Securities America Inc. has launched a succession-and-acquisition-listing website for advisers in its network and for the two other broker-dealers owned by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc., Securities America’s parent.
Approximately 1,000 advisers affiliated with the two broker-dealers, Investacorp Inc. and Triad Advisors Inc., will join Securities America’s 1,760 advisers on the listing site, which is designed to provide a succession-planning network for Ladenburg’s aging work force.
Roger Verboon, Securities America’s director of business continuity, succession and acquisition planning, said he has led development of the site for a year and has only started to advertise it this week. Since then, 14 advisers have signed up as users, while three listings have been posted.
“I’ve been in this role behind the scenes since 2005. I have literally hundreds of stories of where we’ve facilitated successions and acquisitions, but with this listing site we can now open it up to our whole community of broker-dealers,” Mr. Verboon said.
The timing is good. In 2012, research firm Cerulli Associates Inc. reported that the average age of financial advisers industrywide was 51.5, and the percentage of advisers older than 55 totaled 39%.
The new site lets advisers list their companies for sale in whole or in part, announce their interest in acquiring a practice or share their criteria for a succession partner, Mr. Verboon said. The site can be accessed via a link on each broker-dealer’s internal website.
Listings appear only to advisers within their own broker-dealer for the first 30 days and then to advisers across all three broker-dealers. Succession planning experts at all the Ladenburg independent broker-dealer companies can help facilitate transactions, including cash-flow analysis.
“It’s counseling sometimes more than consulting,” Mr. Verboon said, noting that Thursday, he served as intermediary on a succession plan that involved a seriously ill adviser who was worried about finding someone talented to take his place.
“The numbers come in first, and then they fade into the background because all the other issues come into play: staffing, clients, relationships, and whether this new person will be able to maintain these client relationships that the adviser has built over the years,” Mr. Verboon said.