Seelaus Asset Management, a Summit, NJ-based registered investment advisor, acquired Sterling Wealth Advisors, an RIA based in Red Bank. The deal could raise the firm’s total assets under management to $425 million.
Seelaus specializes in portfolio management, and Ben Seelaus, the firm's COO, believed the acquisition of Sterling, which serves high-net-worth individuals and families, will help Seelaus better manage portfolios of agency mortgage-backed securities. Lee Sterling, Cliff Sterling and Dave Mangone, all principals at Sterling, will become portfolio managers at Seelaus as a result of the acquisition, and will work part-time out of Red Bank, Seelaus told WealthManagement.com.
The deal is Seelaus' second acquisition; the firm acquired Sunnymeath Asset Management in 2017, which was also based in Red Bank. Seelaus said that the Sunnmymeath acquisition helped Seelaus clarify what it would seek for future acquisitions.
“We were pleased with the scale it brought us, the expertise and more outreach in the New Jersey area,” he said, though he noted there were differences between the deals. “Sunnymeath was looking for a succession plan and (Sterling is) looking to join a platform and build scale together.”
In seeking their second acquisition, Seelaus said it was not certain that it would be in Red Bank, but acquiring Sterling offered an opportunity to build upon the foundation of their first acquisition of Sunnymeath.
“Given the strength of our footprint in Summit, when we saw the chance to solidify our footprint in Red Bank…it was something that incentivized us as a business to pursue the acquisition with a little more energy," Seelaus said.