EP 30: An Investment Banker’s Perspective on Building an RIA Firm for Maximum Value
With special guest Liz Nesvold of Silver Lane Advisors
Understanding an RIA firm’s value—and why building your business with the end in mind is one of the most critical directives an RIA firm owner should follow.
For many advisors, the choice to build an independent firm over other available options – from remaining a captive employee on through to joining an existing RIA – is typically rooted in having a strong entrepreneurial nature and desire to create equity and value in the longer term. Yet, the latter is where many business owners get stuck.
How do you build an independent firm designed to achieve a goal of maximizing enterprise value?
As founder and managing partner of Silver Lane Advisors – the investment bank behind the legendary First Republic acquisition of Luminous Capital, as well as a host of other headline-making deals – Liz Nesvold is well-positioned to provide solid advice on the topic.
Liz shares some inside baseball on what it really takes to set up your RIA firm for success, as she and Mindy discuss:
- What differentiates a business from a practice.
- When it makes sense for a firm to raise debt financing over selling equity—and how it impacts enterprise value.
- How service providers have influenced the growth of the independent space, as well as their intrinsic value to firms.
- What key attributes make a firm attractive to potential acquirers.
- Who the most active buyers are and how this list has changed over the past few years.
- What can be expected in the way of M&A activity over the next 5 to 10 years.
- And ultimately, what it means to build your firm with the end in mind—and why it’s one of the most critical directives a business owner should follow.
Based on the options, support and growing appetite for M&A, “This is the greatest opportunity for going independent that we’ve seen in the last 25 years,” Liz shares.
It’s an episode for those considering the independent space and seeking a better understanding of the long-term opportunities, as well as current firm owners who have their sights set on maximizing their firm’s potential.
About Liz Nesvold:
Liz has been described as “the most experienced female investment banker specializing in the investment management and securities industry” by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine. She is the founder and Managing Partner of Silver Lane Advisors, an investment banking boutique that is consistently among the most active M&A advisors in the industry.
Over the past 25-plus years, Liz has advised on approximately 170 investment banking engagements involving institutional managers (both traditional and alternative), trust companies, multi-family offices, investment counselors, financial planners and investment consultants. Past clients include First Republic Bank, Constellation Wealth, Prudential, Evercore, and Old Mutual, among others. Prior to founding Silver Lane, Liz spent 15 years at another investment bank, where she co-founded and led the first wealth management M&A advisory group in the industry. She was one of two female partners at the time of her departure, and also served on the operating committee.
A frequent speaker at numerous industry conferences and seminars, Liz has also authored several articles, including “Who’ll Be Left Standing” and “How to Make Money in Wealth Management,” Trust & Estates, and “How to Sell the Family Business (Without Losing Your Sanity)” for Private Wealth Management. She also co-authored The Art of M&A Valuation, published by McGraw-Hill.
Liz earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Binghamton University, and an MBA in Finance with high honors from the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University. Liz is also a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, the Edward L. Rose Conservancy, and 100 Women in Finance. Liz lives in New York City with her husband and their daughter.