One Great Issue
We usually don't use this space to tout an issue of this magazine. But after rereading all the articles here, I feel compelled to thank as many of our contributors as possible and to thank our managing editor, Dorothy Hinchcliff, our creative director, Laura Zavetz, and the rest of our staff for bringing it all to life.
The hardest decision is where to start, so I'll begin by urging you to read Jeff Schlegel's cover story about United Capital's Joe Duran on page 72. A different kind of consolidator, the Zimbabwe-born Duran looks for firms where he can enhance their marketing and operations.
Nick Murray's writing always makes me envious, but this month he hits out of the park on page 49 with a piece on the great lesson of 2007-namely that there is no such thing as a "standard" deviation. Extraordinary events may occur with greater frequency than we expect, but their exceptional characteristics makes standardization of limited usefulness. As Nick notes, this time is "always different-and never different." Roy Diliberto offers another take on the same subject on page 69.
Andy Gluck takes a fascinating look at Techfi founder Matt Abar's attempt at a comeback on page 39. Abar started Techfi in 1998 and offered advisors a PMS alternative to Advent, until Advent made him a $25 million offer he couldn't refuse. Within a few years after Advent bought Techfi, they eliminated its PMS product. Convincing advisors he's in it for the long haul is going to be a big challenge for Abar.
Tracey Longo pens a searing column on page 53 based on a tale Alexandra Armstrong related to her about an elderly client with shrinking resources who was sold a $100,000 piece of jewelry. Surprise, surprise, the jeweler found it was his time to make a personal visit to the client's apartment.
Rebecca Pomering provides an excellent explanation of the different ways that firms can create new owners on page 57, while David Lawrence tackles the problem of office clutter on page 61. Mary Rowland addresses the merger boom sweeping the advisory profession on page 65 and acknowledges that the widely criticized Hurley report in 1999 is looking increasingly prescient.
Hardly a day passes without news of another firm merging or being acquired. However, the guess here is that all the turbulence sweeping the financial services business is likely to make certain acquirers like regional banks less likely to pony up cash to fund deals, at least until the subprime situation recedes. Whether advisors will want to accept regional banks' equity as merger currency is anyone's guess. And with financing harder to find, other folks like private equity firms may reduce the multiples they are willing to pay for advisory firms.
Elsewhere, David Drucker does a detailed drill-down on the FPA's new regional compensation and profitability benchmarks on page 96, while Gail Liberman explains why postnuptial marriage agreements may soon surpass prenups in popularity on page 100. For readers who are RIAs considering different custodians, Joel Bruckenstein's look at new software features is an article you can't afford to miss on page 118.
I know I'm leaving out several great articles in this issue, but I'm running out of space. See you next month.