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$15B RIA Sequoia Launches Family Office

Sequoia Sentinel represents about 55% of the firm’s assets and serves clients with a minimum of $20 million.

Sequoia Financial Group, an Akron, Ohio-headquartered registered investment advisor with more than $15 billion in assets under management, has launched a family office division, Sequoia Sentinel, to provide more specialized services to its ultra-high-net-worth clients. Sentinel represents about 55% of the firm’s assets and serves clients with a minimum of $20 million.

The new division will be led by Annie McCauley, executive vice president and chief client experience officer at Sequoia, and it encompasses 20 advisors that specialize in the UHNW space. Those advisors will work collaboratively to provide comprehensive services to this clientele.

Sequoia, which was founded in 1991, has a long history of serving entrepreneurial clients throughout the lifecycle of their wealth. About 15 years ago, the firm started to see a lot of those entrepreneurial clients have monetization events that led to significant net worth, McCauley said. So at that time, the firm started to segment its clients and advisors by net worth.

That base of clients started to build, as did the firm’s planning- and investment-dedicated resources in the UHNW space. The firm’s acquisitions of Wealthstone Advisors in 2021, multifamily office Zeke Capital Advisors in February 2023 and M Capital Advisors last month added to that, she said.

Sequoia Sentinel will provide multi-generational estate planning, as well as investment capabilities aimed at the ultra-wealthy.

“The whole world of investments is a completely different landscape for ultra-high-net-worth clients, not just accredited investors but qualified purchasers,” McCauley said. “And the expectations, the demand that they have for alternative investing, for helping them evaluate private deals that they source, or sourcing and introducing private deals to them. We really needed to build that team.”

The Zeke acquisition added a “highly credentialed” research team and decades of experience in direct private investments, private credit and private real estate.

“As we’ve grown and scaled, whether it’s through the Wealthstone acquisition, through the M Capital acquisition, through the Zeke acquisition, or through the significant organic growth rate that we’ve had in this space, our team has been able to specialize and niche down more,” McCauley said.

After completing a handful of smaller acquisitions, Sequoia received its first minority investment from Kudu Investment Management in 2020 and followed up with two large deals that added around $4 billion in assets the next year. Last October, the firm secured its second minority investment, from Valeas Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that committed more than $200 million in capital. Since 2009, the RIA has done 11 deals.

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