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RIA Roundup: Hightower Adds $3.2B in Assets

In RIA news this week, Hightower announced its 3rd billion-dollar-plus acquisition this month, while SageView picked up a $5.2 billion retirement plan consulting business.

Hightower Advisors added two more firms with more than $1 billion in assets this week, totaling three billion-dollar-plus deals in June alone.

In other news announced this week, SageView picked up a five-person team from institutional retirement planning firm RBG; a quartet of Securian advisors joined Advisor Group; Sowell Management brought over a Northeastern Arkansas team from Raymond James; and a husband/wife team in California has joined Grove Point Financial from IFG.

Meanwhile, $31.5 billion AUM Oxford Financial Group has expanded into the Southeastern United States with two new offices run by Goldman Sachs and Bessemer Trust alumni, and CoastalOne has tapped Kevin Keefe—formerly with Advisor Group, LPL and Cetera—to serve as CEO under the firm’s new owner, Orange Street Holdings.

In earlier reported news, Commonwealth picked up another Securian team with $881 million in assets.

Hightower Adds $3.2B AUM in Two Deals

Hightower Advisors announced two more acquisitions representing more than $1 billion in assets this week, bringing the Chicago-based RIA aggregator to a total of three billion-dollar-plus deals this month.

A 14-person team managing around $1.6 billion in client assets has left Avidian Wealth Solutions to launch a new RIA in partnership with Hightower, Presidio Wealth Partners.

Based in Houston, Presidio is led by partners Cy Cattan, Scott Bishop, Robert Harris and Sarahbeth Pipkin.

The firm expects to leverage Hightower’s technology, back-office support, planning tools and strategies, as well as expanded access to private markets, according to an announcement.

“Our partnership with Hightower Advisors means more scale, more ideas, and more solutions for our clients,” the firm announced on its website. “With the capital, technology, and human resources of Hightower, we can ‘in-source’ more services to help serve clients better.”

Meyer Capital Group, a $1.6 billion firm with offices in Marlton, N.J., and Naples, Fla., joins the Hightower network with 17 employees, including 10 advisors, serving more than 800 clients.

Led by CEO Thomas Meyer, the firm was founded in 1963 by Meyer’s grandfather as one of the nation’s first fee-only advisory practices. When Meyer stepped into his current role in 1982, the firm was managing some $2 million in client assets.

"We were looking for a partner that would support our growth while also understanding our deep roots that stem back to when my grandfather founded the business nearly six decades ago," Meyer said in a statement, citing the breadth of Hightower’s resources, services and advisor community as attractive.

“And most importantly, this will give us more time to focus on our clients," he added.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but Hightower CEO Bob Oros has said that all acquisitions involve a mix of cash and equity.

Founded in 2008, the Hightower network currently comprises 133 firms in 34 states and the District of Columbia overseeing around $268 billion in advised and managed assets.

Partner firms have access to an experienced mergers and acquisitions team, in addition to growth and practice management resources, a technology platform and an array of additional services.

SageView Advisory Group to Acquire $5.2B AUA Retirement Plan Biz

SageView Advisory Group will acquire the founding team of Retirement Benefits Group, a retirement plan consulting firm with $5.2 billion in assets under administration and a growing wealth management division with about $63 million in managed assets.

Based in San Diego, RBG co-founders Tony Franchimone and Larry Deatherage will become managing directors at SageView, joined by Retirement Plan Consultant Cory McCarthy, Wealth Advisor Winston Ventura and Client Services Associate Rachel Hall.

The team will continue to build out the wealth management business under SageView.

"SageView's centralized support teams in practice management, advisory services, marketing and business development provide the support we need to continue our growth and success serving retirement plan sponsors,” Franchimone said in a statement. “We will also be able to evolve our wealth management technology and operations with SageView."

Based in Newport Beach, Calif., SageView advises on 401(k), 403(b), 457, defined benefit and deferred compensation plans, in addition to providing wealth management services. The firm acquired MJM401k in 2021, Channel Financial and kPlans Investment Services last year to bolster its retirement division.

The RBG acquisition, expected to close at the end of the month, is the ninth SageView has announced since it established a partnership with private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners in early 2021. Currently, the firm oversees more than $156 billion in advised and managed assets, per a recent Form ADV filing.  

Former Securian Advisors Join Advisor Group Affiliate Capitol Financial

Advisor Group, a network of independent broker/dealers and RIAs set to be unified and rebranded, announced this week that John Amendola, Eric Owen, Michael Pugh and Steve Tanner have joined Capitol Financial Solutions, one of the largest offices under its subsidiary Royal Alliance.

The former Securian Financial advisors in Virginia and North Carolina add about $410 million in client assets to Advisor Group, which comprises eight firms with around 10,000 advisors overseeing more than $560 billion in assets.

