Recruiting Startup FA Match Plans to Help Firms Tap International Markets

RIAs are increasingly competing with the biggest wealth managers for international and multinational clientele. FA Match is eager to help them.

(Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

(Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

FA Match, a startup that discreetly connects financial advisors with wealth managers seeking to hire them, recently added employees, including one to help firms with an international presence or offshore clients to leverage the recruiting platform.

Amy Rizzo, who was previously a regional executive for Raymond James’s Alex. Brown division and worked at Deutsche Bank, recently joined FA Match. She will lead new search and consulting services for advisors and firms with multinational clients or those offshore, the company said Thursday.

“Ryan and his team have a clear vision for where we will take this industry, and I could not be prouder to be a part of it,” Rizzo said in a statement about her hiring.

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“We’re especially eager to apply my background in international advisors and offshore clients — FA Match’s data-driven algorithm has the potential to eliminate the pain points that often exist with overseas recruiting.”

Rizzo will also help expand FA Match’s Advisor Agent, which offers one-on-one coaching and recruitment support for high performing advisors, and Propel, a white-glove, bespoke service with a personalized recruitment strategy and outreach to advisors.

The startup’s core product is a platform that discreetly connects financial advisors with wealth managers who are hiring, replacing much of the matchmaking a human recruiter might do. Companies searching for financial advisors pay a monthly fee of $200 and a flat $10,000 fee each time they hire one. There is no cost for advisors to create a profile, which FA Match uses to pair them with companies that might be a good fit.

FA Match also recently persuaded a traditional advisor recruiter and his colleagues to join it.

“I was honestly angry,” Michael Gardia told RIA Intel about the moment he learned of FA Match. Gardia, who worked as a financial advisor for 10 years and eventually started his own executive placement firm called Rival Sourcing in 2017, believed a human touch was necessary throughout the recruiting process. He reached out to FA Match co-founder and CEO Ryan Shanks.

“He wasn’t really a fan,” Shanks said. But they had “a very candid conversation” and Gardia was quickly persuaded.

“I just really liked what he was saying. I believe that this is the direction that recruiting needs to go in the financial advisor space,” Gardia said.

The recruiter was so convinced he met with his team of three others and they decided to join the startup. Like Rizzo, Gardia will be a managing director and his group plans to focus on helping advisors managing more than $500 million. “As both an advisor and a recruiter, I know how ground-breaking this platform is, and can be, for the entire industry.”

FA Match also hired Bonnie Noble, director of Customer Success, to lead sales, onboarding, and adoption for advisors and firms who use FA Match. Noble previously led onboarding and training programs for the aggregation platform CircleBlack.

Alex Katsabanis, vice president of recruiting, also joined FA Match to lead its “90-Day-Sprint,” a bespoke consulting service for wealth management firms who want FA Match to assist them in actively reaching out to advisors on their behalf.

“It’s such a great feeling to not sort of be alone when you’re an early stage startup,” Shanks said. “This is big for us.”

In December, FA Match raised $1 million in a pre-seed round of funding from a group of high-profile wealth management executives, including a mystery one). It continues to grow and through May 1, it facilitated 1,168 connection requests between advisors and firms. Through the first fourth months of the year, the company placed advisors managing an aggregate of more than $1 billion in assets.

Shanks co-founded FA Match in 2018 with longtime friend and software developer Eric Savage. The company now has 10 employees.

Michael Thrasher (@Mike_Thrasher) is a reporter at RIA Intel based in New York City.

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