Marty Bicknell’s Mariner Wealth Advisors agreed to acquire Pittsburgh-based Commonwealth Advisory Group.
Led by founder Bob Lohman, Commonwealth manages approximately $500 million in assets for more than 400 clients, including professional athletes and entrepreneurs. Details of the transaction, which is expected to close before the end of August, were not disclosed.
Upon completion, Commonwealth will adopt the Mariner brand, becoming one of 50 locations. Investment advisor representatives Randy Hillier, William Burnette, Jonathan Lohman and Michael Doman will join the 373 advisors under Mariner’s care. Bob Lohman will continue to lead the Pittsburgh office.
“Their work with professional athletes and entrepreneurs will be a great addition to our specialized practice in this space,” said Bicknell, Mariner's CEO and president. “We look forward to expanding this practice with Commonwealth’s added experience.”
Lohman, who started Commonwealth in 1988, said selling to a larger enterprise such as Mariner will give them the financial backing and scale needed to grow their firm at a “rapid pace” and go to the “next level.”
“Commonwealth Advisory Group is part of a growing group of mid-sized firms selling to gain the benefits of scale offered by META (Most Effective Tactics Available)-RIAs like Mariner,” said David DeVoe, founder and CEO of the investment bank and M&A consulting firm DeVoe & Company.
DeVoe added that the number of mid-sized ($500 million to $1 billion in AUM) RIA sellers doubled from 12 in the first half of 2020 to 25 in the first half of 2021.
“Backed with dry powder from a recent private equity investment, Mariner has ramped up their M&A activity,” he said via email. “[Overall], RIA M&A activity in Q3 started strong. DeVoe & Company has tracked 24 total transactions in the quarter to date.”
Mariner took a minority investment from private equity backer Leonard Green & Partners in April to fund its future acquisitions. Since then, Mariner’s $40 billion in assets under advisement grew to $46 billion with more assets to come. In July, Mariner touted acquisition deals with Channel Islands Group in Ventura, Calif., Steve Lockshin’s Los Angeles–based AdvicePeriod and Allegiant Private Advisors in Sarasota, Fla.