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115-year-old Chicago-based Rothschild Makes First Acquisition

Rothschild Investment Corporation said it plans to continue in the M&A market, adding up to $1 billion in AUM annually.

For the first time in its 115-year history, Rothschild Investment Corporation, a Chicago-based hybrid wealth management firm owned by Tin Goose Holdings, has made its first acquisition, bringing total assets under management to nearly $5 billion. The firm says it plans to buy more RIAs. 

In a deal that closed on Thursday, Rothschild added Sentinus, a 21-person team in a northern Chicago suburb managing around $1 billion in assets for close to 1,000 individuals and 10 corporate retirement plans. Sentinus CEO Phil Johnson is stepping into the role of president at Rothschild, where he will focus on client relationships, according to the firm.

Established in 1946 as Reynolds Financial Group by WWII veteran Richard A. Reynolds, Sentinus was an early adopter of the fee-based financial planning model in the 1970s. The firm was rebranded in 2012 when it registered with the SEC.

“Partnership offered better opportunities to expand in a competitive niche in the market,” Johnson said Tuesday, noting the two firms have complimentary cultures, entrepreneurial mindsets, shared visions around growth and the same hometown.

“Teaming up with one of the industry’s longest-running and most successful wealth managers—and one that shares Sentinus’ values—was a natural move and one that will help us better serve clients and position for growth,” he said.

Founded in 1908, Rothschild offers wealth management to families and individuals, entrepreneurs, family holding companies, foundations and endowments, and advises multi-generational trusts and retirement plan sponsors. The merger will bring the firm to almost 60 employees with about 3,000 individual clients and around 50 retirement plans, 50 corporations and 50 charities, per recent SEC filings.

"We look forward to working with the Sentinus team to attract like-minded financial advisors, clients and partners, expanding our footprint while enabling us to provide services uniquely tailored to our clients' needs," Owen Schnaper, chairman of Rothschild and partner at Tin Goose, said in a statement.

Johnson said the firm expects to continue expanding through similar deals with other culturally compatible, growth-minded firms, and wants to create a platform providing succession opportunities as the industry continues to mature.

“We’ll be looking for high-touch, independent RIAs whose size, scope and services offering are similar to what we had at Sentinus,” he said. “And those who need succession opportunities for advisors.”

The goal is to add between $500 million and a billion dollars in assets annually through acquisitions going forward, he said, focusing on firms with complementary products and services.

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