News & FAQs

Backed by Lincoln Investment, Two Longtime RIA Execs Seek to Acquire Fee-Only Firms

New RIA aggregator on the block, Transcend, formed by execs from Mercer and Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, partners with Lincoln Investment to invest in growing fee-only RIAs.

Transcend Partner Group, a new consolidator of registered investment advisors led by two seasoned RIA executives, has partnered with Lincoln Investment Planning, a hybrid RIA and broker/dealer to fund and bring to market a new wealth management platform for fee-only RIAs.

Read the full article by Ali Hibbs on

Veterans of CI-purchased and Hightower-backed RIAs launch their own aggregator

Scott Rister and Paul Stetz are taking the helm of Transcend Partner Group, which is backed by broker-dealer Lincoln Investment.

There’s a new RIA aggregator on the block, and it’s hired a pair of top executives from RIAs associated with mega-firms to get it rolling.

Scott Rister and Paul Stetz are taking the helm of Transcend Partner Group, a newly launched RIA acquirer backed by independent brokerage firm Lincoln Investment.

Read the full article by Ian Wenik on

There is record M&A activity and many potential buyers. What should I be looking for?

You must first start with an honest evaluation of where you are today, how you got to where you are and, most importantly, where you want to be in the future. Status quo is most likely not a viable option given the growing number of investors looking for professional assistance, a general shortage of talent in the industry, and the competitive scale and wealth management services larger organizations are offering in market today.

At Transcend we believe there are several key components to any potential transaction that must be considered, starting with these five:

  1. Firm Valuation: Getting the best price today may not align with other priorities, but you should know and receive a fair market price for your organization.
  2. Deal Structure: Upfront cash versus an earn out and longer-term capital participation. The details here are important.
  3. On-going Operations: The level of autonomy and support in decision making and daily operations, access to resources, potential impact on the client experience, and other policies and procedures that could be disruptive to your organization.
  4. Longer-term Opportunity: The potential for a “second bite of the apple” for current owners, and the opportunity for high-potential talent to lead and become owners.
  5. Culture: Ultimately the most important factor, as long-term culture will determine the success—and relative happiness—of the organization. This isn’t about the numbers or what is on a piece of paper, but the trust and alignment of values that individuals and organizations live out daily.
Why should I be thinking about a transaction NOW?

What is most important is making an informed decision and then putting a plan in place. You absolutely have options. However, fewer than 35% of RIAs have actionable succession plans, and if this pandemic has taught us one thing it is that anything is possible and, therefore, we need to be prepared. Depending on talent, internal succession plans can take five plus years to be feasible as they require both a skill set and financial commitment. And they will require a willingness on the part of founders and owners to sell at a significant discount during this time of record-high valuations and assume the counter-party risk associated with financing an internal transaction.

Our goal is to first understand where the firm has come from and what your vision is for the future of the current owners, your team, and your clients. We’ll then discuss the pros and cons of the options that are available to you and our vision for how best to compete, attract, develop and retain talent. We’ll also talk about how to best serve investors in this rapidly evolving segment of financial services and determine if there is a path forward together.

WHY is there a transition in my future?

Unless yours is one of the few firms that has already been sold to a 3rd party—regardless of whether you are a first-, second- or third-generation owner—there is a transaction in your future. It may be three months or three years from now but, with the valuations in the market today, every firm should have a succession plan in place and be thinking about and planning for the next transaction.

At Transcend Partner Group, we provide solutions that allow current owners to realize the value of what has been built while also providing support and an opportunity to continue to grow the business, serve clients, and provide leadership and financial opportunities for current and future leaders.

Lincoln Investment Planning, LLC Announces Agreement with Transcend Partner Group

Transaction Supports a Commitment to Deliver an Industry-Leading RIA Platform

Fort Washington, PA - Lincoln Investment Planning, LLC (Lincoln Investment), a leading full-service broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) founded in 1968, today announced it is joining forces with Transcend Partner Group (Transcend), a national consolidator of registered investment advisers. Transcend will be a subsidiary of Lincoln Investment Capital Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Lincoln Investment.

Transcend's partnership with Lincoln provides a unique, long-term/private capital structure that supports a commitment to delivering an industry-leading RIA platform and creates an enduring enterprise for generations to come. Transcend provides a differentiated solution for founders and owners and next generation talent, serving the expanding needs of investors.

"Lincoln Investment is focused on serving investors and enhancing our capabilities as their needs grow. We have been interested in opportunities to work with advisors to deepen relationships with existing clients and continue to attract new ones," said CEO and President Ed Forst, Lincoln Investment.

Transcend is led by co-founder and CEO Scott Rister, who brings a 20-plus-year track record of leadership and relationship management within the RIA industry. Prior to starting Transcend, Scott served as president, Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, a $3.5 billion RIA. He previously held multiple senior roles at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. including vice president and general manager, Schwab Compliance Solutions, and several senior roles within the advisor services division of Charles Schwab.

Rister is joined by co-founder and President Paul Stetz, who brings the experience of having served in many sectors of the RIA industry. Among his roles, Stetz was chief operating officer of Fairport Wealth ($3.3B in AUM), a managing director in the M&A group of Mercer Advisors, one of the leading acquirers within the space, and held regional sales and relationship leadership roles at both Fidelity Institutional and Schwab Advisor Services.

"We were looking for an RIA solution and found it in Transcend," added Forst. "We are excited to welcome Scott and Paul to our leadership team. They bring deep relationships across the RIA ecosystem and proven executive leadership to oversee the success of the new business."

Rister and Stetz started Transcend in early 2022 with a focus on bringing a differentiated solution to the M&A space and partnering with like-minded growth-focused firms that share their values and passion for culture and talent.

"Joining forces with Lincoln provides us with a trusted partner, that shares our vision for the RIA business rooted in talent, relationships and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit,"said Rister. "With immediate access to private long-term capital and an operating infrastructure, this partnership accelerates our strategy for building a business that offers RIAs a holistic wealth management platform. Advisors under Transcend maintain a high level of autonomy to manage their business and serve clients in the way they do best."

DeVoe & Company introduced Transcend to Lincoln Investment.

About Lincoln Investment

With over 50 years of proven industry leadership and experience in delivering investment strategies, Lincoln Investment is a leading broker-dealer. Its network includes over 1,000 financial professionals nationwide. The company serves the diverse financial needs of over 355,000 clients representing $49 billion in assets. Lincoln has been voted one of the Top Workplaces in the Delaware Valley for the 13th consecutive year.

Close Announcement