Nicholas Schorsch isn't done with the advisory space yet.
Having already agreed to buy independent B-Ds Cetera Financial Group and J.P. Turner earlier this year, the hard charging executive chairman of RCS Capital wants to snap up an investment research firm, an RIA and a family office -- in addition to putting on a major industry event modeled on Charles Schwab's annual Impact conference.
A "fully independent" investment research unit would add "massive credibility" to RCS' advisory and brokerage business, says Schorsch, who sat down for an exclusive conversation with the editors of Financial Planning. Although a research unit would probably not be "super profitable," it would nonetheless "increase confidence and decrease risk" for clients and advisors at RCS's retail divisions, which include not only Cetera and Turner but also First Allied Holdings, Investors Capital Holdings and Summit Financial Services Group, he says.
Acquiring a research company will be a priority for RCS this year, Schorsch declares. The investment will be worthwhile even if it produces "zero dollars," he adds: Research "makes investors smarter. It will be the backbone of our growth."
SEEKING ADVISORY FIRMS
Buying one or more independent advisory firms and family offices is also part of RCS' growth and diversification strategy, Schorsch says. He praised the growth and advisory model of RIA business and described family offices as critical for their "aspirational" value.
RCS needs to present a large industry event for its 9,000-plus advisors as early as this year, Schorsch says. Using Schwab's Impact conference as a model, he says the event will feature expert speakers and educational sessions on key industry topics, as well as displays and presentations from product sponsors.
The event will be an "open forum to share thoughts and ideas," Schorsch says. "The more exposure advisors have, the better it will be."
RCS will also continue to look for independent broker-dealers to acquire, Schorsch says, but he made clear none would likely top the $1.15 billion Cetera deal, which he described as "transformative" for the company.
He did, however, say he expects other companies to swoop in to the IBD market to make major acquisitions and further industry consolidation: "This is the right time to be buying."
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