RIAs announced seven deals this week and Private Advisor Group added a new role.
EP Wealth acquired $1 billion Lehman & DeRafelo, Moneta added a team from IWP Family Office, Mercer Global bought Andesa Financial, Waverly Advisors picked up Omni Wealth, and Mission merged with a mother-daughter team in Austin.
In an announcement late last Friday, Focus Financial also facilitated its 15th subacquisition of the year—for InterOcean Capital Group.
In earlier news, Modern Wealth Management announced its launch with $200 million from Crestview Partners, CI Financial established a South Dakota trust company, and Lido Advisors joined forces with IDB Bank to launch an RIA serving bank clients.
EP Wealth Advisors Acquires Lehman & DeRafelo Financial Resources
EP Wealth Advisors, a California-based registered investment advisor, has added a second office in the Philadelphia area with the acquisition of Media, Pa.–based Lehman & DeRafelo Financial Resources.
The acquisition is the eighth EP Wealth has completed on the East Coast as the firm seeks to establish itself as a national brand.
Lehman & DeRafelo, which provides financial planning and investment management services to more than 700 clients with around $1 billion in managed assets, has designed an alternative investment strategy that can be paired with EP Wealth’s larger investment approach, according to an announcement.
“We continue to enhance our financial, tax, estate and specialized planning capabilities, paired with diverse investment solutions that help clients advance toward their goals,” EP CEO Patrick Goshtigian said in a statement. “The Lehman & DeRafelo team has additional expertise in alternative investment strategies which enhances our client offering and sharpens our competitive edge in the marketplace.”
Firm principals Rich DeRafelo and Ron Lehman will each assume the role of regional director, while Jeff Lehman will become a senior wealth advisor. Another advisor and two support staff are also joining EP Wealth.
“We’re excited about the additional resources and capabilities that our firm and clients will now enjoy thanks to joining EP Wealth,” said Lehman and DeRafelo in a statement. “This strategic partnership was born from many conversations with EP’s leadership, and it is wonderful to align with a firm whose philosophy so closely matches ours.”
The deal marks EP Wealth’s 28th acquisition since the firm received a minority investment from Wealth Partners Capital Group in July 2017—and its second in 2023. With more than 30 offices across 11 states, the addition brings EP Wealth to more than $18 billion in client assets.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Moneta Announces Merger with $450M Denver Team
Moneta, a partner-owned RIA based in St. Louis, announced the addition of Jaye Everland and Jason Sandry as partners in its Cherry Creek location.
The team comes from IWP Family Office with $450 million assets under management, bringing Moneta to approximately $31 billion in AUM.
“We wanted to get back to being advisors full time,” Everland said in a statement. “Moneta offers an incredible platform to help us run our business. ... It would take us years to build what they already have.”
“As part of Moneta, they can remain owners of their business and, at the same time, Moneta’s partnership structure means they have ownership and a voice in the strategic decisions of the firm coupled with access to a team of colleagues with highly valuable institutional knowledge,” said Moneta President Keith Bowles.
Moneta, which has offered financial planning services since 1933, inhabited a single office until launching a national growth strategy in 2019, when the firm announced it was expanding with a new location in Denver’s Cherry Creek area, followed by the firm’s first acquisition. The firm now has offices in Kansas City, Boston and Chicago, as well as St. Louis and Denver.
Mercer Advisors Acquires Andesa Financial Management
In its second acquisition announced this year, Mercer Global Advisors has picked up Andesa Financial Management in Allentown, Pa., with about $330 million in AUM.
Andesa was founded in 2004 by a team that included Paul C. Barbehenn, who was joined by Michael C. Baittinger two years later. Barbehenn, Baittinger and the rest of the five-person team serve 260 clients in nine states.
“[Mercer’s] comprehensive ‘family office’ approach to client care with in-house services like estate planning, tax consultation and tax return preparation, etc., adds the depth and breadth of service we were looking to bolt on,” Barbehenn said in a statement, “while allowing me and my team to offload burdensome back-office work so that we can focus on what is most important—our clients.”
“Paul and Michael are highly credentialed planners and have built a very respected business with a deep bench of talent,” said David Barton, a Mercer VP who heads up M&A strategy. “For Mercer Advisors, the addition of Andesa’s talented team to our service ranks is the most valuable asset of the transaction.”
Denver, Colo.-based Mercer is majority owned by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital. Founded in 1985, the firm currently has more than 900 employees and 90 offices nationwide, overseeing more than $48 billion in client assets.
Waverly Advisors Acquires Omni Wealth Advisors
Waverly Advisors, a Birmingham, Ala.–based RIA serving high-net-worth individuals, corporate retirement plans and institutional clients, has acquired Omni Wealth Advisors.
Waverly’s first acquisition of 2023 strengthens the firm’s presence in Atlanta and Tampa. It follows four made last year, after the firm took on private equity partners HGGC and Wealth Partners Capital Group in late 2021 to support an inorganic growth strategy.
