Focus Financial Partners has named a new interim CEO as the firm searches for a permanent replacement for Rudy Adolf, Focus said Monday. He is being replaced by Board Chairman Dan Glaser, an operating partner at private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which purchased Focus in August.
Adolf is the last remaining founder to leave his post following Focus’ sale to CD&R in a deal that took the publicly traded RIA aggregator private.
Adolf has led Focus since launching the firm in 2004 with former chief operating officer Rajini Kodialam and former managing director and head of M&A Lenny Chang, both of whom announced they were stepping down in early August—almost a month before the deal was finalized.
All three made millions in the transaction, which didn’t sit well with all stakeholders due to the price at which Focus was sold and the fact that only one existing investor was able to retain shares.
Glaser, hired by CD&R in January, is stepping into the role Adolf will officially vacate at the end of the year. Glaser has already begun taking over Adolf’s responsibilities, according to the announcement, while a search for a permanent replacement is underway.
Prior to joining CD&R, Glaser spent 10 years as CEO and president of Marsh McLennon.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rudy Adolf for his vision in building Focus Financial into an impressive wealth management organization that always puts our clients' interests first,” Glaser said in a statement. “Rudy is an industry pioneer and leaves a strong legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship at Focus. We wish Rudy nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Several industry peers reacted to the news of Adolf's retirement on social media within hours of the announcement.
"Great run! I doubt he’s truly done," Beacon Pointe President Matt Cooper wrote on LinkedIn. "This does mark another step along the path of institutionalization of the RIA space and away from the “cult of personality” founder-led enterprise businesses."
Focus comprises more than 90 partner firms across the U.S. and in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and the U.K., bringing in around $2.1 billion in revenue last year.
It is one of the most aggressive acquirers in the highly fractured RIA space, completing 38 deals in 2021 alone, 24 last year and about 30 so far in 2023, including sub-acquisitions. The firm now oversees some $350 billion in AUM.
Industry observers have said they’re interested to see what other changes CD&R will make as the firm seeks to generate returns on its investment.