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RIA Edge Roundup: Fieldpoint Launches Private Banking Solution, New Deals from Waverly, Mariner, Kestra, Mercer

Fieldpoint Private exits the advisory business as Mercer acquires two firms this week and Mariner, Waverly and Kestra all add one.

At least five deals got done this week, proof of ongoing activity in a market that has shown signs of slowing in the fourth quarter. Active acquirers and new entrants to the RIA M&A market transacted around $1.8 billion in AUM, in keeping with trends that have also seen deal sizes decline.

And on Wednesday, Fieldpoint Private announced the launch of a private banking solution for RIAs as it exits the investment advisory business and sheds advisors.

Fieldpoint Private Launches Advisor Banking Services Platform for RIAs

Fieldpoint Private has announced the launch of Fieldpoint Private Advisor Banking Services, a boutique solution for registered investment advisors, allowing them to integrate private personal and commercial banking and lending into their wealth management service offerings.

“After 14 years of providing banking services to our own RIA, we understand the power of the advisor-client relationship,” said Fieldpoint President and CEO Russ Holland. “We’ve lived it and served it; we are a private banking platform built by advisors for advisors. It’s incredibly gratifying to see the response as we introduce the platform to the RIA community.”

Holland noted the firm’s approach is different than call centers, fintech banking plugins and other arrangements sometimes available to independent advisors.

“Our platform keeps advisors at the heart of the relationship, positioning them to advise on all facets of the client lifecycle, from wealth creation to wealth protection and wealth transfer,” he said. “This is the only platform we know of that makes the independent RIA essentially a multi-family office.”

The new platform is built around proprietary technology, dubbed Fieldscope, which facilitates client introductions and transactions with the bank while providing process transparency. RIAs will also have access to Fieldpoint’s private personal and commercial bankers and Fieldpoint Private Trust, which administers delegated and directed trusts and enables advisors to retain management of trust assets.

As the platform is launched, Fieldpoint, which managed $5.1 billion in assets at the beginning of this year, is exiting the investment advisory business and its advisors have been migrating to new firms, predominantly independent RIAs, according to a company announcement. Those relationships have led to several early banking collaboration agreements and provided a pipeline of additional RIAs.

Holland said while the firm will no longer provide wealth advisory services, Fieldpoint is not stepping away from wealth management.

“To us, wealth management is what happens when holistic planning-based investment advisory and private banking come together,” he said. “Advisory Banking Services represents a larger commitment to this vision, touching many more advisor-client relationships than has been possible before.”

Waverly Advisors Picks Up Third Firm This Year

Waverly Advisors, a relative newcomer to RIA M&A with $6 billion in client assets, announced its third deal of the year with the acquisition of Wall Advisors in Lakeland, Fla.

Located in Birmingham, Ala., Waverly has focused on regional acquisitions in the Southeast as well as adding tax-oriented partners. The firm has added more than $2 billion in AUM in 2022.

Wall Advisors was lifted out of CPA firm Wall Titus and its team of four will join Waverly, with founder Lee Wall assuming the role of regional director. Waverly will continue to collaborate with the CPA practice, according to an announcement.

“This partnership benefits Wall Advisors and our ability to provide even better client service, and also contributes greatly to Waverly with the addition of talented team members,” said Wall. “We are merging two groups of professionals with the same approach and dedication to the well-being of our clients.”

“Wall Advisors’ core values align with our own,” said Waverly CEO Josh Reidinger. “We are thrilled to welcome the talented Wall Advisors team to Waverly, as we look forward to continued growth in 2023.”

Waverly's 2022 acquisitions come on the heels of private equity investments from HGGC and Wealth Partners Capital Group in December of last year, and Reidinger told in November that he has plans to do as many as eight deals in 2023.

Mariner Wealth Advisors adds Tech Exec Services Capabilities With Hayes Financial

In its eighth deal of the year, Mariner Wealth Advisors announced it will buy Hayes Financial in San Jose, Calif. The acquisition will establish the Kansas-based firm’s 11th office in California. 

Founded in 2008 by Zachary Hayes, the firm currently serves more than 170 clients with about $325 million in assets under advisement—primarily high-net-worth executives and employees in the technology sector.

The firm found a niche serving employees and alumni of “a well-known tech company” for the last two decades, according to the announcement, and offers tailored services including cash flow and tax planning, restricted stock and incentive stock advisory, and employer stock management.

“Acknowledging that the future holds an ever-increasing velocity of change, we determined that in order to continue best serving our clients, we would need to expand in scope beyond our close-knit team,” said Hayes. “Given Mariner Wealth Advisors’ commitment to its client-first philosophy, I am confident our values will continue to shine through, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next with Mariner’s team of highly skilled advisors and professionals.”

The deal bolsters Mariner Wealth Advisors’ executive service practice, while providing a foundation supporting growth and advancement opportunities for the Hayes team, which will adopt Mariner branding when the deal closes in mid-December.

Founded in 2006, Mariner and its affiliates currently advise on more than $95 billion in client assets.

Kestra Private Wealth Services Welcomes Former Edward Jones Advisor

Kestra Private Wealth Services, a registered investment advisor subsidiary of Kestra Financial focused on supporting wirehouse breakaways, announced the addition of HF3 Wealth Partners to its platform.

Located in Old Town Alexandria, Va., HF3 is led by Managing Partner David Tovey, who left Edward Jones after 15 years to launch the independent practice specializing in planning for clients nearing retirement. The move was driven by a desire for greater flexibility, according to an announcement, and came after “years of research” into industry options.

“The boutique feel, access to industry-leading resources, and support from Rob and his team made for an easy decision when exploring different avenues to independence,” said Tovey. “Kestra PWS showed me the level of service I strive to provide to my clients, leaving me confident this partnership will take my business to the next level.”

“HF3 represents the next generation of independent financial professionals we aim to attract and help grow,” said Kestra PWS CEO Rob Bartenstein. “We look forward to providing them with the tools to elevate their service model and grow their business.”

HF3 currently oversees $130 million in client assets. To date, Kestra PWS has helped more than 30 advisors and teams launch their own independent practices.

Mercer Advisors Announces 2 Acquisitions

Mercer has picked up Vintage Financial in Ann Arbor, Mich., with more than $850 million in assets across more than 500 clients, and Resource Planning Group in Atlanta, with $325 million in AUM and more than 330 clients.

Founded in 1985, Vintage is run by founder and former NAPFA Chair Frank Moore and Jack McCloskey, who will join Mercer along with their entire team.

“Our clients will continue to receive proactive advice on investments, tax planning and preparation and other areas of their financial lives with the addition of estate planning and trustee services that a national-scale firm can provide,” said Moore.

John E. Howard founded Resource Planning Group with his wife Georgia 'Tee Gee' Howard in 1991. Partners John Evans III and Alan Thomson will be joining Mercer along with the Howards and entire RPG team.

“As my wife and I reached the point of doing our own financial planning and considered our need to create a succession and business continuity plan for our staff and clients, we knew it was time for us to partner with a like-minded firm of substantial size and scale that ensured continued and uninterrupted client care for generations to come,” Howard said. 

Founded in 1985, Denver-based Mercer now has added more than 70 firms. Majority investments by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital have supported the addition of 18 new firms in 2022, with approximately $12.8 billion in collective assets. Mercer currently has more than 800 employees and 90 offices overseeing more than $37 billion in client assets.

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