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The RIA Deals This Week

Here are the breakaways, mergers and acquisitions announced the week of Jan. 18, 2021.

This eventful week was pretty historic. Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States along with his vice president, Kamala Harris. Biden’s cabinet underwent lengthy confirmation hearings throughout the week. 

In the background of it all were wealth management’s mergers, acquisitions and team add-ons. Asset platform provider iCapital Network announced its plans to buy AI Insight, an alternative asset learning management and compliance system. Summit Financial launched a new capital model for advisors. The New Jersey firm will take minority stakes in any firm that enrolls in the program called Summit Growth Partners.

RIA binge acquirer Mercer Advisors had another week of M&A announcements. It acquired Hart Capital Management and its $440 million in client assets.

Below are more deals announced this week:

Mercer Advisors Acquires Pinnacle Wealth Solutions

Pinnacle Wealth Solutions is a Midlothian, Va., firm managing $365 million in assets. It advises 250 clients and is led by advisor G. Carl Mahler Jr., who founded the firm in 1985. He owns the firm with advisor Jill Jeter.

Advisor Gary Stiles Joins LPL Financial

Securities America lost advisor Gary Stiles, who managed $110 million out of Sewell, N.J., to LPL's broker/dealer and corporate RIA. Stiles, who will use LPL's custodial services, focuses on tax-efficient retirement income distribution planning.

Duo Leaves Avalon Advisors for Dynasty’s Icon Wealth Partners

Advisors Brooks McGee and James Pavlik left Avalon Advisors for Icon Wealth, a Houston-based RIA that’s part of the Dynasty Financial Partners Network. The two advisors are joined by Allison McKibbon, senior client relationship manager, and Jack Wiesen, senior investment analyst. 

Icon manages nearly $900 billion in AUM, according to its March 2020 ADV filing. The firm has set a target for $2 billion.

First Bank Trades in LPL’s Institutional Services for Raymond James

FirstBank’s close of its merger with Franklin Financial Network has led to a bigger wealth management division. The combination of Franklin Synergy Bank's and FirstBank’s advisors produced FirstBank Investment Partners, a program with 22 advisors, 10 support staff and a branch manager. The new firm manages $1.2 billion in client assets supported by Raymond James’ Financial Institutions Division. 

Rockefeller Capital Management Bags Two Florida Firms and One in Chicago

Rockefeller continued its acquisition strategy with the addition of The Faro Group and DBT Group in Boca Raton, Fla., and The Bergman Wealth Management Group in Chicago. The three teams bring the number of its private wealth management business advisor teams to 44 and add an estimated $1.7 billion in client assets.

The Faro Group, a family-owned firm, joined from Morgan Stanley. DBT and Bergman joined from Merrill Lynch. 

AdvicePeriod Recruits Former BNY Mellon Wealth Manager Niza Oun-Nguyen as Partner Advisor

AdvicePeriod expanded its California reach with the recruitment of Niza Oun-Nguyen. The Irvine, Calif.–based advisor joined from BNY Mellon, where she was a vice president and wealth manager to high-net-worth families, business owners, institutions and foundations.

EP Wealth Lands NewFocus Financial

EP Wealth announced its latest acquisition, a Vancouver, Wash.–based firm that manages $700 million in client assets. Founded by advisors Rob Black and Chad Burton, NewFocus Financial is EP’s 14th acquisition since 2017. EP said the firm pushed its AUM to over $10 billion.

Philly-Based Strategic Wealth Partners Joins Carson Wealth 

Carson Wealth opened a new office in Doylestown, Pa., with Strategic Wealth Partners, which manages $200 million in client assets for mid-to late-career executives and professionals. The firm was started by advisors Karl Kimball and Michael “Mick” Edwards.

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