January 2, 2023
How important are M&A deals as part of Robertson Stephens’ overall growth strategy?
M&A plays an important role in our overall growth strategy as does organic growth; however, we don’t believe in aggregation for aggregation’s sake. When we are looking to merge with another firm, we want to ensure that our clients benefit from the transaction. I believe that M&A will continue to be resilient in 2023 because there are strong secular reasons for mergers. However, buyers are becoming more selective, and valuations and deal structures may be different. For Robertson Stephens, philosophical alignment will continue to be a very important element for mergers. Advisors attracted to us believe that the components of a great client experience include a curated investment portfolio, a comprehensive wealth plan allowing the client to build a legacy, and intuitive technology under a fee-only, fiduciary standard. We continue to grow because we never lose sight of our values and our advisors share a common goal of constantly evolving and providing world class client service.
The latest development adds teams in California and the East Coast. How geographically diverse is the firm now and are there areas where it wants to expand into?
Robertson Stephens Wealth Management commenced operations five years ago in San Francisco and New York, and today operates sixteen offices across eight states in the west coast, mountain west, Texas and the northeast. While we are not focused on specific geographic areas, we are aiming to find high quality teams that align with Robertson Stephens in attractive markets all over the country. Teams that have joined us have tended to share our partnership culture, philosophy, and belief in a comprehensive wealth management service.
What are the top priorities of clients at the moment and what sort of help are they seeking help with?
Current market volatility and possibility of a recession next year has been concerning for our clients. During market turmoil our role as wealth managers is to ensure that our clients have wealth plans in place and that their assets are appropriately allocated to a robust set of traditional, and if relevant, alternative assets. It is especially important during times of volatility that we advise clients to not act rashly and thoughtfully make their investment decisions in conjunction with their wealth plans while purposely rebalancing portfolios and revisiting assumptions. At Robertson Stephens, we regularly publish internally generated commentary on the economic outlook and financial markets to help advisors have thorough discussions with clients and support them on investments and planning to reassure them in stressed times.