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Emigrant By Jim Henderson - Own work, Public Domain

RIA Roundup: Emigrant Partners Stakes MONECO Advisors

Emigrant has added the 21st growth-oriented platform to its expanding portfolio of independent wealth management businesses, while no less than six firms announced recruits or acquisitions this week.

Emigrant Partners has made another minority investment in a growing RIA, while Focus Financial Partners facilitated a tuck-in transaction that will add more than $1 billion to partner firm Crestwood Advisors.

In other announcements this week: The Relaxing Retirement Coach joins Savant Wealth; a former Bank of America advisor moved to Rockefeller Global Family Office; Private Advisor Group supported the addition of a $95 million firm for affiliate WP Financial; a team left Cetera for LPL and Exemplar Financial Network; and Procyon Partners added a team from Baker Tilly Wealth.

In earlier news, $4.7B AUM Miracle Mile Advisors named its first CEO.

Emigrant Partners Stakes MONECO Advisors

Emigrant Partners made a strategic, nonvoting minority investment in MONECO Advisors, a Fairfield, Conn.-based RIA managing some $1.5 billion in managed assets for approximately 2,000 clients. At the same time, MONECO restructured to share equity with employees.  

The direct investment, Emigrant’s third this year, brings the private equity firm—which is focused on the independent wealth management space—to 21 platform investments, including Ohio-based Stratos Wealth Partners with more than $25 billion in assets, Massachusetts-based F.L.Putnam Investment Management with more than $5 billion and Tennessee-based Gerber | Taylor with around $13 billion.

Emigrant President and CEO Jenny Souza cited MONECO’s client service model, partnership platform, organic growth rate, leadership team and geographical location as key attractions. The added capital and resources will support the firm as it enters a new phase of strategic growth.

“We feel the industry is undergoing massive change in how firms are structured to foster multigenerational relationships with clients,” MONECO Managing Partner Derrek Metz said in a statement. “In partnering with EP, we are creating a new ecosystem to provide smooth succession planning while also developing the next generation of advisor to become equity partners.

"By solving the equity question, we can all focus on what matters most: serving our clients both now and well into the future,” he said.

Republic Capital Group served as MONECO’s exclusive financial advisor on the transaction, in addition to structuring the shared equity program that converted the firm from a 1099 platform to a W-2 model with distributed ownership.

Founded in 1980, MONECO has about 50 employees, including almost 40 advisors, across five offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Emigrant Partners firms collectively oversee more than $90 billion in managed and advised assets.

Endurance Wealth to Join Focus Partner Crestwood Advisors

Focus Financial Partners, an expansive network of independent RIAs set to be taken private in a sale to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, announced it has facilitated a tuck-in transaction for partner firm Crestwood Advisors Group.

Endurance Wealth Management will join Crestwood with nine employees, including six advisors and a little more than $1 billion in client assets across 746 individuals, six retirement plans, two charities, and 23 corporations.

Based in Providence, R.I., Endurance is an SEC-registered investment management firm founded in 2009 by J. Michael Costello, who will join Crestwood as a managing partner. The office will become Crestwood’s fourth location—including Boston headquarters and offices in Westport and Darien, Conn.—and its first in Rhode Island.

“Crestwood's deep bench in planning compliments our expertise in portfolio management and expands the services we can offer while also preserving the legacy and reputation that I have built over my 30-year career,” Costello said in a statement.

"Michael and his team have created a sophisticated client offering that aligns with our own commitment to providing independent advice and highly tailored client services,” added Crestwood CEO and co-founder Michael Eckton. “We could not have found a better strategic fit to help us expand our presence into Rhode Island."

The deal will bring Crestwood to more than 50 employees, including about 40 advisors, overseeing around $5 billion in client assets across approximately 1,500 individuals, 15 retirement plans, five charities and 28 corporations, per a Form ADV filed in late March.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

The Relaxing Retirement Coach Joins Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management, fee-only registered investment advisory firm based in Rockford, Ill., has picked up a firm in the greater Boston area with six employees and $483 in managed assets.

The Relaxing Retirement Coach was founded in 2003 by Jack Phelps, author of The Relaxing Retirement Formula: For the Confidence to Liberate What You’ve Saved and Start Living the Life You’ve Earned.

“Savant not only shares our values, planning-first philosophy, and commitment to act as a fiduciary; it also has the ability to help us scale our operations and significantly enhance our range of services with tax planning, estate planning, and trust services designed to help our clients live the lives they’ve earned,” Phelps said in a statement.

John Furey, managing partner at Advisor Growth strategies, an RIA-focused M&A advisory and management consulting firm that guided RRC though the transaction, said commonality of vision, client experience and culture led to the deal.

