Unlocking Real Value Blog

AK In The News: RIA Expansion Strategies In 2013

Yesterday’s FundFire (a Financial Times Service) had an article on the expansion of an RIA into the NYC market in which I was asked to comment. Athena Capital Partners, a +$4 billion ultra high net worth client advisory firm from Boston opened a NYC office. The stated goal was to both service current clients as well as build the practice.

The firm had hoped to expand into this market in 2008, but those plans were put on hold because of the financial crisis.

Good strategy? Yes – I think in light of what is going to be a tough year (check our recent blogs on the 2013 outlook), this is a relatively low-risk, cost-effective means of trying to expand. Importantly, the plan includes efforts to better serve current clients, which I think is the key to 2013 success. It’s important for all firms to protect their current base of business in what is sure to be a tough asset-gathering year. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to clients than to move service personnel closer to them?

Opening a satellite office is certainly less risky than acquiring a firm and/or merging. While NYC is an expensive place to operate, it also does have a large concentration of assets.

As I say in the article: “Focusing on support of existing clients is particularly apt as a 2013 strategy, says Andrew Klausner, principal of AK Advisory Partners. “It’s going to be a tough year, politically and economically, and I don’t think clients will be willing to move providers,” he says. “So firms need to protect their current client base. Client servicing is an important theme this year, and for the ultra wealthy, it’s even more important.” Klausner also calls a firm moving closer to its clients with a new office a “low-risk strategy in a tough environment to grow.””



Leave a Reply