Market Overview

Focus Financial Partners Launches Industry Wide Succession Planning Solution


Focus Financial Partners, LLC (“Focus”), the largest partnership of independent wealth management firms with over $52 billion in client assets, today announced the launch of an industry wide succession planning solution (“Succession Solution”) for independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). This first-of-its-kind, patent-pending offering enables advisors to continue serving clients with their entrepreneurial business models while partnering with likeminded Focus partner firms to ensure a smooth transition of their practices once they are ready to retire or in case of a life event. This agreement enables advisors to provide clients with the peace of mind that they will continue to receive quality advice and care after the retirement of their current advisor.

Succession planning is one of the biggest challenges in the highly successful independent wealth management industry. Small and medium size advisors particularly have limited choices for succession planning, often exposing their clients and families to the risk of their businesses vanishing. Focus' patent-pending succession solution is an integrated program with four modules:

1. A structured diagnostic of the transition readiness of the business known as FIRST (Focus Index of Readiness for Succession and Transition)

2. An agreement with a Focus partner firm to manage the business going forward once the principals decide to activate the succession process

3. An annual certification program to ensure advisors keep their transition plan active and up-to-date

4. Access to Focus' capital to finance the transition under agreed upon terms

Given the breadth of the Focus partnership, RIAs can choose to align with the Focus partner firm with the most similar business model, client service philosophy and investment approach, and culture. RIAs participating in the program can choose to trigger the succession solution any time they choose.

“Less than 40% of RIAs have a formal succession plan in place, causing clients and employees undue anxiety. We are excited to bring our expertise and capital to them and to deliver a viable solution that will mitigate their fears,” said Rudy Adolf, founder and CEO of Focus Financial Partners. “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.”

“The average age of an independent investment advisor today is around 54 with founding principals even closer to retirement,” explains David DeVoe, managing partner of DeVoe & Company, a San Francisco-based M&A firm for RIAs. “While many advisors understand the strategic value of acquisitions for business continuity, very few have created a well thought out plan to execute a transaction. Focus' Succession Solution helps advisors stay the course via a formalized succession plan which is required to keep the deals on track.”

Focus' Succession Solution has successfully been utilized between CLM Capital Management LLC (“CLM”), a Maine-based RIA with over $35 million in client assets, and Focus partner firm, Buckingham Asset Management (“Buckingham”). Buckingham was the first Focus partner to utilize this new offering which is now available to all current and future Focus partners.

“Focus' Succession Solution enables us to help firms like CLM establish a formal continuity solution where they might otherwise struggle to do so. We were excited to be the first Focus partner to offer this agreement as it addresses a real industry concern,” explains Adam Birenbaum, CEO of Buckingham. “The initial response has been extremely positive and we are excited to roll this out together with Focus and our fellow partner firms.”

About Focus Financial Partners

Founded in 2006, Focus Financial Partners, LLC, is the leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. With over $52 billion in assets and over 775 employees, including 100 partners, Focus provides wealth management, benefit and investment consulting services to individuals, families, employers and institutions. Clients benefit from Focus's independence, unrivaled access and continuity. Focus principals maintain their entrepreneurial independence, benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices of the market leader and achieve an eventual, smooth ownership transition. Focus was included on Inc. magazine's 5000 ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies in 2011 and 2010. In 2012, Focus was named a Crain's New York Business “Fast 50” growth firm in New York City. For more information, please visit

FTI Consulting
Raina Gajjar, +1-646-576-8101

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