When considering the purchase of a small firm, financial advisers are wise not to get stuck in "a little nuance" regarding price, says Scott Brown, a Raymond James wealth manager. "I'm not saying pay double what you should, but if the seller's price is reasonable you can make it work," Brown says. Another key to success is building personal relationships with high-net-worth clients, encompassing more of their lives than just their wealth management, says Gerry Klingman, who runs a $1.3 billion practice.

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