This outlines the Opus criteria for acquisitions for a financial advisory practice. While there's no single "right" way, we like to lay out our “must-haves” and other important deal points to save everybody a lot of time.


  • We are looking for advisors who truly want to sell at a pretty defined date. If you desire to “merge” to have a long-term succession plan, that is not of interest to us.
  • You’re looking for somebody with impeccable ethics and very much care how well your succeeding advisor will take care of your clients.

Structure & Price

  • We are not trying to squeeze anybody for “every last dime.” We are willing to pay a “normal” price such as 3rd party firms like FP Transitions provide so long as we don’t see any particular risk.
  • While we are willing to put a percentage of the deal price down upfront. We must have the seller share in the client retention risk with some meaningful part of the deal price.


  • Leading up to a close date or very shortly thereafter we would want to merge your clients in our performance software and CRM.
  • We use Orion currently with the support of a multi-billion RIA. We don’t think Orion is great but it’s the best we have found. We would be open to another system if we found something better.
  • We use SmartSuite as our CRM and have spent many hours customizing it. We are not open so using another system. We would want to import all your client data into SmartSuite which is relatively easy to do.

The Opus Investment Philosophy

We have a pretty simple investment philosophy:

  • For asset allocation – we use GMO or Research Affiliates style, valuation-based, capital market assumptions to come up with reasonable 10-year return expectations on the asset classes we use. Then we gradually “over-rebalance” out of the asset classes that have done well into what is cheaper. We don’t believe in trying to market time next year’s returns nor having a static portfolio.
  • Warren Buffett-style security selection – By this, we mean concentrated, value investing. When I ask my clients to pay for active management, I want my client’s money in the manager’s best ideas. Therefore, if we look at an equity fund and the biggest holding is 2%, we will automatically pass.
  • We are very open to using passive funds/ETFs in asset classes we deem to have an average or cheap price. The more expensive an asset class, the less we want to look like the index.
  • We do use private investments when we think we can access something truly special and unique
  • For Qualified Purchaser clients we have access to a cheap hedge we use to reduce systemic risk
  • Do not use high-commission investment products and would not be interested in acquiring a book of business where that was a meaningful part of the AUM.

The Opus Planning Philosophy

  • Our planning process is very comprehensive. We have a checklist of over 750 items we have collected over 20 years to remind us of all the ways we can add value to clients. At each meeting, we pick the 10-20 items that can move the needle the most for our clients.
  • We have a lot of experience with the most complex estate planning techniques. We also use Holistplan and our checklist to perform forward-looking tax planning.
  • When we build financial models we tend to keep it simple as they usually change a lot with 24-36 months of building them.
  • The RIA we are affiliated with has a true-blue Family Office out of Greenwich Connecticut should your biggest clients necessitate that level of care.


  • Our philosophy with employees is “we want the highest wages with the lowest wage costs” (I stole this from Jack Welch.) That means hiring great employees who are much more efficient than the average firm. So far, this has worked very well for us.
  • As I write this in 2024, I can say that we have a wonderful, trusting, and supportive team culture.
  • I’m happy for you to interview our team

The Future for Opus

  • I love what I do and have no plans to ever retire.
  • I plan on growing the firm a little at a time, I care more about excellence than I do about getting big. We are at a size that is financially comfortable for me.
  • One of my intermediate goals is to find an advisor I can mentor to be a “backup.” (vacations, illness, etc…)
  • I do have a succession plan in case I die suddenly where I know the CIO well and our client’s investments would be well taken care of.

If this philosophy resonates please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Thank you for your interest!