Tag: acquisition

Great Valley Advisor Group Adds Gaines Financial Group

The $825M Florida RIA joins GVA to leverage its advisor network and robust technology offerings

Berwyn, Pa. — Feb. 3, 2022 — Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”), a technology-driven, full-service registered investment adviser (“RIA”), is thrilled to announce that Gaines Financial Group (“GFG”) has joined its growing pool of advisors. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors to support their growth and provide access to superior practice management and business strategy resources. The Boca Raton, Florida-based RIA will take full advantage of GVA’s vast array of offerings and will continue to service clients under the name Gaines Financial Group.

GFG is an independent wealth management firm that provides comprehensive asset management services and offers personalized estate planning, retirement planning, risk management and more. Founded in 1996 by Patrick “Rick” Gaines, GFG has grown to $825 million in assets under management. GFG aligned with GVA because of its broad spectrum of back-end offerings, thus allowing their advisors more time to address client needs.

“We are excited about the partnership with Gaines Financial Group and look forward to welcoming their advisors into our existing network,” said GVA Chief Operating Officer James J. Spinelli. “GVA has been proactive and thoughtful in our growth, and goal of expanding nationally, with a specific focus on Florida. Rick and his team are the perfect fit to build on this objective, and they have done a fantastic job of building a presence in the local community. We want to boost their successes while providing additional opportunities for those advisors and their clients.”

“Our team conducted a thorough search for the right platform and partner that would most benefit our clients and firm,” added Gaines. “GVA emerged as the clear leader and best positioned us to grow. We are eager to leverage GVA’s additional technology offerings and support, and we feel our advisors will truly benefit from this partnership. We look forward to tapping into all of GVA’s offerings and networking opportunities and expect to see further growth and success in the coming year.”

Partnering with GVA offers advisors the unique opportunity to maintain their independence and name, while providing access to GVA services and expansive advisor network. With a centralized focus on helping financial advisors grow and achieve long-term independence in their businesses, GVA provides customized and integrated technology tools, comprehensive compliance oversight, back-office services, asset management, succession solutions, and proprietary advisor billing and compensation software. Advisors can affiliate with GVA by joining the RIA, utilizing its Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ), or via a hybrid model. The GVA advisor network includes 40 offices across the country, which collectively manage over $5 billion across its advisory and brokerage businesses.

“We strive to make the lives of advisors easier by providing comprehensive support and resources, giving them back a significant amount of their time to foster current client relationships and form new ones,” Spinelli explained. “Our offerings take the burden of behind-the-scenes operations off the advisors’ plate and ensure that everything is running smoothly without them having to worry. We look forward to seeing the heights that the GFG advisor team can reach with our firm’s support.”

The acquisition closed on Dec. 31, 2021. The firm will maintain its GFG branding and Boca Raton headquarters.

About Great Valley Advisor Group

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”) is a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors by providing customized technology, investment strategies, compliance, and proprietary compensation tools to help them grow their businesses. Our advisors have the choice and flexibility to run their businesses the way they want. GVA provides advisors with support to get started and technology to help the firm thrive.

For more information, visit greatvalleyadvisors.com.

Media Contact

Marissa Foy Comerford

Gregory FCA for Great Valley Advisor Group

Marissa@GregoryFCA.com

610-228-2014

Disrupting the Routine: Change is the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Driving change or creating disruption in your firm can be challenging, but we would argue it is one of the best ways to spur significant growth. Disruption forces you out of your comfort zone and requires you to do things differently, which can open doors to new opportunities.

Change for many RIA firms often comes in the form of M&A activity — both as buyer and seller. The third quarter of 2021 hit a record number of deals and the industry is on pace for yet another record-setting year. Although pursuing M&A may seem daunting, it can help firms rapidly achieve growth that would take years to realize on their own.

Realizing the benefits of disruption are daunting, and it is something our team discusses with advisors across the GVA network and beyond every day. Here’s what we tell them:

Change goes both ways

M&A has the potential to benefit both the buyer and seller in regard to resources and talent. In many situations, the acquiring firm has more dynamic platforms and tools that can be leveraged by the acquired firm to advance their business. However, we’ve also seen situations where the acquired firm had access to a technological resource that the acquiring firm previously didn’t, and was able to start utilizing thanks to the transaction.

When advisors partner with GVA, they gain access to both a wide variety of resources and an expansive network of fellow advisors. In turn, we welcome fantastic new talent who bring different skills and expertise that can benefit both our leadership team and advisor network. When there is chemistry between the buyer and seller, M&A can be a win-win situation for all involved.

