According to the latest Wealth Management IQ research, the market for advisory firms sizzled in 2022 – with some 70% of respondents saying their firm explored an acquisition, sale or merger on some level – and financial advisors are optimistic about the value of their firm and its growth prospects in 2023.
At the same time, they recognize that higher interest rates and a decline in asset values may lower valuations generally and tilt the advantage to buyers.
While acquiring another firm and tucking in an advisor or a team of advisors may be the most popular way of growing an advisory business inorganically, advisors recognize that cultural fit is the key element in a successful acquisition, which means that great care should be taken during the negotiation process to assure that true cultural alignment exists.
The study also shows that for advisors thinking about their retirement, acquiring a firm with younger advisors or tucking in younger advisors is a key step in developing a viable succession plan. And for younger advisors, merging with a firm headed by an older advisor or acquiring a book of business from an advisor looking to wind down can be a viable growth path.
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