Guide to Industry Conferences: M&A

Get The Essentials On The ECHELON Partners Deals & Dealmakers Summit And DeVoe & Company’s M&A+ Succession Summit
David DeVoe, CEO and Founder, DeVoe & Company and Dan Seivert, CEO and Managing Partner, ECHELON Partners
David DeVoe, CEO and Founder, DeVoe & Company and Dan Seivert, CEO and Managing Partner, ECHELON Partners

So you’re still not sure which of the seemingly endless wealth management industry conferences it pays for you to attend in 2024? That’s why WSR publishes our Guide To Industry Conferences!

We explain when and where the crucial events are scheduled to be held this year, along with who attends and why they show up.

Our latest entry in the series, on M&A, covers the ECHELON Partners Deals & Dealmakers Summit and DeVoe & Company’s M&A+ Succession Summit.

These are the industry’s two major annual M&A events that those who work for wealth management firms flock to year after year.

Earlier this year, DeVoe & Company released its annual RIA M&A Outlook Report exploring advisors’ perspectives on trends in M&A, including the current motivations and barriers involved with acquiring or selling.

Highlights included: 65% of respondents said they expected to make an acquisition during the next two years – the highest percentage in at least four years; only 18% of respondents said they believed their next generation of internal leaders could afford to buy out the owners, dropping the NextGen Affordability Index to a crisis level; and 57% cited liquidity as a key driver in their decision to sell.

Expectations for valuations were mixed but trended positive. Advisors expected valuations to remain flat or decline in 2024. Respondents anticipated an increase in valuations in the next year doubled to 16% in 2023.

ECHELON Partners Deals & Dealmakers Summit

The Manhattan Beach, California-based investment bank ECHELON Partners will host its annual Deals & Dealmakers Summit (DDM) from Aug. 28 to 29 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California for the second year in a row.

Last year’s DDM gathered over 200 C-suite executives, over 50 industry experts and more than 25 speakers. This year, 24 speakers and 36 industry experts on M&A, strategy, leadership and solutions for dealmaking are slated.

The two-day event will kick off with a golf tournament at Monarch Beach Golf Links and end with a Surfing Social at Salt Creek Beach, which Daniel Seivert, ECHELON CEO and Managing Partner, said is a “first for an industry conference in wealth management.”

This year’s theme is “Answering The Call for Next-Level Management,” Seivert told WSR.

When industry analysts ask “what is the most important differentiator between acquirors in the wealth management space,” the answer is often the “quality of their Private Equity partner,” Seivert said. “And when those same analysts ask that question of PE firms investing in the space, they [again say] the “quality of the horses (i.e., the management team running the company).”

More than 30 high-level executives and founders have “moved on from their leadership positions,” including Rudy Adolph, Ron Carson, Scott Hanson and Pat McClain, Seivert also pointed out.

This year’s event will “outline the evolution in the management skills required to achieve success as firms go from an entrepreneurial phase to more of a corporate phase in terms of scale and sophistication,” Seivert continued.

Mark Tibergien, former CEO, BNY Mellon | Pershing
Mark Tibergien, former CEO, BNY Mellon | Pershing

One big difference between last year’s DDM and 2024’s is “Mark Tibergien is back,” Seivert said. Seivert and the management consultant and former CEO of BNY Mellon’s Pershing Advisor Solutions, have “engaged in a presidential style keynote debate for 10 years running and, after taking a year off in 2023, Tibergien is back with more vigor than ever,” said the ECHELON CEO.

The two executives will provide their opposing views on “six of the most polarizing and important topics facing the wealth management industry and then will turn to the audience to let them vote for the side of the argument they agree with most,” Seivert pointed out. “True to this year’s theme,” they will “define and debate the importance of management skill in achieving success with dealmaking,” according to Seivert.

Another key part of this year’s DDM is that ECHELON is working with FiComm Partners for the sixth consecutive year to “take the communications and networking elements of The DDM Summit to even higher levels,” Seivert said.

There will also be three sessions that he said are devoted to cutting-edge topics for dealmakers: advanced concepts of deal structuring, valuation and legal terms; private credit’s growing influence in wealth management M&A; and “Rise of the Minority Investment – Creative Deal Structures, Enhanced Flexibility, and Value-Add Strategic Partnerships.”

To attend the event, the non-advisor fee is $1,400 and the advisor fee is $995.

“ECHLON’s Ask The Experts program allows attendees to conduct four one-on-one meetings that help them answer key questions and initiate valuable advisory relationships.”

Dan Seivert, CEO and Managing Partner, ECHELON Partners

Seivert said: “We already have 35 of the industry’s leading consultants and subject matter thought leaders signed up to participate in ECHLON’s Ask The Experts program, which allows attendees at the event to conduct four one-on-one meetings that help them answer key questions and initiate valuable advisory relationships in new areas that are important to their success.”

In addition, “we have 30 of the industry’s leading dealmakers as speakers and moderators for the 10 sessions spread over the two days,” Seivert noted.

There will be more than 200 C-level executives “all convening to consume ECHELON’s 404-level curriculum that takes a deep dive into dealmaking in wealth management and covers the most important issues associated with: legal, tax, accounting, deal structuring, valuation, negotiation, people, compensation, business models, financing, trends with buyers and sellers, deal volume, private equity and the evolution of the industry,” Seivert added.

DeVoe & Company’s M&A+ Succession Summit

The San Francisco-based wealth management M&A consultancy DeVoe & Company will host its annual M&A+ Succession Summit from Sept. 11 to 13 at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.

“Earliest” bird pricing to attend is $795 and available for only a limited time, the firm says at its website. That discounted pricing will be available through the end of July, according to David DeVoe, CEO and Founder of DeVoe & Company.

Topics will include the current state and outlook for RIA M&A, the state of the RIA industry, lessons from seasoned acquirers for prospective sellers, and transition stories from peers.

According to the event website, 2024 event partners and companies that will be represented by speakers include Cerity Partners, Charles Schwab, Allworth, Mercer Advisors, BNY Mellon | Pershing, Wealthspire and

This year’s keynote speakers will include Kurt Miscinski, CEO of Cerity Partners, and Claire O’Keefe, that firm’s Head of Partner Development, DeVoe said. Also speaking will be Norm Cook, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Development at Sequoia Financial Group.

Sessions on the 2023 agenda included “Lessons from Seasoned Acquirers”; “Changing of the Guard: The Succession Conversation”; “State of the Union: Wealth Management Industry Outlook”; “Valuations and Deal Structure in Today’s Market”; “Four Funerals and a Wedding: Dos and Don’ts for M&A and Succession”; and “Financing Your M&A and Succession Plans.”

Jeff Berman, Contributing Editor & Reporter at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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