Modern Wealth Management, a new private equity-backed registered investment advisory launched earlier this month by former United Capital executives, announced its first acquisition Tuesday. The firm, led by Co-CEOs Gary Roth and Mike Capelle and President Jason Gordo, has acquired Barber Financial, with offices in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri.
Barber is comprised of Barber Financial Group, an RIA led by CEO and founder Dean Barber; Osiwala Financial Group, a subsidiary led by President Ken Osiwala; and Financial Security, an acquired practice led by President Bud Kasper. Established in 1996 by Barber, the combined firm serves more than 2,300 clients with some $1.5 billion in managed assets.
Barber and its team of 50 employees, including CFP professionals, CPAs, and estate and insurance specialists, have rebranded as Modern Wealth and established the firm’s first three “hub” offices and two satellite locations in the greater Detroit and Kansas City areas. Corporate headquarters will remain in Monterey, Calif.
“We knew we were looking for firms with between $1 billion and $2 billion in assets to launch with,” said Gordo, pointing out that Barber checked “most of the boxes” the firm said it was seeking to satisfy with its first acquisitions.
“They're operating in a service model that is almost identical to our plan regarding how advisors are introducing clients to the firm and how advisory teams are servicing those newly onboarded clients,” he said. “The quality of the executive team, the size of the business, the technology infrastructure and making sure that we’re using all the industry’s best systems to achieve the highest outcomes. They also do real financial planning, including investment management and retirement and estate planning, and they have a real tax offering.”
Modern also plans to leverage a radio program and podcast produced by Barber that’s been successfully attracting new business to the firm.
“We're actually quite surprised at how effective the podcast has been at driving prospects to Barber,” said Gordo. “We look forward to continuing to build out and invest in that podcast to push it out to a wider audience. And as we bring additional firms into Modern Wealth Management, they too will get to take advantage of that podcast and its powerful prospecting capabilities.”
Modern plans to create a team dedicated to onboarding new clients and will then leverage successful referral strategies that have worked for Barber in the past, as well as prospecting and business development channels the corporate leadership team can bring to the table.
“One of the things we're most excited about is our ability to drive organic growth to the business,” said Gordo. “We'll have an inorganic M&A strategy and a recruiting strategy to build the business but turning these growth channels on is where we can really bring a lot of value to the business itself.”
“We look forward to augmenting our approach to provide our clients the best possible service while meeting the needs of growth-minded advisors,” said Barber, in a statement.
Schwab, which is integrating Barber’s current custodian TD Ameritrade into its platform by Labor Day weekend, will become Modern’s first custodial relationship. But Gordo said the firm will be announcing more custodians “in the near future” as it seeks to quickly establish itself as a national firm.
Modern also expects to announce "many" more M&A transactions before the end of the year, he said. The firm has indicated it will seek to establish anchor offices early in all four continental U.S. time zones and, eventually, establish a presence in all major U.S. markets.