Deciding when to make a change

At GVA, there are two transaction scenarios we often encounter. The first is an advisor who wants to disrupt their entire practice to partner with a firm like GVA for added resources and scale. They are taking a chance because they think it’s the best move for their business over the long-term. The second situation is when an advisor decides they want to sell their business or hire a junior advisor in order to build a succession plan. These individuals are seeking a true succession plan, while looking to safeguard their legacy and their clients’ experience.

In both scenarios, there is always a compelling reason that triggers the decision. Owners of financial advisory firms do not lightly decide to sell their business or merge with a new partner. These are huge changes that must be approached with proper deliberation.

At GVA, we always ask advisors who are considering some form of M&A, “What’s the reason for this decision?” Advisors looking to partner with another firm often want to leverage the buyer’s resources and platform to grow their business and enjoy more support. Advisors seeking to build a succession plan, especially those who are reaching retirement age, typically want to enjoy life experiences that they can’t while managing a $150 million to $200 million book. For instance, they may want to travel more or spend increased time with their families. We ask this pointed question to ensure our motivations, outlook and philosophies align from day one so we can build a successful partnership.

Addressing the emotional aspect

For many small business owners, the decision to sell their practice is an emotional one. Accordingly, the buyer should understand and respect the emotions driving the decision. As a seller, it’s important that you feel a connection to and synergy with the buyer. The primary focus isn’t necessarily on how much money you can get for the business or any other individual benefits the sale might yield.

The decision should also be rooted in what will be best for the business’s growth and your employees.

Ask yourself what the structure will look like for your clients and the team. For your clients, will they work well with the potential acquiring firm, and will they enjoy new resources as a result of the transition? For your employees, will there be more opportunities for growth than are available to them now? It’s crucial that the acquiring firm will not only be able to handle your business, but also offer your clients and employees greater advantages.

Calculate the risk

At GVA, we sit down to calculate risk with every advisor who is considering partnering with us. We’ll talk through various scenarios to ensure their vision for their firm’s future and their growth goals align with what GVA can offer. This requires extreme transparency, and may entail telling advisors that their expectations aren’t realistic or perhaps we aren’t the best fit. But in the end, it allows the advisor to decide what is best for them.

M&A can help firms reach their goals and achieve growth that might be very difficult to attain organically. However, a successful merger or acquisition depends on aligned visions and synergy between partners.

For more insight on the M&A process and opportunities for advisors within our network, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.

Strength in Members: How a Well-Curated Advisor Network Drives Growth and Empowers Advisors in Today’s Environment

Advisors’ worlds have been completely revolutionized within the past two years, as they’ve navigated shifting terrain in the regulatory landscape, managed a transition to remote work and subsequent return to the office, and faced mounting pressure from clients concerned about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

These changes have prompted many advisors to reevaluate their businesses and approach to the profession, especially regarding where they seek support. Many advisors are turning to advisor networks ― groups of like-minded advisors coming together to achieve a common goal ― in their pursuit of ongoing business growth and personal development.

Great Valley Advisor Group (GVA) is anchored by a culture of connectivity most readily seen through our advisor network. We have thoughtfully designed a model that allows our advisors to operate independently while still being part of a larger team, surrounded by the knowledge and insight of other advisors. As advisors look to the future and seek avenues for continued growth, aligning with a network presents an appealing opportunity.

Cornerstones of the GVA Advisor Network

GVA’s strategically designed, well-curated advisor network drives success and provides a supportive and productive community for members, based on four cornerstones:

  1. Transparency with our partners: We pride ourselves on our commitment to communication with advisors. This means initiating an open dialogue and maintaining candid conversations around what is or isn’t working, where specifically they need more support and how our team can do more to propel their success. These conversations must be frank, and rely on our leaders and advisors coming together, but the resulting transparency and corresponding experience are unmatched.
  1. Facilitating strong advisor relationships: The strength of the GVA network doesn’t come from the top, but from within. We look to our advisors, themselves, to help advance the network as a whole by engaging with fellow advisors, learning from one another and sharing experiences and advice along the way. Advisors who join the GVA network need to be willing to have these types of conversations, and those who engage at this level truly flourish.
  1. Making a consistent and considerable investment in tools: GVA’s business model is built on a foundation of technology and innovation. From day one, our leadership team recognized the importance of implementing strong technology systems, as well as comprehensive tools and resources, and the impact this makes on advancing an advisor’s practice. GVA network advisors gain immediate access to our dynamic technology stack and robust solutions to support their growth.
  1. Providing ongoing support aimed at advisor practice growth: Our work with advisors extends well beyond technology and related tools. We identify their areas of need and how they want to grow, and then implement targeted support and solutions. Our M&A team is a great example of this philosophy in action. Our advisors are entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses, and the M&A team offers a clear path forward for such inorganic growth, providing insight on the acquisition process, preparing relevant documentation and information, reviewing deals and more.


