Modern Wealth Management, a registered investment advisory firm founded earlier this year by former United Capital executives with backing from Crestview Partners, announced its fifth acquisition on the way to establishing itself as a national, full-service RIA.
The addition of Martin James Investment & Tax Management—a firm serving more than 400 families, individuals and business owners from an office in the greater Indianapolis area—expands in-house tax capabilities at the rapidly growing firm and adds around $100 million in managed assets.
Led by founder Martin James and his son Kyle Martin, both of whom are joining Modern Wealth as managing directors, the CPA practice was established in 1986 and evolved to offer tax strategies and preparation, as well as accounting, investment and wealth management services, with securities and advice provided through World Equity Group.
The 10-person team—including three certified public accountants—is adopting the Modern Wealth brand in line with the firm’s acquisition model and will continue serving clients regionally, while new service offerings are already being integrated into the Modern Wealth platform.
“Martin James prides itself on offering a service that evaluates our clients’ full financial pictures, taking both their tax and wealth management needs into consideration,” Martin James said in a statement. “By joining Modern Wealth and its experienced team of professionals, we’re now better equipped to further expand our services while also growing the business.”
Modern Wealth’s founders—co-CEOs Gary Roth and Mike Capelle, and President Jason Gordo—set out to build a firm, through acquisitions, capable of offering a full range of financial, tax and wealth management services in response to where they saw the industry headed. The firm also has an in-house insurance team, as well as retirement and estate planning capabilities—and there are rumors a new retirement offering is on the horizon.
“It's all part of our strategy to build an ultra-high-net-worth client service stack but bring it to the millionaire next door, who's our client,” said Roth. “We'll be adding other services in all the areas that a client might need in their financial life and probably beyond their financial life, eventually.
“One of the things we’re focused on right now is having the capacity to, at the right moments in the client’s life, have what we call the Four Cs in the room—the client being the most important C, then the CFP, the CFA and the CPA,” he said. “The tax strategy part of the financial planning process is something we think maybe the industry has not historically been as focused on, but it’s becoming more and more important and is something our clients really value.”
With corporate management based in California, the firm’s first three acquisitions came just weeks after its launch in early April. The additions of Barber Financial Group, Osiwala Financial Group and Financial Security, with $1.5 billion in total assets, established a headquarters and two additional locations in the greater Kansas City area, where the firm has built a lead-generating “growth hub,” as well as two offices in the Detroit region.
The fourth, announced in early September, added a team of five and an office in Iowa.
Modern Wealth is in conversation with other potential acquisitions and will continue seeking to establish hubs in all major markets. To that end, the firm created a regional partnership development team in August, charged with identifying opportunities—generally in the $250 million to $1 billion AUM range—and assisting with the subsequent integration of acquired practices. But Roth was clear the firm is less focused on geography than on talent.
“When we find new capabilities that we can leverage across our network of advisors, and when we find talented people, that is more important than just checking the box on a geography,” he said.
The latest addition brings Modern Wealth to around $1.64 billion in total assets, 68 employees and more than 20 advisors, per a recent Form ADV.