While the long-term effect of the coronavirus pandemic on financial advisor M&A and recruiting trends has yet to be seen, at least one online platform has experienced an uptick in activity.

AdvisorBid, a social network for advisors originally constructed around recruiting, mergers and acquisitions, has seen “an explosion of AUM” in motion on its platform, according to founder and CEO Brandon Spottswood.

Spottswood said that since the pandemic shut down large portions of the global economy, the platform has signed up $5 billion to $10 billion AUM worth of firms and advisors each week – and that 20% to 30% of the assets it tracks is “in motion.”

“There are a good chunk of people who are signing in that are doing so just to check out new opportunities,” said Spottswood. “It’s a new awakening. There’s now a platform that can showcase anything and everything about these firms. Most third-party recruiters tap out at 25-30 companies. We have 300 companies signed up and engaged that are recruiting.”

All-told, AdvisorBid now has 40,000 companies connected on its platform, and not just broker-dealers and RIAs. Industry associations and organizations, fintech firms and news companies have maintain presences on the platform. At any given time, there are over 1,200 live presences on the platform, said Spottswood.

Since May, the company has doubled the number of live profiles on its platform, according to Spottswood.

“Growth has skyrocketed: live users have skyrocketed, the number of companies engaged, the number of elite companies engaged has skyrocketed, the number of connections made has skyrocketed, the number of new companies, skyrocketing, new users are skyrocketing, the number of deals and money in motion is skyrocketing, the amount of AUM signing up every week is skyrocketing,” he said. “Companies are literally posting new things every day.”

AdvisorBid remains free-to-use for advisors and companies – the company is compensated for its leads. For a paid subscription, users can access  features to help acquire or sell a business, create a succession plan or find more advisors.

AdvisorBid recently rolled out a “Leaderboard” feature that allows advisors to search through companies not just by AUM, but also by growth, location, channel and number of producing advisors – and since participants on the platform update the data in real time, users receive an up-to-minute picture of what is happening in the industry.

On profile pages, advisors looking to join new firms can take photographic tours of the company’s work spaces. Via a dashboard, companies and individual advisors can share news and information about themselves.

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