A Near- and Long-Term Plan for Growth

The strength of the GVA network lies in our ability to consistently adapt to the changing environment. Our primary goal is to empower advisor growth, and we feel strongly that a well-curated network of advisors is the best way to do that.

Advisors who join our network realize immediate benefits, coupled with longer-term advantages. The network provides a centralized platform yielding high levels of efficiency that advisors cannot leverage elsewhere. The suite of technology and resources they need to create an immediate impact on the business and streamline operations are available at their fingertips.

From a broader perspective, the network’s focus is strengthening our partnerships with advisors and creating the connectivity they need to thrive. We provide resources and the advisors offer insight, innovation and growth to the platform. We strive to continue enhancing our offerings to advisors within the network and realize that both parties add structure as we grow. We select advisors who are innovative in nature and maintain a similar philosophy and outlook on the business landscape.

The feature we plan to implement in the near future is small advisor forums within the larger network, creating connections among advisors facing common challenges or seeking to uncover similar opportunities within their businesses. We are using these as a springboard for stronger relationships within the network and to share valuable insights into where our advisors are taking their practices, so we can add new solutions and services.

Finding Your Network Match

For growth-oriented advisors, finding the right network to align with can make a significant impact on your business. The right network partner is one that shares your values and communication style but celebrates diversity among its community. Diversity in opinion, focus and life experiences will drive a stronger network and add significantly more value for the advisors.

Every advisor who joins the GVA network shares our larger vision and goals for the future. The growth of the company is only as strong as its core, and our advisors are the core of everything we do.

For more insight on GVA and the power our network provides to advisors, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.

Great Valley Advisor Group Acquires U.S. Financial Advisors: Acquisition expands GVA’s footprint to New England and adds significant wealth management capabilities and resources

PAOLI, Pa. — May 11, 2021 — Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”), a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser (“RIA”), has acquired U.S. Financial Advisors (“USFA”). The acquisition expands GVA’s presence in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, region and adds to its overall wealth and investment management capabilities for high-net-worth (“HNW”) individuals.

Based in Braintree, Mass., USFA is a full-service RIA that provides comprehensive and customized investment, insurance and wealth management services for its clients. Under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer John Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, USFA has grown to over $725 million in assets under management and has a network of advisors across the county. The full USFA team is joining GVA. Napolitano will lead GVA’s dedicated HNW practice, which will maintain the USFA branding and offer family office services. The HNW practice will include five additional advisors.

“John and his team have built a strong reputation of excellence in the industry,” said Ryan C. Todd, CPA, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of GVA. “Their experience and expertise in serving the HNW base aligns with our focus on elevating our offering and positioning us for future growth. We are excited to integrate the USFA team with our GVA community.”

Napolitano added: “The team at GVA shares our approach to client service, our passion for wealth management and the dedication to growing our advisors’ careers. Our partnership with GVA and the resources its leadership team offer will support our focus on building a dedicated HNW practice and providing the integrated and comprehensive support this specific client group needs.”

“Our focus is on empowering and supporting advisors to grow their businesses, and the relationship we have built with John and his team is a perfect example of this philosophy in action,” said James J. Spinelli, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at GVA. “John is clear in his vision and where he intends to make the most impact in the next phase of his career. We are thrilled he is aligning with GVA to make this vision a reality.”

GVA has focused on growth in recent years, strategically adding resources that will benefit the advisors in its network. The firm introduced its dedicated asset management arm, Valor Asset Management in 2016 and has expanded its in-house technology resources and tools for advisors in the last five years. GVA has completed several successful acquisitions in its history and has built a network of nearly 100 advisors across the country. The firm was supported by LPL Financial’s M&A Solutions new premium buyer program in completing the USFA transaction.

“The GVA team has been strategic in its development, building the right capabilities and structure to support a deal of this magnitude,” said Jeremy Holly, LPL Senior Vice President and head of Advisor Financial Solutions. “Our M&A Solutions team supported GVA and USFA throughout a formal sales process, positioning GVA as a qualified and value-added buyer and ensuring the firms were a good fit. We believe this acquisition will be a true benefit to their current and future clients.”

The acquisition closed on May 10, 2021, and will increase GVA’s assets under management by over $725 million. GVA was advised by Stradley Ronon. Financial and legal terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Great Valley Advisor Group

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”) is a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors by providing customized technology, investment strategies, compliance, and proprietary compensation tools to help them grow their businesses. Our advisors have the choice and flexibility to run their businesses the way they want. GVA provides advisors with support to get started and technology to help the firm thrive.

For more information, visit greatvalleyadvisors.com.