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Haig Ariyan, CEO, Arax Investment Partners
Haig Ariyan, CEO, Arax Investment Partners

Arax’s Newly Acquired IBD Sticks With Pershing for Clearing and Custody

This will likely become a much larger relationship for the clearing and custody firm as Arax continues to acquire and scale its wealth management business.

Ashton Thomas Securities, an independent broker/dealer and RIA recently acquired by Arax Investment Partners, will use BNY Mellon’s Pershing for clearing and custody, and there will be no repapering of client accounts.  

Arax, a wealth management platform backed by private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners, acquired Excel Securities in January and renamed it Ashton Thomas Securities, borrowing the name from an RIA Arax acquired last year, Ashton Thomas Private Wealth. Ashton Thomas Securities, which has about two dozen advisors, will serve as the hybrid broker/dealer for $5.5 billion Ashton Thomas Private Wealth. That RIA uses multiple custodians, including Pershing.

While Excel was already on the Pershing platform, Arax had the opportunity to take the business elsewhere after the acquisition. The firm considers this a new relationship with Pershing, one that most likely will grow into a larger one as Arax continues to acquire and scale its wealth management business.

“We will make investments and acquisitions in a number of firms that we will target to be complementary to each,” said Haig Ariyan, CEO, Arax Investment Partners. “We have already acquired over $7 billion in independent wealth management firm assets, and we have signed and are yet to close on an additional $11 billion in independent wealth management firm AUM. Pershing will undoubtedly be a meaningful part of that growth.”

That $7 billion refers to Ashton Thomas, as well as several small independent RIAs that Arax has acquired. Those RIAs are still operating under their own ADVs.

“Our strategy will include a soft integration over the next 36 months, but right now we’re just looking for targeted partners to invest in,” Ariyan said. “Outside of Ashton Thomas Private Wealth, we’ve made four other acquisitions, and we’ve signed an additional two. The total amongst those is over $2 billion.”

One new component of this relationship is that Ashton Thomas Securities advisors will now have access to BNY Mellon Precision Direct Indexing, offered by BNY Mellon Investment Management. That offering was rolled out last June at Pershing’s annual conference.

“This is a really important relationship for Pershing,” said Ben Harrison, head of wealth solutions, Pershing. “It’s a long-time relationship, however reconstituted into a really exciting wealth boutique that is a great destination for high-end wealth management teams and clients.”

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