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The Colony Group office RIA news merger with GW & Wade Image via Twitter

Focus to Merge $10.4B GW & Wade Into The Colony Group

This marks Focus’s second intra-partnership merger as part of its new 'hub' strategy, and it will create a $31.5 billion RIA.

RIA aggregator Focus Financial Partners has facilitated a merger between two of its partner firms, as it continues to combine its sprawling ecosystem of companies into a small number of its existing entities. The Colony Group, a $21.1 billion RIA led by CEO Michael Nathanson, is one of those entities, and it will merge with GW & Wade, a Wellesley, Mass.-headquartered RIA with $10.4 billion in assets. The deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, will create a $31.5 billion firm.

This marks Focus’s second signed intra-partnership merger as part of its new "hub" strategy. Focus has bought out the management teams of Colony and Kovitz and converted them to hub firms that will acquire other Focus partner RIAs.

As part of that strategy, Focus recently appointed Colony’s Nathanson and Kovitz’s Mitch Kovitz to senior leadership roles. Kovitz, principal, founder and co-chief investment officer at Kovitz, a $7.68 billion RIA, is now vice chairman, while Nathanson is now president of Focus. Both continue in their current roles at the RIAs. Dan Glaser, chairman of Focus, continues to serve as interim CEO.

GW & Wade, which joined Focus in 2007, is led by principals Roger Wade and Tim Pinch. It will operate as GW & Wade at The Colony Group.

“Over the years, Focus has become home to many outstanding wealth management firms, and it is exciting to see two of them joining forces,” Nathanson said in a statement. “We expect that, through opportunistic mergers such as this one, Focus will continue to facilitate the accelerated evolution of firms that choose such a path.”

Last year, Focus was taken private in a sale to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and as a result, all three Focus founders exited. Former COO Rajini Kodialam and former head of M&A Lenny Chang stepped down in early August—almost a month before the deal was finalized—and CEO Rudy Adolf left in October. Kodialam has since resurfaced as a board member at TIFIN AG, which was recently spun off from TIFIN.

In November, Focus announced four personnel changes, reflective of a “strategic evolution as a private company toward a more cohesive organization that seeks a common purpose, higher levels of collaboration, and which operates with greater levels of efficiency for the benefit of its partner firms,” the company said in a statement.

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