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Michael Kitces’ #FASuccess Podcast: Adam Birenbaum on Using Outside Capital to Fund M&As

Adam Birenbaum, the CEO of Buckingham Strategic Wealth and BAM Advisor Services, talks about the firm’s growth strategy.

Welcome, everyone! Welcome to the 66th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Adam Birenbaum. Adam is the CEO of Buckingham Strategic Wealth and BAM Advisor Services, a combination wealth management firm and TAMP platform that oversees more than $30 billion of assets under management.

What’s unique about Adam, though, is that he took over as the CEO of the Buckingham companies just over 10 years ago at the age of just 32, when the company was “only” $6 billion of AUM, but has nearly quintupled its size since then, as one of the youngest CEOs of any major advisory firm.

In this episode, we talk in depth about the Buckingham and BAM growth strategy, particularly on how a major investment by Focus Financial has helped to power the firm’s growth, giving Buckingham access to capital from Focus at zero percent interest rates to fund its acquisitions (because Focus ultimately profits from the growth as an owner anyway), and the way Adam and Buckingham have been able to leverage the capital to accelerate their inorganic growth.

We also talk about the actual structure of Buckingham and BAM itself, why Buckingham has chosen to grow offices in multiple locations, how BAM Advisor Services aims to work with advisory firms by providing what they call a “Turnkey Wealth Management Platform” that provides back office services but does not require its advisors to use standardized investment models, and how the company is positioning itself for an increasingly competitive environment with threats from both low-cost robo advisors and also large financial services firms like Schwab, Fidelity and especially Vanguard, getting into the advisory business.

And be certain to listen to the end of the podcast, when Adam talks about what it’s like to be the CEO of a $30 billion AUM firm, where he focuses his own time as a leader in the business, and why he believes that strategy is important and that the real determinant of the most successful advisory firms of the future will be all about the firm’s ability to execute and deliver on the client experience.

So whether you are interested in learning more about using outside capital to fund mergers and acquisitions, how you may be able to utilize a Turnkey Wealth Management Platform in your business or are simply interested in what it’s like to be a CEO of a $30 billion AUM firm, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast.

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