Advisor Group Commences Virtual National Conference with Launch of Continuity Coverage and Acquisition Financing Program
New Resources Announced on First Full Day of Firm's Innovative, Expansive Virtual National Conference, ConnectED Canvas
Oct. 27, 2020 - Advisor Group, the nation's largest network of independent wealth management firms, today announced the launch of its new Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions Program (CCAP) along with significant education and training enhancements within its industry-leading Succession Planning & Acquisitions platform. The offerings were unveiled as part of the kick-off of Advisor Group's groundbreaking national virtual conference for financial professionals, ConnectED Canvas. The new resources round out Advisor Group's technology-enabled, end-to-end mergers & acquisitions (M&A) support platform for financial professionals, delivering a holistically integrated service experience that meets the full spectrum of M&A needs, from education and preparation to transaction identification, valuation, deal structuring, financing and integration.
Greg Cornick, Advisor Group's President, Advice and Wealth Management, said "The new resources and capabilities we have announced at ConnectED Canvas spotlight our commitment to standing in our financial professionals' corner by providing them with the technology-enabled platforms they need to successfully grow their businesses. Our MySuccessionPlan platform stands out as the industry-leading digital community for financial professionals to connect with one another for succession, acquisition, continuity and business planning needs. With the rollout of the Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions Program and our new educational offerings – the Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller programs – we are more uniquely positioned than ever to meet our financial professionals' needs across the full continuum of M&A activity. Moreover, by using our own balance sheet to provide favorable deal financing, we are aligning our interests even more closely with those of the financial professionals we support to drive strong, positive outcomes for their transactions."
Jamie Price, President & CEO of Advisor Group, said, "Our continued buildout of our award-winning MySuccessionPlan.com platform and the launch of other technologies and tools for financial professionals seeking hands-on support for succession and continuity planning or growth-oriented strategic acquisitions reaffirms our commitment to serving as the destination of choice for financial professionals who want to grow and protect the enterprise value of their unique businesses. Announcing these new capabilities on Day One of our fully re-imagined, virtual ConnectED Canvas event demonstrates our total focus on serving our community of financial professionals across the country."
"There is no question that the uncertainties and disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic have underscored the crucial importance of professional financial guidance for households across the country," continued Mr. Price. "Our professionals have more than risen to the challenge, harnessing our technology, tools and resources along with their expertise and passion for client service to help people through this unprecedented period. We are proud of all that our financial professionals do, we celebrate their resilience and dedication, and we're excited to offer them even more solutions to help drive the long-term success of their businesses."
Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions Program
The Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions Program (CCAP) strengthens Advisor Group's support for affiliated financial professionals' acquisition efforts by providing a dedicated pool of capital from Advisor Group's balance sheet that qualified acquirors can utilize to purchase other practices both within and outside the Advisor Group network, eliminating the need to source financing from a third party in many cases.
The platform will offer loans at competitive interest rates, while offering financial professionals other key benefits, including cost savings on the origination and processing fees typically charged by third-party lenders. Additionally, the lending process has also been significantly streamlined to reduce processing times by roughly 50% versus typical industry turnaround times.
On the continuity side, the program will enable affiliated financial professionals who do not have full continuity plans in place to opt into a robust continuity backstop program. Advisor Group's Succession Planning and Acquisitions team will work with professionals who opt into the program to identify a compatible continuity partner from within the broader Advisor Group network and structure a transaction to take effect in the event of the professional's sudden death or disability. Opting into the program will be free of charge.
If a continuity event occurs, the CCAP will fund the acquisition right away from Advisor Group's balance sheet in order to prevent any disruption for clients or degradation in the value of the business. In the event of an unplanned continuity event, with no immediate buyer identified, Advisor Group will serve as the default buyer – providing peace of mind to the financial professional that has opted into the program. From there, Advisor Group would utilize its MySuccessionPlan.com financial professional matching service to identify suitable continuity partners.
The program will commence in the first quarter of next year, with an initial pilot program of financial professionals, under a carefully phased rollout plan that will expand access to the CCAP program for all financial professionals across the Advisor Group network throughout 2021.
Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller Programs
The second significant enhancement announced today expands upon Advisor Group's industry-leading capabilities in transaction sourcing, structuring and execution by offering robust, multi-year training and education programs to help financial professionals learn about and plan for the key elements involved in practice acquisitions and sales, often beginning three to five years before a transaction occurs.
Called the Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller programs, the offerings include comprehensive training curricula pioneered by Ladenburg Thalmann's practice management team, along with extensive expert consulting support for aspiring buyers and sellers.
The Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller programs offer comprehensive curricula and in-depth consulting support to help financial professionals better understand and plan for critical transaction elements including (among others):
- Drivers of practice valuation;
- Funding sources and their potential impacts on a deal;
- Minimizing transaction risk;
- Preparing a practice for sale or for rapid growth by acquiring another book;
- Identifying the ideal successor; and
- Developing a marketing plan and materials to either sell a practice or position a financial professional as a credible buyer to potential sellers.
Financial professionals who complete the Prepared Buyer program will also receive a certification that will be visible on Advisor Group's MySuccessionPlan.com website.
Advisor Group Senior Vice President of Succession and Acquisition Todd Fulks said, "Education and preparation are critical in the practice acquisition or sale process, not only to ensure the success of a given deal, but to position the combined business and its clients for long-term growth. With the Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller programs, we can engage financial professionals well before they enter the M&A market in order to drive optimal results for buyers, sellers and clients."
ConnectED Canvas Day One
The first day's events at ConnectED Canvas features an extensive, insightful Q&A session between Advisor Group President and CEO Jamie Price and NBA Hall of Famer, entrepreneur and investor Shaquille O'Neal, among many other highlights.
In addition to Mr. Price's conversation with Mr. O'Neal, the first day of Advisor's Group's ConnectED Canvas conference also includes a wide range of industry experts and thought leaders commenting on key issues impacting financial professionals' businesses.
Day one of the event will conclude with step-by-step instruction from master mixologist Rob Floyd to help attendees craft a specialized cocktail prior to the evening's entertainment, provided by internationally celebrated sand artist Kseniya Simonova.