10 Top Trends for RIAs, Dealmaking: DeVoe Summit

What You Need to Know

Hybrid work, RIA M&As, diversity and fintech were among the standout topics at the DeVoe M&A+ Succession Summit.

Companies that develop the right hybrid work formula are expected to attract the best talent.

More RIA firms need to create succession plans.

Hybrid work, RIA M&As, diversity and fintech were among the standout topics last week at the two-day DeVoe M&A+ Succession Summit in San Francisco that was also available to view virtually.

Here are the 10 top takeaways from the summit sessions that ThinkAdvisor covered Thursday and Friday: 1. Companies that develop the right hybrid work formula will win the talent war.

Charles Schwab started a hybrid work strategy in which staff members have all been given “90 days of flexibility to work from another location” aside from the office each year, Bernie Clark, head of Advisor Services at the firm, said during the Friday keynote.

“We think that’s a new demand of the workforce of the future,” he told attendees, predicting: “Whoever gets this more right — and I’m not saying we have it right [but] we have it more right than we used to… is going to attract the best talent.”

A lot of people are either happy to be back at their offices already or look forward to returning to their offices, he said. “But they want a little more flexibility; there’s nothing wrong with that. There might be a little less travel. Let’s not demonize the virtual world because we’re so tired of it.” Just make sure to use it “in an appropriate way,” he added.

Advisory firms have “always employed this flexibility,” he said, noting: “Their offices have been more open. Many advisory firms don’t have stated policies” around this.

He warned: “If you don’t show flexibility, you are going to have great challenges in the future attracting talent.”

Many advisors also “don’t want to live in expensive places” and are choosing to work from locations that are less costly and work remotely if the firm they are working for is located in a more expensive area, Clark said.

“That’s an interesting population of people for us to attract: Talent that sits somewhere other than where we are and yet they have what we need in capability,” he pointed out.In a panel session Thursday on the state of the RIA industry, Ben Harrison, managing director, at BNY Mellon | Pershing, said: “The appetite for a five-day” work week “in the office environment is gone.” Now, it’s “about creating an environment for employees and talent that really gets that balance of in-person as well as remote work and I don’t see that changing,” he added.During the same panel session, Ed Moore, special advisor at DeVoe & Co., said: “Advisors that I talk to today — those that have mature books — are saying they have no reason to go back into the office again.” 2. A potential area of concern is a weakening of relationships. Despite the growing desire among many advisors to continue working remotely and […]

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