Tim Bello, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Merchant Investment Management, doesn’t care much for boxes. Merchant has consistently been inserted into the private equity box. He’ll be the first (and second and third) to tell you that Merchant is not a private equity firm, but rather an operating company, stacked with resources, focused on people first and the deal second. Give Tim a square piece of cardboard and he will throw in Merchant’s permanent capital focus, their super-talented and very seasoned operating team, and their desire to be active partners to the RIAs and wealth management firms in which they take minority stakes. The formula is a winning one, with Merchant investing in over 30 RIAs and wealth management firms in the last 2 years. Listen to this 21st episode of Can You Hold My Attention? and hear Tim’s thoughts on industry consolidation, the key ingredients in a good deal, and what Merchant’s partner firms value much more than the capital they received from Merchant.