Great Valley Advisor Group, a Paoli, Pa.–based office of supervisory jurisdiction of LPL Financial with $3 billion in assets under management, has acquired U.S. Financial Advisors, a Braintree, Mass.–based registered investment advisor with about $725 million in client assets. The deal is the first of its size to use LPL’s new M&A Solutions, a suite of services to help advisors navigate mergers and acquisitions from start to finish, which went live earlier this year.
USFA President and CEO John Napolitano will lead a dedicated high-net-worth practice within GVA that maintains the USFA name, along with five other advisors.
In total, 18 advisors and three support staff join GVA, bringing it to a total of 90 advisors, post-transaction.
“Their culture fits, their size fits,” said Ryan Todd, CEO of GVA. “We’re not just out there trying to acquire for the sake of acquiring.”
USFA is GVA’s fourth acquisition since it rebranded in 2014. The firm operated as Peter Financial Planning Group until Todd and James Spinelli, chief operating officer at GVA, bought the firm in 2012 and renamed it two years later. The firm was previously affiliated with Mutual Service Corp., a broker/dealer LPL acquired from Pacific Life.
GVA used LPL’s premium buyer program to secure financing for its purchase of USFA.
“LPL was a strong partner in this through this whole process, from introducing us to the firm to working with us on the overall economics behind the transaction,” said Spinelli.
LPL also helped USFA through its seller support program, leading a formal sales process for USFA to identify a partner.
GVA has three affiliation models: an RIA-only option, where advisors join as investment advisor reps under its ADV; a dually registered, or hybrid option; and an OSJ-only option, where an advisor would use GVA’s OSJ but would affiliate with LPL’s corporate RIA. GVA plans to grow through both its advisor channels and acquisitions.
“We’ll be able to add additional advisors to existing offices, as well as help advisors begin the journey in independence by starting their own office,” said Spinelli.
Spinelli has built the firm’s technology platform, which includes a proprietary online portal where advisors can manage their book of business and a money management platform he developed with GVA’s chief investment officer. The tech stack includes Orion Advisor Solutions, added in February 2020.