Boston area-based Integrated Partners announced Thursday that Wealthcare Management Services and JMB Financial Services Group have joined the company as an affiliate under the firm’s Form ADV.
WMS President David Petoskey leads a team of nine providing financial planning and investment services for clients, as well as a platform and “household-based” rebalancing for advisors. The firm has also developed a partnership program with CPA firms, attorneys and other professionals. JMB President Joshua M. Barron leads a team of six serving retirement plans and offering wealth management, estate and tax planning for individuals and families.
Working out of the same office space in Bloomfield, Mich., they collectively oversee more than $500 million in client assets.
Describing the two teams as an “ensemble practice,” Integrated Chief Growth Officer Rob Sandrew said they expect to take advantage of Integrated’s CPA Alliance program to expand on the established partnership program and leverage the firm’s collective expertise to move up-market, with a focus on providing more family-office style services.
The firms will retain their individual brands and many of their processes.
“They’re looking at us as a way to amplify their business model,” Sandrew said.
They’ve already been working with Managing Director of Investments Stephen Kolano, who joined Integrated last year after more than 12 years with BNY Mellon, most recently as CIO of investor solutions. Sandrew said Kolano was tapped to help build out bespoke portfolios and investment models for some of the firm’s larger teams that will appeal to wealthier clients.
Integrated is also providing resources around business owner transitions and coaching the firm’s principals on how to win higher-end clients.
The teams spent last week meeting with Integrated CEO Paul Saganey to help them think about how to position their practices to capture more center-of-influence referrals, grow the partnership program and approach ultra-high-net-worth clients and prospects.
“Paul was spending time with the principals to help them understand how we serve a $100 million family and the process we bring to the table,” Sandrew explained. “They're going to take what they've been able to build really effectively and marry that with our processes.”
“We are gaining access to specific skillsets, proven experience and intellectual capital that will prove invaluable for our already assembled team of elite advisors,” Barron said in a statement.
“This partnership is going to streamline our own CPA offering while allowing us to tap into a robust network of CPAs and accounting professionals across the country,” added Petoskey. “In addition, our advisors will have the opportunity to leverage an array of services designed to elevate their client service and add immediate value.”
During the RIA Edge conference, part of Wealth Management EDGE, held at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood Beach, Fla. this week, the concept of supported independence received a lot of attention. There are a growing number of ways to run an independent or semi-independent firm leveraging partnership to access a variety of resources, expertise and support, noted Bluespring Wealth Partners President David Canter.
“Demographics and the search for platform services are going to continue to drive folks to partner,” he said during a panel on RIA M&A.
“I don’t think this trend is going to abate at all,” Canter said. “I think it's going to continue to be strong just by sheer virtue of the fact that folks need partners, they need solutions. And the great thing is, unlike 2016, there's a lot of choice out there. I think it's good for advisors, it's good for consumers and it's good for those that are executing in this space.”
Founded in 1996, Integrated has entered a new phase of growth in recent years. The firm has grown assets from $8 billion in 2019 to around $16 billion today, according to Sandrew. With around 60 affiliated partner firms, 210 advisors and more than 170 CPAs serving clients in 116 regional offices, Integrated completed the first acquisition in its history at the end of last year.
The transition is going well, said Sandrew, and there are plans to pursue more inorganic growth opportunities.
“It’s been really very additive to all parties,” he said. “And we're starting to see more of those opportunities where these RIAs—whether they be $500 million up to $5 billion—that are at this crossroads where they're trying to figure out what their model looks like in the future. Can they build it out? Can they continue to add resources? Do they have the capital, the time, the manpower?
“I think a lot of firms are figuring out that it's really difficult to do in this day and age when there are so many firms that are over $10 billion and just continue to add resources and continue to go up market and get more sophisticated,” he said.
Integrated is focused on finding firms with a planning-first philosophy, an appetite for growth and sophistication, and realistic expectations around pricing, according to Sandrew.
“We’re going to be very deliberate about our approach,” he said. “Especially since we see a lot of those landmines that keep popping up with firms out there.”