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Focus Financial Office

Focus Financial Adds 88th Partner Firm; Sub-Acquires Insurance Firm

$1.2B FourThought Private Wealth joins Focus in Florida, Ancora Holdings Acquires Alpha Insurance in Ohio.

Focus Financial Partners, a publicly traded aggregator of SEC-registered wealth management firms, said it will acquire FourThought Private Wealth, a registered investment adviser headquartered in Venice, Fla. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Founded by Sam Pinkerton in 1968 as an A.G Edwards-affiliated brokerage firm called Pinkerton Private Wealth, the firm was later renamed to reflect a forward-looking focus based on a set of four core principles around talent, tools, client relationships and planning for high-net-worth individuals, families and business owners, according to its current principal.

“As we thought about how best to continue FourThought's evolution, it became clear that Focus was the premier strategic partner," said Scott Pinkerton, senior planner and managing partner at FourThought. “We believe Focus is best positioned to help us enhance our client service capabilities and grow our business, while allowing us to retain the independent thought leadership that has been so central to our success as a firm."

"Over its history, FourThought has achieved an impressive track record of client asset growth while remaining committed to the firm's guiding values and principles,” said Focus CEO Rudy Adolf. “FourThought's strong team is well positioned to continue providing differentiated planning to clients, while benefiting from the impressive demographic trends in southwest Florida.”

Adolf said that Focus’ array of client offerings will help the firm to “accelerate their growth while further enhancing their approach to client service.”

FourThought is only the fifth partner firm Focus has added so far in 2022 (compared with 14 in 2021), but it is one of 22 inorganic growth transactions the firm has made year to date—the rest comprising mergers and acquisitions deals supported by Focus for one of its partner firms.

Last week the firm also announced the first transaction completed by Ancora Holdings Group, an RIA that joined Focus Financial Partners last fall.

An activist investor that caused headaches earlier this year for Avantax parent company Blucora, in which it is a major stakeholder, Ancora will be adding the property and casualty insurance business based just west of its Cleveland headquarters at the end of the year.

Founded in 1999, Alpha Insurance Group is a private insurance agency located in Westlake, Ohio, that provides a wide range of property and casualty and health insurance solutions through relationships with industry carriers. Principals Brian Spear, Kevin Neitzel and Kevin O'Brien each have more than 20 years of experience working with individual and commercial clients, according to the announcement.

"Joining forces with Ancora will expand the capabilities we can offer our clients and provide additional growth opportunities for our business," said Spear.

"[Alpha’s] deep expertise across a range of insurance solutions will enhance the integrated experience we can provide within Ancora as we continue to build a firm that attracts both new clients and leading advisors,” said Ancora CEO Fred DiSanto.

"Having the ability to provide in-house expertise across a range of disciplines is essential to meeting client needs in a highly personalized way,” said Adolf. “The addition of Alpha will also further solidify Ancora's position as a leading wealth manager and as an attractive platform for future M&A.”

Adolf said the transaction represents a good example of Focus’ M&A capabilities “beyond the traditional U.S. RIA space.”

Since its founding in 2006, Focus has done more than 250 deals and added 87 partner firms to the rapidly growing national platform. In 2021, the firm added 14 new partner firms and reported annual revenue of $1.8 billion. Adolf said late last year that he plans to reach $4 billion in revenue and 125 partner firms by 2025.

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