Next financial - 6th year top INDY?

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Nov 14, 2006 4:56 pm

Anyone know anything about this firm?

Nov 15, 2006 9:15 am

I know them very well.

Jeff Auld is a guy I know well and was the President until the end of August this year.  He was the heart and soul of the firm and really understood the advisors and worked to get to know as many as possible personally and professionally.  He moved to Berthel Fisher & Co. in Iowa to get closer to home and I estimate that they will begin to see a swell in recruiting activity. 

Gordon D'Angelo is the CEO and founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Services a number of years ago.  He launched NEXT in 1999 and brought Jeff on soon after.  While Jeff was the good ol' boy that the advisors saw as a leader and friend, Gordon is much more the black-and-white businessman.  He is very cold when he needs to be and runs the organization like a business, with little intent of getting to know those that work on the front lines.

D'Angelo recently replaced Auld with a guy he worked with earlier in his career and has a very similar mentality and approach to the business - completely opposite of Auld. 

Knowing these people as well as I do, I think that they will still grow well, but not nearly as well as they did with Auld at the helm.  He compensated home office employees well for a job well done, and D'Angelo has recently restructured their comp.  I foresee them taking a break from being one of the highest regarded independents as a result of this change.  Much of the attraction of FAs to the company revolved around Auld and his ability to build relationships, and there is no one like that within the company any longer.

I wouldn't necessarily tell someone to not take a look at them, but would strongly caution that there may be some changes afoot as the corporate mentality has swung completely to the opposite side of the table from a people-oriented focus, to more of a bottom-line focus.

Nov 15, 2006 11:03 am

Maybe this is a move for an IPO?

Nov 15, 2006 12:46 pm

Nah, I think they’ll continue with their current structure as they continue to build and gain more NOI.  When they get to, maybe, double or triple the size they currently are, that may be a better time to talk IPO.

Nov 15, 2006 1:29 pm

They are talking IPO to potential merging partners.

Nov 15, 2006 1:57 pm

They are, but from what I see, it wouldn’t make a great deal of sense to do anything until they have been able to either significantly increase their advisory force or income.  Just my $.02.