Mark Hurley and Ray Sclafani provide different viewpoints and insights on what is really going on in the wealth management industry as well as take an in-depth look at the immense opportunity ahead over the next ten to fifteen years and what firms will need to do to capitalize on it.



About the Episode:

Ray Sclafani and Mark Hurley discuss various topics in the financial services industry, including regulatory changes, concerns about Blackstone's real estate fund, the impact of aggregation software, the decline in organic growth, and the state of M&A. They emphasize the importance of cybersecurity and the need for wealth managers to focus on organic growth. They also discuss the abundance of cash on the sidelines for acquisitions and the increasing multiples in the industry.


Topics Covered:
• Cyber
• Alarm bells sounded
• Aggregation software regulators
• Growth matters
• M&A


• Cybersecurity is a top priority for wealth managers, and the SEC has proposed new rules that put wealth managers at the center of the cybersecurity issue.

• Bethany McLean's report on Blackstone's real estate fund has raised concerns about the valuation of privately placed REITs.

• Regulators are cracking down on advisors using aggregation software, particularly in relation to retirement plans.

• The industry is experiencing a decline in organic growth, and firms that focus on organic growth are more likely to succeed.

• There is a significant amount of cash on the sidelines for acquisitions, but the market is becoming more efficient and deals are driven by demographics.

• Multiples in the industry are expanding due to the stability of cash flows in the wealth management industry.

• The biggest threats to the industry are cybersecurity and the flow of assets to large firms like Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, and Morgan Stanley.


About Our Guest(s):


Mark Hurley
Mark Hurley is CEO of Digital Privacy and Protection, a cybersecurity specializing in serving clients of financial advisory firms and other professionals. Prior to that, he was CEO of Fiduciary Network, an acquirer of minority interests in RIAs. From 1998 to 2004, he was CEO of Undiscovered Managers, a mutual fund company that was sold to JP Morgan Asset Management. He began his career as an investment banker in the financial services division of Goldman Sachs, where he specialized in asset management. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Ray Sclafani
After 20 years at AllianceBernstein, Ray Sclafani founded and heads ClientWise, the premier coaching and training company exclusively serving the financial services industry. Ray’s passion for serving leaders, advisors, and companies in the financial services sector is reflected in ClientWise and its unique coaching programs and team of credentialed coaches that help advisors and companies find the next level of professional excellence and financial success with greater focus and ease.


Ray’s experience as a seasoned specialist in coaching and training in the financial sector mirrors his long and profitable history in the industry. In his 20 years at AllianceBernstein, Ray was one of the company’s top sales professionals and executive leaders. His knowledge of how to create and execute on highly successful sales plans and build long lasting client connections was later utilized as founder and Managing Director of the Advisor Institute at AllianceBernstein.


As a complement to his coaching skills, he also holds a Master’s Certification in Neuro-Linguistics from the International Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and has participated in The Strategic Coach® Program for 17 years.


Ray’s book, You’ve Been Framed: How to Reframe Your Wealth Management Business and Renew Client Relationships, was published by Wiley in 2015. Ray holds a BA from Baylor University. He lives in Flower Mound, Texas with his wife and true life partner, Beth. Their two sons and Beth continually inspire his work and his passion for excellence.

Other Episodes in the Series: