Financial advisor acquisitions are multiplying. Their pace is likely to accelerate as graying advisors retire. This prompted us to commission research on what separates the most successful acquisitions from the rest.

Advisors who seek and implement acquisitions without understanding the challenges may rush into too-expensive deals that fail to retain clients or boost the bottom line. Advisors who manage the process best achieve what we call "alpha acquisitions" that make them "very satisfied." They also have higher client retention rates. Only 25% of advisors achieve this success, according to our research.

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