Ladenburg platform to help IBDs with succession planning, acquisitions

It's the first in a comprehensive M&A toolkit the firm plans to release through next year

Aug 16, 2018 @ 4:57 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services has a new suite of services and digital tools to help advisers across its subsidiary broker-dealers with succession, continuity and acquisition planning.

The platform is part of an ongoing effort by the Ladenburg practice management team to support long-term business goals, like an independent adviser's planned retirement or growing a firm through acquisition.

(More: Continuity, succession and acquisition planning)

The new platform includes a website to connect potential buyers and sellers, including screening capabilities to help advisers identify the best opportunities. There are also tools to help estimate a practice's value and secure financing options through Ladenburg's partnerships with banks, lending institutions and other third-parties.

(More: Ladenburg bets advisers will serve more self-employed clients in the future)

In addition to the digital tools, two dedicated succession and acquisition coaches will support the platform, and four other business coaches will help with education, consultation, deal structure, firm valuation, and business transitions.

The platform is the start of a comprehensive succession planning toolkit Ladenburg plans to roll out throughout this year and next.

Kirk Hulett, senior vice president for organizational and practice development at Ladenburg, said the firm will launch websites exclusive to Ladenburg advisers to walk firms through continuity planning or how to become a buyer.

Ladenburg also plans a new version of its practice listing website, where advisers at Securities America, Triad Advisors, KMS Financial Services, Investacorp and Securities Service Network can post if their firm is looking to buy or sell. Mr. Hulett calls it "an internal market for practice acquisition."

(More: Focus Financial IPO could be a sell signal for RIAs)

"Individual adviser practices are like fingerprints — they are very unique," Mr. Hulett said. "Each exit plan is different, so we really try to construct the exit plan that is best for them."

He expects the M&A activity among independent broker-dealers to accelerate over the next 10 years, primary due to the aging adviser workforce.

Banks also have a better understanding of M&A in the IBD market and are more willing to provide loans for practice acquisition, he said.

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