A partnership of independent wealth management firms, Focus Financial Partners’ succession planning solution is aimed at independent registered investment advisers (RIAs).
Succession planning is one of the biggest challenges for the independent wealth management industry. Small and midsize advisers, in particular, have limited choices for succession planning, often exposing their clients and families to the risk of a business vanishing. Focus’ patent-pending succession solution is an integrated program with four components:
A structured diagnostic of the transition readiness of the business known as FIRST (Focus Index of Readiness for Succession and Transition);
An agreement with a Focus partner firm to manage the business going forward once the principals decide to activate the succession process ;
An annual certification program to ensure that advisers keep their transition plan active and up to date; and
Access to capital from Focus to finance the transition under agreed-upon terms.
RIAs can align with the Focus partner firm with the most similar business model, client service philosophy and investment approach, and culture. The succession solution can be triggered at any time.
Fewer than 40% of RIAs have a formal succession plan in place, according to Rudy Adolf, founder and chief executive of Focus Financial Partners. “This offering enables advisers to continue serving clients with their entrepreneurial business models while partnering with like-minded Focus partner firms to ensure a smooth transition of their practices once they are ready to retire or in case of a life event,” Adolf said.
With the agreement, advisers can allay clients’ anxiety about receiving advice and care after the retirement of their current adviser. The expertise and capital from Focus combines into a viable solution, Adolf said. “We have always considered ourselves to be in the succession business as we consistently help our partners grow and prepare for the future through talent development, recruitment and strategic acquisitions. This offering is a natural extension of our range of succession solutions and allows us to fill a critical gap in the industry.”
Focus Financial Partners is an international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms with over $52 billion in assets.
More information is available on their website.