News and Events
It’s entirely possible to sell or merge a practice and have all parties, including the clients, walk away satisfied. But it’s also possible for deals to turn ugly, particularly when the human element gets lost amid all the data. Use these tips to ensure that an M&A deal goes smoothly.
How is an advisory practice’s value measured? What determines the revenue measurement—or the multiple? On January 31, 2020, reporter John Manganaro wrote that 2019 proved to be a record year for both registered investment advisers (RIAs) and independent broker/dealers (IBDs) in terms of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. According to Sandra Nesbit, founder and principal of Mainsail Capital Group, a firm which helps RIAs navigate the complex M&A process, RIA valuation is as much of an art as it is a science.
Greg Willsey and Sandra Nesbit founded GFS Private Wealth in 2012 after more than 25 years of industry experience. They started the firm to focus on families and the client-centered experience, and to advise, guide, and motivate clients to implement solutions that simplify their lives. GFS specialized in providing comprehensive investment and life-planning solutions to affluent individuals and their families. While it was a difficult decision for Sandra and Greg to consolidate their business with Mercer Advisors, the opportunity tradeoff was compelling.
Succession is one of the most important decisions an advisor will make. Unfortunately, many financial advisors don’t know what they don’t know about it. That’s one of the reasons why Sandra Nesbit became a consultant to financial advisors after having been one herself and successfully merging her Florida-based RIA into Mercer’s national RIA. At the time of the Mercer merger, her RIA’s AUM was about $364 million; and it had nearly $500 million in assets under advisement.
Tracy Longo, a tenured writer within the financial services industry, spoke with Sandra Nesbit of Mainsail Capital about pitfalls to avoid when merging or selling a financial advisory firm. Avoiding the mistake of overvaluation is a critical and strategic step that advisors need to take from the moment they get the merger sparkle in their eye. “Advisors confuse their cash flow needs with their firm’s actual value because it’s personal,” she said.
Tom Burroughes, Group Editor of the Family Wealth Report, spoke with Sandra Nesbit of Mainsail Capital about trends in the wealth management industry and M&A activity taking place alongside a background of inter-generational transfer. Business owners looking to exit and sell up, or transfer to heirs and non-family members, need advice and guidance.
Sandra Nesbit will draw from her own 20-plus years of experience working with clients as both a fiduciary wealth manager and a registered representative for major financial services brokerage firms. Having successfully merged an independently owned and operated wealth management firm she co-founded up and into a larger, nationally known Registered Investment Advisory group bolsters her ability to help other advisors take the most thoughtful approach to their own business development, continuity and succession planning strategies.
Former financial advisor, Sandra Nesbit, will use her first-hand experience as a client-facing wealth manager who successfully navigated from wirehouse workplace to independently owned boutique RIA to merging with a larger nationally known RIA to help other financial advisors navigate the M&A waters with no regrets. “No one wants to get married only to have a divorce,” Nesbit said.
Succession and transition will be one of the most important decisions an advisor will make in their lifetime. Unfortunately, there may only be one opportunity to get it right. In this thought leader interview with Pam Krueger, who for over 20 years produced the MoneyTrack show for PBS, Sandra shares why she established Mainsail Capital Group after transitioning from her own successful financial advisory firm and how she now brings her personal insights to other financial advisors as a consultant.
Sandra Nesbit at the The Florida RIA Summit
The Florida RIA Summit is a gathering of independent RIAs focused on discussing investment strategy, global trends and best practices in compliance, technology and RIA M&A. In December 2019 at this event held in Boca Raton, Sandra shared her insights on not only being a successful RIA for many years and how she negotiated a successful merger with Mercer Advisors. Sandra is now a consultant to financial advisors and others who are interested in finding the right partnership, without regrets in hindsight.
Sandra Nesbit presented at this elite event, open only to executive-level financial services professionals. During a mainstage panel discussion, she shared her first-hand experience of an RIA deal and advice for best potential outcomes. At the time, Sandra Nesbit was a Managing Director with Mercer Advisors and is currently the Founder and Principal of Mainsail Capital Group. In this “exit interview” recorded live at the Tiburon CEO Summit XXXVI in New York City, April 2019, Sandra provides a short recap of her comments and shares impressions as a guest speaker.
As a finalist for Tampa Bay Businesswoman of the year in the Financial Services category, Sandra Nesbit (who at the time was Principal-Managing Partner of GFS Private Wealth, LLC) shares some advice with fellow business women. Listening and communication skills have been one of the keys to Sandra's success.