“We expect material growth in New England for Savant with Jack’s team leading the charge,” he said.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, represents Savant’s fifth acquisition this year and its first in New England. Founded in 1986, the firm now has 32 offices in 12 states overseeing approximately $20 billion in advised and managed assets—and expects to announce more acquisitions before the end of the year, according to the announcement.

Glenn Mealey Joins Rockefeller Global Family Office

Glenn Mealey joined Rockefeller Global Family Office from Bank of America Private Bank.

Based in Houston, Mealey will report to Central Division Director Michael Armondo. He brings experience working with ultra- and high-net-worth business owners, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, hedge fund managers and private equity partners, as well as non-profits, family foundations and philanthropic institutions, according to a Rockefeller spokesperson.

The spokesperson declined to comment on the reasons for Mealey’s move, or the amount of assets he will be bringing with him.

Including Mealey, Rockefeller Global Family Office has recruited 17 advisor teams since the beginning of the year, including Lagade, Smith, Garcia Wealth Partners, based in Austin.

Rockefeller GFO is a subsidiary of Rockefeller Capital Management, which oversees more than $100 billion in collective assets.

In April, the company was valued at $3 billion when it sold a 20.5% stake to Canadian-based IGM Financial.

Private Advisor Group Supports Acquisition of $95M Firm for Affiliate WP Financial

Private Advisor Group affiliate WP Financial has acquired $95 million AUM Sage Financial Design following the unexpected death of its president, Robert Sheldon “Whitey” Thompson.

The acquisition adds four full-time employees and a new location in Simsbury, Conn., not far from WP’s headquarters in West Hartford. 

"Bob was a well-known figure in my hometown, and his work laid a solid and respected foundation for financial planning," WP Financial founder Bill Rabbitt said of Thompson in a statement. "Our goal is to honor his legacy, minimize any disruption for investors, and elevate their planning support through technological advancements and innovation.”

Private Advisor Group’s M&A team supported the acquisition, transitioning Sage clients to WP and allowing them to keep their current custodian.

In our profession, it is crucial to honor the grieving process while ensuring clients receive timely and professional financial advice,” added PAG Director of Advisor Growth Anne Mortera. “Bill's remarkable leadership, the financial strength of his practice, and the unique alignment between two financial leaders have facilitated this acquisition with little notice. We are delighted to have assisted in minimizing account disruption through our multi-custody offering.”

The expansion follows WP Financial's previous addition of Elizabeth DeBassio and her practice to their team.  

Founded in 1997 in Morristown, NJ, Private Advisor Group oversees approximately $25.6 billion in client assets for more than 110,000 clients across more than 200 affiliated practices with around 700 advisors.

Pair of Cetera Advisors Leave for Exemplar Financial Network, LPL

Scott Hartman and Adam Johnston have joined LPL Financial’s broker/dealer, RIA and custodial platforms from Cetera Investment Advisors, where they oversaw around $375 million in advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets.

In Elkhart County, Ind., Hartman and Johnston, along with account manager Destinee Chupp, will join the team at Financial Partners, part of Exemplar Financial Network. The pair have worked together for about 13 years and made the move to add services and spend more time with clients, according to an announcement.

“We had been in a bank setting, but we needed more independence and control as we take steps to expand relationships and enhance our offerings,” Johnston said in a statement.

“We believe we are now one of the area’s most comprehensive and robust financial planning and wealth management organizations,” added Financial Partners President Cory Marlow. “In addition to expanding our footprint to Fort Wayne, Ind., Warsaw, Ind. and the greater Chicagoland areas, the new synergy our team delivers should make for a very bright future for both our clients and our entire organization.”

Procyon Partners Recruits Baker Tilly Wealth Advisors

Procyon Partners announced that Frank McKiernan and Jerry Sneed have joined the firm as senior vice presidents and wealth advisors, along with Christopher Sneed, financial advisor, and client service associates Amanda Giuseppe and Emily Demers.

Previously, the team managed more $600 million in assets for clients at Baker Tilly Wealth Management, where McKiernan and Sneed were co-heads of the wealth division. They will work out of offices in New York and Massachusetts.

Procyon Partners’ in-house capabilities and partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners “provide our clients a powerful boutique advisory experience,” McKiernan said in a statement. “Phil and the Procyon team have built an extraordinary business on values and principles that we share wholeheartedly.”

Based in Shelton, Conn., about half an hour east of New Haven, Procyon has additional offices in New York City; Long Island, N.Y.; Maryland; Tennessee; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Virginia Beach Va.,

The firm manages more than $5 billion in client assets for more than 1,000 individuals and families, as well as around 122 retirement plans and 27 corporations.

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