A prominent financial advisor and the founder of a business operations company have co-authored a book to help wealth managers navigate mergers and acquisitions.
Greg Friedman, the founder and CEO of Private Ocean, and Shaun Kapusinski, the founder of HIFON, an operations network for registered investment advisors, found that successful deals were often dependent on decisions about technology. But contrary to what headlines might portray, most RIAs haven't been involved in a merger or acquisition and aren't experienced in choosing technologies and patching them together. The largest RIAs, built to acquire other firms, dominated M&A in 2018.
The Financial Advisor M&A Guidebook: Best Practices, Tools, and Resources for Technology Integration and Beyond, published by Palgrave Macmillan, is intended to help advisors through that process. In addition to their own expertise, the authors interviewed HIFON firms.
"This book was born out of our mutual interest in technology and our real-world experiences with M&A transactions,” Kapusinski said in a statement about the book. Before starting HIFON, Kapusinski spent more than 15 years as an advisor with Akron, Ohio-based Sequoia Financial Group.
There were 181 deals among RIAs in 2018, 13 more than in 2017, making it the sixth-straight year deal volume reached a new high, according to a recent M&A report by Echelon Partners, a Los Angeles-based investment bank and consulting firm focused on wealth and investment managers. An all-time high of 32 transactions involved firm assets of $1 billion or more.