Atria Wealth Solutions, the private equity-backed wealth management holding company launched by former Morgan Stanley executive Doug Ketterer last year, has acquired Cadaret, Grant & Co., a Syracuse, N.Y.-based independent broker/dealer with about 900 advisors and more than $23 billion in assets under administration.
The deal, part of Atria’s strategy to do business in multiple advisor channels, brings the firm into the independent advisor space.
“Cadaret, Grant is such a wonderful launchpad into the independent advisor channel, which was always part of the Atria plan,” Ketterer told WealthManagement.com.
Ketterer launched into the financial institutions channel last summer with the acquisition of sister b/ds CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial, both based in San Diego, Calif. They have a combined $30 billion in assets under administration and 500 advisors at banks and credit unions.
Atria Wealth Solutions, backed by private equity shop Lee Equity Partners, wants to build a new kind of independent broker/dealer model. not on indiscriminate acquisitions of existing registrations, but by carefully building a layer of support for independent advisors on top of a few well-chosen outposts for future acquisitions. In August, Ketterer was named one of WealthManagement.com′s Ten to Watch in 2018.
Cadaret, Grant & Co. will continue to operate out of Syracuse and clear through Pershing. CEO Art Grant will stay on in an advisory role to Ketterer; Grant said he was looking to find future leaders for the firm when he came across Atria.
“There’s a point where you want to be sure the company has good leadership in the future, and I want to be part of that decision about what leadership we have,” he said. “So I’ve been looking around for a long time for people I thought would lead it well. And I think I found the people.”
To build Atria, Ketterer joined forces with Eugene Elias, former head of client and advisor platforms at Morgan Stanley, who brings the technology chops, and Kevin Beard, former head of acquisition and recruiting strategy at AIG Advisor Group, for expertise in practice management, recruiting and acquisitions.
In August, CUSO and Sorrento Pacific launched fundVISION, a white-labeled version of FundKeeper, a mutual-fund-only platform developed by U.S. Bancorp Fund Services and Envision Financial Systems. The new system allows mutual-fund-only accounts to be added with the ease and transparency of a brokerage account, but also the lower cost structure of direct business.
Also this week, Atria announced it would invest millions to upgrade dataVISION, the sister b/ds’ advisor platform.