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Kovitz to Buy $2.6B Focus Firm Relative Value Partners Group

The deal is the latest example of Focus Financial’s consolidation efforts and will bring Kovitz to more than $24 billion in client assets.  

Kovitz Investment Group Partners, one of a handful of “hub” firms into which Focus Financial is moving to consolidate the remaining partners in its network, has taken another step in that direction. 

Kovitz has agreed to acquire Relative Value Partners (RVP) Group, a Focus firm located in Northbrook, Ill., managing more than $2.5 billion in assets as of March 2024, according to an ADV filing. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter of 2024, will bring Kovitz to more than $24 billion in client assets.  

Focus previously bought out the Kovitz management team to convert it into a “hub” firm that acquires other Focus partner RIAs. Mitch Kovitz, CEO of Kovitz, became a Focus vice chairman in January. In April, Michael Nathanson, CEO of The Colony Group, another Focus hub, was named CEO of Focus.

RVP was founded in 2004 by industry veterans Maury Fertig and Bob Huffman. It caters to high-net-worth individuals and institutions. The RIA became a Focus partner in 2015.

“Since our firm’s inception, we have sought out opportunities that allow us to enhance the services and tools we offer clients,” Huffman said in a statement. “We have known and respected the Kovitz team for many years, and we believe joining Kovitz is a natural next step in our evolution as a firm.”

When Clayton, Dubilier & Rice bought Focus last year, the firm’s three founders exited, including former COO Rajini Kodialam, former M&A head Lenny Chang and CEO Rudy Adolf, who left in October. Under the new owners, Focus planned to merge around 90 independently owned subsidiary practices into several of its largest firms (including Colony and Kovitz).

In April, Kovitz agreed to buy Strategic Wealth Partners Group, a Focus firm an hour north of its Chicago headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.

In May, Focus merged partner firm Buckingham Strategic Wealth with The Colony Group to create a $50.2 billion RIA. Buckingham Chairman and CEO Adam Birenbaum became the CEO of the combined company. 

In June, Focus shifted Connectus Wealth Advisers’ U.S.-based business lines to The Colony Group and Kovitz Investment Group Partners. The Colony Group added Atlas Private Wealth Management, Connectus Private, Hunt Valley Wealth, Mid-Continent Capital and NEIRG Wealth Management. Focus moved Connectus’ Greenwich, Conn.-based NorthCoast Asset Management business line to Kovitz.

Earlier in the year, Focus also merged Colony and GW & Wade, a Wellesley, Mass.-based RIA with $10.4 billion in client assets.

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