Understanding Firms and Advisors



The Business Development app leverages the power of Practifi’s award-winning business management platform to bring users comprehensive lifecycle management of growth through mergers and acquisitions. We’ve taken the best of Practifi’s core capabilities and made them available to teams responsible for business development, whether through M&A activity or growing your network. You have access to Firm and Advisor Key Entity records to track your connections and network growth within the Business Development app. This article explains Firm and Advisor Key Entity records and their usage. Please consult our Understanding and Using the Business Development App article for additional information about the Business Development app. 

Firms and Advisors

With the Business Development app in Practifi, you have access to the Key Entity record types of Firms and Advisors. These records are used to track your firm's growth in your network and the potential acquisition of these entities. Firms and Advisors are both captured as Key Entities in your Practifi instance, which means they benefit from the full range of functional capabilities available to those records:

  • Workflow automation and task management with Processes & Tasks

  • Engagement management with Activities

  • The Feed for collaboration between team members

  • Tracking referrals with Influence

  • Relationships to capture links with other people or groups, no matter what those links are

  • Informal tag-based classification with Topics

  • Notes and Files to comprehensively archive any content related to the relationship

These records work similarly to Households, Organizations and Individuals but with the added functionality of the acquisition lifecycle.

The Acquisition Lifecycle

The acquisition lifecycle tracks the key stages that occur on the way to a finalized acquisition of a Firm or an Advisor. These stages are outlined below:

  • Consideration: A shortlist of firms and advisors you’re considering making an offer to.

  • Contention: The prospects in contention for acquisition, with offers directly made to them.

  • Due Diligence: Prospects who have signed a letter of intent, and are ready to proceed. Manage the background checks and other tasks performed to validate your decision.

  • Onboarding: Firms and advisors that are currently in the process of joining your company.

  • Acquired: The acquisition is complete, and now a part of your firm, contributing to your growth.

Lifecycle progression is handled with contextual actions. For example, a firm under consideration has access to the Promote to Contender action in the Actions menu on the record page. This action progresses the record from Consideration to Contention. However, firms at other lifecycle stages will not see Promote to Contender as an available action.

The lifecycle stage of a Firm or Advisor record is treated as a definition. This means it appears alongside the record’s name in important areas of the app, such as on its record page, in the Directory and on the search results page.

Trackable Data

We’ve made significant extensions to the Entity object, providing a comprehensive set of fields for capturing crucial data points in the acquisition lifecycle. These fields are outlined in the table below. Please note that fields in italics aren’t visible on-screen by default to minimize clutter, however, they can be enabled if desired.

Field Section Field Name Notes
Top Section Year Founded  
Services Offered  
Employees Employees   
Number of Offices  
Number of Advisors  
Number of Principals  
Discretionary AUM The total value of managed assets where buy and sell decisions are made by the firm on behalf of their clients.

Non-Discretionary AUM

The total value of managed assets where buy and sell decisions are made by the clients themselves, and the advisor or firm must be granted approval before making any of their own.
Foreign AUM  

Charitable Organization AUM


High Net-Worth AUM


Non-High Net-Worth AUM

Business Metrics


Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Number of Clients


AUM per Client


High Net-Worth Clients


Non-High Net-Worth Clients


Foreign Clients


Charitable Organizations


Clients Average Age


Estimated Revenue


Number of Referrals per Year


Average Client Tenure


Fee Standard




Valuation Date


Standard of Value








Book Fit

How well do the investments they manage fit your strategy and philosophy? Use an agreed-upon rating scale, e.g. 0 - 5, 0 - 10 or 0 - 100.

Client Fit

How well do their clients fit your desired demographics? Use an agreed-upon rating scale, e.g. 0 - 5, 0 - 10 or 0 - 100.

Culture Fit

How well does their organizational culture fit your own? Use an agreed-upon rating scale, e.g. 0 - 5, 0 - 10 or 0 - 100.

Investment Philosophy


Tech Stack






Portfolio Manager




Financial Planning



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