The Benefits of Selling within Your B/D or Custodian

Finding the right buyer for your financial advisor practice requires due diligence and clearly defined goals. The right buyer isn’t just the one willing to pay the right price.

The right buyer is also a good fit for the culture and investment style of the business and is collaborative throughout the negotiation and transitioning process.

However, to achieve a truly smooth transition, it is beneficial to focus on locating buyers within your own broker/dealer or custodian.

First of all, looking for a buyer in your existing B/D or custodian lets you tap into a ready network of connections, especially if you leverage leadership within the organization. Often higher-level managers are aware of which advisors are interested in expanding. This can cut down on search time and help you connect with ready buyers faster. There are also service providers such as ours ( that have a ready-made pool of interested buyers and can filter based on affiliation to ensure that we are targeting advisors within your B/D or custodian.

Buyers are generally more open to purchasing firms within their network. This is because the second, and biggest, benefit for targeting buyers in partner firms is that both organizations operate under the same systems, agreements, and processes. This not only makes developing and getting approval for all of the required legal documents easier, it also significantly streamlines the process of transitioning clients and operations. Specifically, it eliminates the need to convert systems and for additional data entry while moving over key information, which saves both time and money.

Also, selling to buyer within your B/D or custodian improves the client experience during the process by eliminating the need to have them transition to new agreements, customer portals, and processes. Clients are often put off when they have to make a change. Furthermore, clients build brand loyalty and are especially cautious when it comes to their wealth management. Sometimes they would rather go to a different advisor under the same umbrella just to stay within the network they know and trust. By keeping clients under the same brand, you reduce the number of changes that they will have to see and make and avoid any situations that can cause clients concern or that may prompt them to leave. Minimizing disruptions during the transition also allows you and your team to focus on communicating and engaging with staff and clients, which is a critical element to helping your buyer build trust and loyalty.

As mentioned earlier, the more comfortable clients are during the transition, the less likely they are to leave during the process, which is always a risk during any kind of change. The same is true of staff. Key client facing staff are critical to the transition. If they too have brand loyalty, they may choose to leave, which can raise red flags for their clients. Higher retention of staff results in a more successful hand off for the buyer and a more satisfied client, both of which are critical for getting a deal across the finish line.

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