Some of the nation’s top leaders and service providers in the registered investment adviser industry recently converged on the elegant Wynn Las Vegas resort and casino for DeVoe Elevate 2022, a two-day conference hosted by DeVoe and Company.
Known for its work in M&A, DeVoe and Company split the event into two themes — how to best attract and retain top talent, and how to achieve high-level organic growth. As an agency that specializes in working with RIA firms on these strategies through marketing, Gregory FCA had the chance to share our thinking in one of the sessions, as well as hear from others inside RIA firms.
Among the key takeaways from the presentations and panel discussions was the need to prioritize employees, which contributes to growth for both the individual and the firm.
“We want to incentivize the right behavior,” said James Horrocks, chief executive officer of TimeScale Financial, adding those incentives should aim to promote not only professional development but also retention and teamwork.
“You have to look at nonfinancial components of what it’s like to be an employee at the firm — including recognition, well-being, career pathing and learning,” added Cerity Partners Partner and Chief People Officer Carol Benz.
One of the most compelling discussions focused on how firms that cultivate talent and pave the path for the next generation of leadership should navigate the process of finding a “G2,” a second-generation advisor who can take the reins of the firm from the founder. Panelists broke down the process from start to finish, spending the bulk of the time on the negotiation process.
Kirsten Petras, executive director of sales at Oak Street Funding, sought to dispel what she says is a common myth among RIAs — that the founder is most worried about the money at stake.
“I think that’s the farthest from the truth,” Petras said, adding founders are more concerned about all of the pieces being in place for a G2 financing plan to get to the finish line.
Another key theme at DeVoe Elevate was how achieving year-over-year, double-digit organic growth depends on implementing a plan to achieve it, segmenting the client base and operating a successful client referral program. Many speakers discussed the key role of a digital marketing campaign in this endeavor, noting that it has become critical to building a client base.
Gregory FCA President Joe Anthony took part in a lively panel discussion on that very topic, joining representatives from digital marketing company Snappy Kraken and BizEquity, an online business-valuation software company.
“How do you turn heads and get people to engage your brand?” Anthony said while laying out the goals behind a successful digital marketing campaign. “How do you deliver content that represents something new … and drives marketing and sales efforts? There’s not a lot of compulsion to think outside [of the box].”
He suggested companies that differentiate themselves from competitors, while targeting their desired demographic of client prospects, are most likely to see success through their marketing efforts.
(photo/courtesy: Jab Buhay/Life In Vegas Photography)