Based in Jersey City, N.J., Royal Alliance accounts for some 3,600 advisors managing $29.5 billion in assets across hundreds of individual practices, per a recent Form ADV. Capitol Financial Solutions is an affiliated super office of supervisory jurisdiction with more than 50 advisors overseeing almost $2.3 billion.

“Capitol Financial Solutions has access to industry-leading software, powerful in-house marketing and practice management support, and a strong, compatible culture,” Tanner said in a statement. “We were also impressed by their substantial scale and resources.”

Owned by Reverence Capital Partners, all Advisor Group entities will be brought under a single brand and onto a shared platform over the next two years. The new name is set to be announced Wednesday.

Sowell Management Adds Arkansas Advisor Team From Raymond James

Sowell Management, an RIA partnership platform based in North Little Rock, Ark., is adding an independent financial advisory team in Rogers, Ark.

The acquisition brings $120 million in assets and two advisors to the growing Sowell network. Formerly Sector Grid Advisors, firm partners Bob Taylor and Tonya McKaughan left Raymond James earlier this year and have since rebranded as Trek Wealth Solutions with Sowell’s support.

“Moving our business and working with a company of Sowell’s caliber gives us and our clients the peace of mind that we have a solid succession plan in place for what’s next,” Taylor said in a statement.

Trek Wealth will continue serving existing clients, while also recruiting new advisors. The firm operates out of North Little Rock and has established an office in Rogers, Ark.

“We love Arkansas. It’s home,” said Sowell CEO Bill Sowell. “I have been serving advisors and their clients here since 1995. The Northwest part of the state is anchored by national and worldwide companies like Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt and Walmart, as well as exploding with small businesses and new population. We felt the time was right to make a boots on the ground commitment.”

With more than 50 subsidiary firms and 80 advisors nationwide, Sowell Management oversees some $4 billion in client assets.

Husband and Wife Team Joins Grove Point Financial

Grove Point Financial, a hybrid broker/dealer currently owned by Kestra Financial, has added Paso Robles, Calif.–based Meritage Asset Management Group.

Led by husband and wife team Andrea and Kevin Klipfel, Meritage was established in 2013 on the Wells Fargo Advisors platform. In 2016, the firm jumped to LPL, where it spent about three years before moving to Independent Financial Group in 2019. Along with Senior Administrative Assistant Mary Raggio, the team manages about $61 million in client assets and is focused on retirement income and personalized financial planning for clients both in and nearing retirement.

The firm plans to continue growing its business by expanding its client base nationally, according to the announcement, and expects to leverage Grove Point’s back-office customer support services to spend more time building client relationships.

Atria Wealth Solutions recently announced plans to buy Grove Point from Kestra in a deal set to close in the second half of this year. Based in Rockville, Md., Grove Point serves around 500 independent financial professionals with some $15 billion in client assets.

Oxford Financial Group Opens Offices in Atlanta and Palm Beach

Oxford Financial Group, a multifamily office based in the greater Indianapolis area, has established two new locations in Atlanta and Palm Beach, Fla.

The Atlanta office with be led by managing directors Parker Mitchell and Grayson Miller, both of whom joined Oxford early this year from Bessemer Trust and Goldman Sachs, respectively.

Bart Francis, another Bessemer Trust alum, will head up the Palm Beach office along with Kevin Coquillette, a former vice president with Goldman Sachs Asset Management who, according to his LinkedIn page, currently resides in Minneapolis.

With additional offices in Chicago; Cincinnati; Minneapolis; and Grand Rapids, Mich., Oxford oversees some $31.5 billion in assets for more than 700 families and institutions in 35 states.

A privately held and partner-owned business, Oxford was founded by CEO Jeff Thomasson in 1981 at the age of 21. Some 33 advisors, including 20 managing directors, offer investment advisory, family office and trust services, in addition to institutional consultation for charities and retirement and pension plan providers.

“We’ve purposely kept the layout, design and experience the same in building out our new locations in Atlanta’s bustling Buckhead district and in the heart of Palm Beach,” the firm said in its annual report. “It’s yet another step in our evolution from a Midwest-centric powerhouse to a nationally focused wealth management office.”

CoastalOne Appoints Kevin Keefe as CEO

CoastalOne, a hybrid broker/dealer based in Wilmington, Del., has appointed Kevin Keefe, former president and CEO of First Allied Securities, as its new CEO.

Keefe replaces Charles Reiling, who held the role for more than eight years, following the firm’s recent acquisition by Orange Street Holdings.

Prior to stepping into the role in March, Keefe was a senior advisor for BNY Mellon. He has also held leadership roles at Advisor Group, LPL and First Allied Securities, where he served as CEO during its integration into Cetera Financial Group. At CoastalOne, he is charged with strengthening the firm’s platform and services for affiliated advisors.

Established in 1989, CoastalOne provides a service, operations, technology and compliance platform for more than 160 financial advisors bringing in $70 million in annual revenue.

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