2023: The Year of Scale


New beginnings, especially ones dictated by the passage of time – such as the start of a new year – often prompt both reflection and anticipation, as we look back upon the past and also consider what’s ahead. How will historians look back on 2023? Perhaps more importantly, how will we, as active participants in the wealth management industry, view the challenges, opportunities and outcomes of the past 12 months? Rising interest rates proved to be a double-edged sword for financial services as the increased cost of capital tamped down M&A activity and upended the regional banking sector but also put additional dollars at the disposal of broker-dealers via cash sweep programs. Artificial intelligence (AI) went mainstream in the space as professionals tasked with duties from marketing to compliance relied more and more on advancements in this revolutionary technology to create efficiencies and build scale. Scale … While Taylor Swift [...]

2023: The Year of Scale2024-02-01T20:31:02-05:00

Succession Planning in an Age of Demographic Change, Active Aggregators and Private Equity


You are probably familiar with the adage “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” It’s as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first said it. Of course in order to have a plan, you need to have options to consider. And, right now, when it comes to succession planning in the wealth management space, choices can be limited for financial advisors who are considering a succession. For all the worry surrounding the potential impact of artificial intelligence on wealth management, demographics may prove to be the real disruptor for the industry. You have most likely seen the statistics that bear this out: the average financial advisor’s age is 58. Almost 40% of financial advisors are planning to leave the industry in the next 10 years. Upwards of 70% of advisors don’t have a succession plan. There are more advisors over age 80 than under age 30. That’s a lot of [...]

Succession Planning in an Age of Demographic Change, Active Aggregators and Private Equity2023-09-11T19:23:25-04:00

AI’s Impact: Overblown or Underestimated?


If you’ve ever asked Alexa to play Baby Shark 10 times in a row to quiet an agitated toddler or relied on your car’s navigation system to get you where you’re going, you are already on the AI bandwagon. However, as AI’s capabilities grow – seemingly exponentially – so do the concerns about its immediate and long-term effects on our professional and personal lives. Like most industries, the wealth management space has already been impacted by AI. And why wouldn’t it? AI offers productivity, precision and cost efficiencies. It helps businesses operate more effectively, scale more quickly, analyze data more accurately and calculate faster. It’s a tool – a powerful resource that may prove to be a great equalizer, closing the service gaps between large-scale enterprises and their smaller counterparts. The question now becomes one of degree. If past is prologue, technological disruptions like AI are a long-term positive. In [...]

AI’s Impact: Overblown or Underestimated?2023-08-02T14:57:39-04:00