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Wealth Enhancement Group

Wealth Enhancement Group Acquires 10th RIA in Five Years

The acquisition of the $500 million Summit Planning Group is the second foray the firm has made in Wisconsin in a bid to become a nationally branded RIA.

Wealth Enhancement Group—the Lightyear Capital-backed wealth management firm with $9.6 billion in client assets—announced that it was acquiring yet another firm, its 10th acquisition in the past five years.

The Minneapolis-based registered investment advisor is buying Summit Planning Group, a Green Bay, Wisc.-based firm with 980 clients and some $500 million in assets. This makes the second firm Wealth Enhancement Group has acquired in Wisconsin, after purchasing the $495 million Cimino Wealth Advisors in Clinton, Wisc., last June.

For Wealth Enhancement, the step is part of a stated strategy to “become a leading national wealth management and financial planning brand through both targeted acquisitions and organic growth,” the firm said in a statement. In addition to its acquisitions, Wealth Enhancement Group saw organic growth of more than $1 billion in both 2017 and 2018.

“Establishing a substantial volume of advisory capabilities and clients in key markets has long been a crucial priority,” Jeff Dekko, chief executive officer of Wealth Enhancement Group, said in a statement.

The principals of Summit Planning intend to remain in place and expand the practice. “In seeking a strategic partner, my partners and I weren’t looking for a short-term exit strategy,” said Summit Planning Group Principal Larry Lindsley. “We have a strong passion for serving our clients and plan to do so for years to come.”

Wealth Enhancement Group has been one of the more aggressive acquirers of RIA firms over the past several years since it was purchased by Lightyear Capital in April 2015 from Norwest Equity Partners, a Minneapolis-based middle market investment firm.

Lightyear Capital’s managing partner Mark Vassallo said at the time they identified Wealth Enhancement Group as “a firm that could grow through acquisition,” and since then, the firm has been averaging two acquisitions a year in its bid to become a nationally branded RIA firm.

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