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Edelman Financial Engines

Edelman Adds $453M RIA in Pacific Northwest

The acquisition of Soudmark Wealth Management is Edelman’s first deal of 2024.

Edelman Financial Engines, the registered investment advisor with more than $270 billion in assets under management, has acquired Soundmark Wealth Management, a Kirkland, Wash.-based RIA with more than $453 million in client assets. This is Edelman’s first deal of 2024 and expands its presence in the Pacific Northwest.

Soundmark, founded by Bill Schultheis, principal and senior wealth advisor, specializes in providing financial planning to medical and technology professionals and small business owners. It serves over 250 households.

“Our continued expansion across the United States, and in this case, the Pacific Northwest, enables us to partner with impressive firms who share our client-first focus and core values,” said Suzanne van Staveren, executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Edelman Financial Engines, in a statement. “Bill and his team help us to broaden our capabilities and areas of expertise even further, which we know is increasingly important in creating a personalized financial planning experience.”  

This follows Edelman’s December acquisition of New England Pension Plans Systems, a full-service retirement plan consulting firm and its affiliated RIA New England Investment Consultants. The Providence, R.I.-headquartered firms manage a combined $1.5 billion for more than 500 clients, including individuals, trusts, estates and charitable organizations.

That deal represented Edelman's largest since launching its current M&A strategy in 2021, around the time the RIA recapitalized with an investment from private equity giant Warburg Pincus, which valued the investment advisory firm at $7.3 billion. 

Edelman is currently in an ongoing court battle against Mariner Wealth. Edelman first filed its suit against Mariner in Kansas federal court late last year. In the original complaint, Edelman accused Mariner of luring away 10 advisors and incentivizing them to break employment contracts. Edelman claimed to lose about $621 million in assets in the process.

Most recently, Edelman tried to stop Mariner’s attempts to dismiss the case, arguing the firm “has created a business model that free rides off the investments and success of its competitors.”

TAGS: Industry
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