Episode 256: Breaking the Traditional Investment Banking Mold with Jessica Polito
The wealth management space demands experts who not only understand its intricacies but also prioritize the interests of those they represent. Enter Jessica Polito, a seasoned professional who has dedicated her career to offering M&A advice exclusively within the wealth management realm.
Recognizing the need for a shift from the conventional investment banking paradigm, Jessica founded Turkey Hill Management in 2021. Jessica is shaking up the M&A landscape, especially in the wealth management space. With Turkey Hill Management, Jessica is sidestepping the traditional investment banking model. By not charging success fees, she is revolutionizing how M&A advisory services are provided.
THE UNCONVENTIONAL MODEL
Traditional investment banking relies heavily on success fees, but Jessica has chosen to sidestep this tradition. This is both brave and innovative. She attributed this decision to low overhead costs and the idea of aligning purely with the fiduciary she represents.
Jessica’s model ensures that the M&A advice is given without the shadow of a large success fee lurking behind. This keeps the advice pure and in the best interest of the client. Jessica clarified that her focus is genuine wealth management. The size of the firm isn’t a strict criterion as long as it falls within her expertise. Broker-dealers and alternative investments, for instance, aren’t in her wheelhouse.
INVESTMENT BANKING DEMYSTIFIED
Investment bankers play an essential role in crafting a company's presentation, ensuring it's attractively packaged for potential buyers or sellers. Beyond that, they're deeply involved in the bidding process, deal structuring, valuations, and much more. The overlapping roles between attorneys and investment bankers can sometimes blur the lines, but the good ones seamlessly bridge that gap.
In Jessica's experience, there isn't much difference between the role of traditional investment banks and boutique firms like hers. Whether you're on the buy-side or the sell-side, the processes and procedures are comparable, with the primary focus being on due diligence, negotiations, and ultimately reaching a signing point.
A PEEK INTO THE WEALTH MANAGEMENT M&A LANDSCAPE
Focusing on the wealth management space, we've seen an upward trend. With numerous deals across industries, the wealth management sector has emerged as a significant niche. Despite some initial headwinds, like fluctuating interest rates and unpredictable stock markets, the optimism remains buoyant.
Investment banking and wealth management M&A is as dynamic as it is intricate. With evolving trends, shifting market dynamics, and the never-ending quest for differentiation, the journey is as rewarding as it's challenging. It's a dance of numbers, negotiations, and nuances. And for those in the midst, keeping the bigger picture in view can often be the difference between a deal closed and a deal lost.
For my full discussion with Jessica Polito, and more on this topic and others discussed:
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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
If you want to start getting yourself deal-ready, check out the DealQuest Podcast with Corey Kupfer each week. Featuring industry leaders and newcomers as guests alike, the DealQuest podcast has something for everyone.