Deal making in the wealth-management space has been rampant lately, and some holding companies and individual RIAs are beginning to see opportunities in Europe.
Focus Financial Partners, a two-year-old holding company with 15 RIA partners and over $26 billion in assets under management, recently acquired U.K.-based Greystone Financial Services for an undisclosed amount. Greystone serves over 5,000 high-net-worth individuals and corporations and manages over $1.6 billion in assets.
The deal gives Focus a foothold in a major financial services hub with a market that is arguably growing faster than in the U.S. It also marks the first international acquisition among the major holding companies, and has some wondering whether it will launch a race across the pond for more firms.
Rudy Adolf, Focus Financial's founder and CEO, believes the U.K. has the potential for more international partnerships with other firms. “I hate to say it, but London attracts more international players than New York.” He's not the only one who thinks so. Sontag Advisory, a Westport, Conn.-based RIA with over $4 billion in assets is also looking for partners in England and Switzerland. “We're looking for ways to get access to the best managers, and those are increasingly not in New York,” says Mike Delgass, an advisor at the firm.