Gobbling Up RIAs

The folks at Focus Financial are on a roll. The RIA holding company, which began operating just over a year ago, snatched up three more RIA firms in late January, bringing total acquisitions to nine and assets under management to $15 billion. The firm plans to keep up this pace, estimating it will do 30 to 50 deals over the next three to five years. Rudy Adolf, CEO of Focus, founded the firm in January

The folks at Focus Financial are on a roll. The RIA holding company, which began operating just over a year ago, snatched up three more RIA firms in late January, bringing total acquisitions to nine and assets under management to $15 billion. The firm plans to keep up this pace, estimating it will do 30 to 50 deals over the next three to five years.

Rudy Adolf, CEO of Focus, founded the firm in January 2006 with $35 million in funding from private equity firm Summit Partners in Boston. His firm typically buys a 40 percent to 60 percent stake in wealth-management RIA firms with at least $500 million in assets.

Focus Financial is one of only a couple of firms that are aggregating RIA shops under one roof. United Capital of Newport Beach, Calif., another company in the business of acquiring RIAs, launched in 2005. But, unlike Focus, it acquires shops with as little as $100 million in assets and plays an active role in helping the acquired firms increase revenues.

Meanwhile, former Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck and former U.S. Trust Chairman and CEO Alan J. Weber are expected to launch their private equity-backed RIA holding company — dubbed Global Wealth Management Partners — in Purchase, N.Y., next month.

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