World Equity Group, a Midwest independent broker/dealer with 180 advisors and nearly $40 million in revenue, has been acquired by Wentworth Management Services, a holding company that purchases broker/dealers and other firms in the wealth management space. This marks Wentworth’s third major acquisition, and there are more to come next year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
New York-based Wentworth is not a private equity firm, but rather an owner-operator corporate model. “The firm’s strategic focus is to acquire broker/dealers and capture the economies of scale needed to service financial advisors in today’s technology-enabled regulatory environment,” the company said.
Wentworth said it plans to make additional acquisitions next year. About a year ago, the company announced its first foray into the IBD space, with its acquisition of Albany, N.Y.-based IBD Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, with about 1,200 advisors. It also scooped up Cabot Lodge Securities at the closing of Purshe Kaplan Sterling. Wentworth focuses on helping the owners of small to midsize broker/dealers with a succession plan.
“As co-founder Bob Yarosz was looking to retire, we wanted a partner that provided the opportunity to retain and grow the team and business,” said Rich Babjak, co-founder and president of World Equity Group, who will remain at World Equity Group. “A lot of the bigger firms don’t have the flexibility to do some of the things we are still going to be able to do. Maintaining that boutique feel and an entrepreneurial culture all while having a deeper pocket behind us will be very unique to the industry.”