-facing, subscription-based financial planning firm for clients who may not at first have the assets to sit comfortably at a more traditional RIA, and how the company is using technology to improve the efficiency of its over 100 in-house CFPs to the point where each advisor can take on more than twice the number of clients than the industry’s average. 

Anders discusses:

  • How Facet’s original intention of buying smaller clients from existing RIAs didn’t really work, and why that’s a testament to most advisor-client relationships.
  • How they’ve grown to 11,000 clients, 75% of whom have never had a financial advisory relationship, with an aggressive digital marketing strategy, taking in thousands of leads a day.
  • How Facet’s technology model creates highly efficient advisor workflows, separating prospecting and onboarding of clients from the responsibility of financial planners. 
  • How the firm plans to use its newest round of capital—not to hire more advisors necessarily, but to expand the service offerings into areas like taxes and estate planning.  

Connect With Anders Jones:

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About Our Guest:

Anders Jones is the co-founder and CEO of Facet Wealth. He is a venture partner with Argyle Ventures, and previously was on the business development team of LiveRamp, an enterprise data marketing platform, prior to its acquisition by Acxiom.

 


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19. CAIS’s Matt Brown on Connecting Advisors to Alternative Investment Managers



Traditional 60/40 portfolios are not delivering the returns clients are looking for, argues Matt Brown, a former financial advisor and now CEO of CAIS, an alternatives investment platform for wealth managers. In the current market, alternative investing has increased in demand, prompting advisors to look for more information on these investment options.  

In this episode, David Armstrong talks with Brown about how the CAIS platform works to connect financial advisors with alternative asset managers and strategies that are right for their clients. Matt talks about the role of alternative investments within the current market and the importance of education as investing continues to evolve.

David and Matt discusses:

  • How CAIS provides connections to facilitate investments in alternatives
  • Why alternative investments are increasing in popularity among advisors and clients
  • The importance of education when advisors implement alternative investing
  • The role for crypto and blockchain technology for CAIS. 

Connect With Matt Brown:

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About Our Guest:

Matt Brown is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of CAIS. He has spent over 30 years at the intersection of wealth management, alternative investments, and platform design. He began his career as a financial advisor at Shearson Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney. In 2009, Matt founded CAIS, the first truly open marketplace for alternative investments, where financial advisors and asset managers can engage and transact directly on a massive scale. Financial advisors, the professionals we designate to oversee our economic futures, do not have the same access to alternative investments in comparison to large institutions. CAIS is changing that. Matt believes entrepreneurship is the major driver of economic and social change. He’s spent the better part of two decades working with Endeavor, the world’s leading organization for high impact entrepreneurs. During his tenure, he had the opportunity to mentor dozens of entrepreneurs from around the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Matt is honored to have been on Endeavor’s South African and Turkish Boards which ultimately led to a position on the Global Board of Directors. The experience deepened his belief that helping entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses promotes economic growth and prosperity. It’s Matt’s personal mission to ensure that anyone with a dream, and the drive to achieve it, have an equal opportunity to make it happen.


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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:

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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

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