Mid-July is making up for the relative lull in business activity over the second quarter. That time period saw 35 deals in the registered investment advisory space, representing $40.9 billion in client AUM, and zero transactions among independent broker/dealers, according to a fidelity report.
Scott Slater, Fidelity Institutional’s vice president of practice management and M&A specialist, said, “Though not a record quarter, there’s still a steady rise in M&A activity that’s been in motion for several years.”
“In fact, July has already seen significant activity, with another seven $1B plus deals announced by mid-month.”
Many of the deals in the second quarter were driven by private equity and that continued in July. Emigrant Partners, a private equity firm and subsidiary of New York Private Bank & Trust, took minority stakes in two advisory firms this week. The first, Verdence Capital Advisors, boasts $3 billion in assets under management, while the second venture, Gregory|Taylor, oversees more than $13 billion in total client assets.
After years of saying he would not sell another advisory firm, Steve Lockshin had a change of heart and sold his $5.1 billion in AUM firm, AdvicePeriod, to friend Marty Bicknell, CEO of Mariner Wealth Advisors.
In the retirement area, Empower Retirement bought Prudential’s full-service retirement business to make it more competitive with Vanguard and Fidelity. The deal was valued at $3.55 billion and Prudential received $2.8 billion in the sale.
Advisor moves weren’t as robust as M&A this time around, but the amount of assets in play was still voluminous. LPL Financial recruited West End Advisory Group, a St. Louis team managing $170 million, from Cetera Financial Group. And it helped a wirehouse breakaway that managed $700 million at Morgan Stanley launch PBC Private Wealth in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Below are more mergers, acquisitions and advisor moves announced over the most recent week.
Focus Financial Partners Adds Canadian Firm Focused on Hockey Players
Focus Financial Partners’ partner firm, Connectus, recruited Toronto-based Gavin Hockey Wealth Specialists to its platform. The acquisition will close in the third quarter. Gavin's niche market is professional hockey players.
Integrated Partners Acquires CPA Firm
The pension services arm of Integrated Partners known as Integrated Pension Services acquired Benefits21 from public accounting firm Friedman LLP. Benefits21 is Friedman’s pension administration services business.
Husband-Wife Team Joins Kestra From Wells Fargo
Moore Private Wealth Group, run by Jay and Brooke Moore in Cleburne, Texas, joined Kestra Financial. The husband-wife duo joined from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, where they managed $153 million in assets under management.
Gideon Strategic Partners Affiliates With IBD The Leaders Group
Managing $500 million in AUM, Gideon Strategic Partners, a wealth management firm in Santa Monica, Calif., moved its advisors to The Leaders Group, an IBD in Littleton, Colo. The firm was previously with M Holdings Securities.
Northwestern Mutual Team Heads to Canopy Wealth
Advisors Chad Wing and Dustin Brutton joined Canopy Wealth Management and opened the firm’s new office location in Arizona. Brutton and Wing joined Canopy from Northwestern Mutual where they managed approximately $300 million in client assets.