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Ashton Thomas

Arax Acquires $1B IBD; Recruits $2B Alex. Brown Team

The $2 billion AUM Stafford Schauer Private Wealth Team joins Arax's Ashton Thomas Private Wealth from Deutsche Bank.

Arax Investment Partners, a wealth management platform backed by private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners, has acquired Excel Securities & Associates, a Rochester, N.Y.-based independent broker/dealer and RIA with $1 billion in client assets.

The firm will now operate as Ashton Thomas Securities, borrowing the name from an RIA Arax acquired last year, Ashton Thomas Private Wealth. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Ashton Thomas Private Wealth added a $2 billion AUM team from Alex. Brown, a division of Raymond James. The Stafford Schauer Private Wealth Team, led by Chris Stafford and Cory Schauer, will also launch a new downtown Boston office.  Both advisors were previously with Deutsche Bank.

“Ashton Thomas, and the broader Arax platform, afforded us the unique opportunity to join a true partnership, while still having access to the services and solutions needed for our seasoned client base,” Stafford said in a statement.

Arax announced its investment in Ashton Thomas Private Wealth last September.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Ashton Thomas was founded in 2010 and provides foundations, businesses and wealthy individuals and families with fee-based financial planning and investment portfolio management, as well as retirement plan consulting and financial education.

Arax also announced the hire of Sumit Handa, a former managing director and partner of Pennington Partners & Co., as its new chief investment officer. In the role, he’ll oversee the firm’s investment strategy, portfolio management and asset allocation.

“Arax is pioneering a new multi-platform approach to wealth management,” Arax CEO Haig Ariyan said. “Today’s announcements demonstrate Arax’s attractiveness to leading wealth managers, our commitment to best-in-class advisor support and infrastructure, and retaining the best talent in the industry.”

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