As 2018 comes to a close, we pause to reflect on the past year we’ve had here at PFI Advisors.  We added a new employee to our team in June and our Director of Transition Amusement started kindergarten in August!  We have continued to focus our work of achieving operational efficiencies at RIAs and helping breakaway advisors attain financial independence.  We launched a new retainer-based and award nominated service, COO Resource, in January and our M&A Support Services have become our fastest-growing service offering.  Throughout the year, we worked with firms that collectively manage over $47 billion of client assets.  We are prepared to enter 2019 with even more dedication to our mission:

To further evolve the RIA industry from a collection of practices to businesses, and to be a continued voice in validating the industry as a legitimate landing spot for billion-dollar teams and their clients.

We published 30 blog posts this past year detailing best practices for RIAs, and released two industry white papers featuring 10 of the top RIAs in the country who collectively manage over $58 billion for their clients.  We are committed to publishing more content in 2019, with our goal of educating readers and provoking operational thinking from a different perspective.  As a prelude to next year’s thought leadership initiatives, we released the intro episode to our new podcast panel series, The COO Roundtable, which will feature an interview with two or three COOs per episode discussing the strategies they incorporate to successfully tackle their day-to-day responsibilities.  We hope you enjoy, and we wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and safe new year!

PFI Advisors’ Most Popular Blog Posts of 2018

 Don’t Let the Wirehouses Lie to You About Technology…  by Matt Sonnen

It has become widely acknowledged and accepted that the technologies available in the RIA channel are more sophisticated and up-to-date than the technologies offered by the large wirehouses.  The RIA channel is known for its freedom to shop The Street for best-of-breed solutions, and work with a variety of industry experts to best leverage integrations…

3 Requirements for Successful Project Management  by Anna Maria Garcia

As an operations and technology consulting firm that works with both breakaway advisors and existing RIAs in growth mode, we have become adept at project management and the importance of maintaining a strict schedule with many moving parts.  Building an RIA from scratch is typically a 10-month project that requires work over long nights and…

Ready to Take Your Firm to the Next Level? Let Professional Management Lead the Way… by PFI Advisors

As RIAs grow, they continue to struggle with the optimization of their back office operations to achieve increased profitability as they gain clients and additional AUM.  It’s no secret that there are inefficiencies that creep into RIAs’ processes over time, and it is our experience that at some point in the evolution of the firm…

Mark Tibergien’s Latest Book Could Put RIA Consultants Out of Business by Matt Sonnen

As a consultant to both breakaway advisors and RIAs, some may question my title to this article, and others may question my timing, as “The Enduring Advisory Firm: How to Serve Your Clients More Effectively and Operate More Efficiently” was released over a year ago.  To the first point, any RIA struggling with profitability in…

PFI Advisors and Laserfiche Join to Discuss “M&A Through the Operational Lens” by PFI Advisors

We have been long-time proponents of the notion that RIAs need top tier technology infrastructure to support growth through M&A.  Many would-be Buyers mistakenly think, “If I’m the one writing the check, it is the Seller who needs to impress me.”  What they often fail to realize is that the current M&A market for RIAs…

Highlighted Blog Posts of 2018

5 Questions to Ask About Your Technology Infrastructure by Larissa Marcontell Sonnen

RIAs regularly review their clients’ financial goals and portfolios.  They should also service themselves with the same care and consistency with an internal review of their technology infrastructure and back office.  This analysis should cover the following core systems: custodian interface, performance reporting/portfolio accounting, CRM, financial planning, trading and rebalancing, and client portal.  As part of this review…

Dual-Contract SMAs vs. Single-Contract SMAs – Which is Best for You and Your Clients?  by Alex Webb

The most common question we receive from breakaway advisors is, “If I start an RIA, how do I recreate the products and services I’ve always had available to me during my career in the wirehouse?”  This line of thinking often leads to questions around Lending and Alternative Investments, and inevitably lands at Separately Managed Accounts….

Calling All Misfits, Dreamers, and Rugged Individualists by Matt Sonnen

PFI Advisors has not been around long enough for me to start giving entrepreneurial advice, but the entrepreneurial conversation does come up quite often in our day-to-day discussions with breakaway advisors thinking of starting their own RIA.  As we have written in the past (see: Top 3 Questions Every Breakaway Advisor Asks), there are many…


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