Cerity Partners has added a New York City–based firm with approximately $2.5 billion in assets, the firm announced Wednesday.
AJ Wealth provides family office services to around 140 ultra-wealthy individuals and more than 100 corporations and trusts, with a niche focus on working with private equity, hedge fund and venture capital professionals, C-suite executives and business owners.
The firm has adopted Cerity branding in the deal, which closed on June 30.
Touted as a merger, the acquisition strengthens Cerity’s ultra-high-net-worth and complex wealth management capabilities. Founded in 2012 by Andrew Cooper and Justyn Volesko, both of whom formerly worked in Goldman Sachs’ family office division, the 45-person AJ Wealth team has expertise in estate and tax planning issues for clients with carried interests in their firm's investment funds, according to the announcement.
“Their highly customized family office service is unique in our industry,” Cerity President and CEO Kurt Miscinski said in a statement. “Our merger allows us to broaden the depth of our service offering and will accelerate our firm's growth in an important and expanding client segment.”
“Our clients have complex financial situations and are looking for someone to oversee their entire financial picture,” added Cooper. “Our experience matched with Cerity Partners' wide range of services and investment capabilities will help make this partnership very successful for our clients and firm. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to create a best-in-class family office service for Cerity Partners."
“Other suiters were highly disappointed to lose this one,” said Dan Erichson, managing director at Park Sutton Advisors, the boutique investment bank representing AJ Wealth in the transaction.
“This was one of the more sought after targets I can remember representing in the past several years,” he said. “This is a very fast growing NYC firm, with some of the deepest planning expertise we have seen. They have a unique niche working with PE and hedge fund professionals, managing their balance sheets, capital calls, bill pay and more.”
Also based in New York City, Cerity was founded in 2009 and employs close to 400 advisors offering a range of wealth management and family office services to individuals and families, business owners, executives and charities, as well as corporate retirement plan consultation. With 29 offices in 15 states, the firm serves more than 11,600 clients with some $65 billion in assets.