Omni brings more than 30 years of financial planning, investment and tax experience to Waverly, as well as 140 clients based in the nation’s Southeast with $105 million in managed assets. Omni President Brian Hershberger has led the firm since 2001.
“Waverly’s values align with our own and we knew that this transaction would benefit all parties, especially our clients, through access to more services and resources,” Hershberger said in a statement.
The acquisition of Omni Wealth closed on March 31, bringing Waverly’s AUM to more than $5.5 billion. Late last year, CEO Josh Reidinger told WealthManagement.com he expects to complete as many as eight deals this year.
Founded in 1999, the firm currently has nine offices across the Southeast and a team of more than 80.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mission Wealth Announces Merger With Mother-Daughter Team in Austin
Mission Wealth, a Santa Barbara, Calif.–based RIA that oversees $5.3 billion in client assets, announced a merger with a mother-daughter advisory team in Austin, Texas.
Located in Austin’s West Lake Hills neighborhood, Mary Voll Miller and Alison Miller joined Mission from Per Stirling Capital Management, an Austin-based firm with around $1 billion in AUM.
“Having in-house access to tax, estate, philanthropy and investment management professionals is a game changer and allows us to serve our clients with best-in-class resources, tools and support." Mary Voll Miller said in a statement.
A CFP and certified divorce financial analyst, Voll Miller spent 12 years with Per Stirling. She was a partner at the firm before leaving to join Mission, where she is a partner and client advisor.
Alison Miller spent about 2 1/2 years with her mother at Per Stirling as a client service associate following a brief stint in sales. At Mission, she has taken on the role of senior client advisor associate.
“Both Mary and Alison demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, an incredible work ethic and a clear passion to solve their clients' financial needs,” said Mission CEO Matthew Adams. “From the moment we met Mary and Alison, it was clear to us that our shared values, our commitment to our teams and our collective vision of the client experience would make this an ideal match."
Founded in 2000, Mission offers financial planning, investment advice, tax strategies, estate and trust management, philanthropic advice and asset protection solutions. The firm, which announced the launch of in-house trust services last week, currently serves more than 2,300 clients.
InterOcean Capital Group Moves Into Michigan With Arthur Zaske Acquisition
In an announcement last Friday, InterOcean Capital Group—a Focus Financial Partner firm based in Nashville, Tenn., with more than $4 billion in client assets—will acquire Arthur Zaske and Associates, a three-person team with around $100 million in assets and an office in Bingham Farms, Mich.
Joined by David Zaske and Colleen Doyle, Art Zaske brings more than 50 years of investment management experience and a “loyal client base” to InterOcean, according to the announcement. The team expects to leverage InterOcean’s financial planning expertise and additional resources.
"My existing client base will benefit from the resources and expertise InterOcean can provide,” Art Zaske said in a statement. “I'm excited to work with InterOcean to further the firm's brand and reputation in Michigan and the Midwest."
"We have known Art, David and Colleen for a long time, and are incredibly excited that they will be joining InterOcean," said InterOcean CEO and CIO Rege Eisaman. "This addition will strengthen our investment capabilities and deepen our presence in the Midwest wealth management market."
Established in 2020, InterOcean now has 33 employees in four states, including Chicago and Scottsdale, Ariz., following one other acquisition and the opening of a new office.
The transaction represents the 17th announced by Focus this year—including two new partner firms and 15 subacquisitions for existing partners.
Private Advisor Group Adds New Role in Pursuit of Continued Growth
Private Advisor Group, an RIA and office of supervisory jurisdiction based in Morristown, N.J., announced that Petra Barone has taken on a new position as head of finance and Adam Schorr is stepping into her former role as chief financial officer.
The duo brings decades of experience to the leadership team and is charged with strengthening the firm's accounting and finance functions, according to the announcement, while leveraging organic growth and strategic opportunities.
Schorr joins the team from LPL Financial, where he spent 16 years. Nine of those were spent in leadership roles, most recently as senior vice president of technology strategy and business operations following almost four years as SVP of financial planning and analysis.
“Adam’s deep financial planning and analysis expertise complemented by his extensive knowledge of our profession will make an immediate and positive impact to our advisor community,” PAG CEO Frank Smith said in a statement. “As our firm has grown and advisor needs have evolved, it will be an enormous benefit to add additional talent to our finance team while supplementing much of the work Petra has overseen to date.”
Schorr’s responsibilities include leading strategy for the finance and accounting teams; helping oversee capital strategy and investments; developing financial metrics and business intelligence; and working together with stakeholders on strategy and performance.
In her new role, Barone will oversee advisor compensation, advisory fee billing, accounts payable and treasury functions, as well as collaborate with key sponsor and compliance partners.
“I’m thrilled we’re expanding our finance team by bringing in Adam,” Barone said. “His experience and knowledge of the wealth management space will be instrumental in expanding our team’s ability to strengthen and thoughtfully grow Private Advisor Group.”
Early this year, Frank Smith replaced R.J. Moore as the firm’s CEO.
Founded in 1997, Private Advisor Group currently manages more than $25 billion in assets across more than 300 partner firms and 110,000 clients.