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RIA Roundup: MAI Acquires More Assets in January Than All of 2023

It was a slow week for deals in the RIA space but MAI didn’t miss a beat and Wealth Enhancement Group reinforced its position as 2023’s most active buyer.

With many industry leaders at a certain technology conference in Las Vegas this week, deal announcements slowed for the first time this year.

Even so, MAI continued strong with its fourth announcement and third completed deal of the year and Wealth Enhancement Group reinforced its position as the most active dealmaker of 2023 with an 18th deal closed last year.

Realta Wealth has also convened an advisory board chaired by Larry Roth, managing partner of RLR Strategic.

In other news this week, Allworth Financial added more than $600 million in its first two deals of the year, while Cetera took a minority position in an Arizona OSJ and True North Advisors in Dallas became the latest recipient of growth capital from Wealth Partners Capital Group and HGGC.

MAI Acquires More Assets in January Than All of 2023

Cleveland-based MAI Capital Management burst out of the gate in 2024, announcing more deals in the first four weeks of the year than in all of 2023—and three times the acquired assets.

In a deal that closed on Jan. 19, MAI picked up a Cincinnati RIA managing around $144 million in client assets for a few hundred clients.

Mark Roberts and Don Brosz founded WaterStone Investment Counsel in 1995, offering investment management and financial advice to individuals, businesses and foundations. Both have stepped into senior wealth advisor roles at MAI and will work with Regional President Ed Kuresman.

According to Roberts, the move will “allow us to leverage expanded capabilities, such as those related to tax and estate planning, that can help us provide more holistic solutions to our clients.”

The team has established a second MAI location in Cincinnati, following the acquisition of Madison Wealth Management in January, a deal that added $1.4 billion in assets. The was followed by the acquisition of Traverso Chambers Private Wealth, with $550 million, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The purchase of R. Karras Asset Management, a $110 million firm in MAI’s hometown of Cleveland, officially closed at the end of last year and was announced in early January.

In all, MAI has added more than $2 billion in acquired assets in deals closed this year. That’s about $1.3 billion more than in all of 2023, which the firm ended with $18.8 billion in total managed assets.

Owned by Galway Holdings, with a minority investment from Wealth Partners Capital Group, MAI has completed 35 transactions and grown assets by more than $15 billion since 2018.

Wealth Enhancement Group Pulls $136M Advisor from Wealthquest Corp.  

Minneapolis-based Wealth Enhancement Group, one of the nation’s most active RIA dealmakers, announced its 18th acquisition of 2023 this week with the addition of Shawn Scott in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Joining WEG as a senior vice president and advisor, Scott manages around $136 million in assets. Providing financial planning, asset and wealth management and qualified retirement plan support, he said in a statement that he looks forward to accessing WEG’s “extensive resources” to better serve his professional and business owner clients.  

Previously with $1.5 billion AUM Wealthquest Corporation for more than 11 years, Scott has also held positions with Raymond James and the Financial Legacy Group.

This last acquisition brings total client assets overseen by WEG advisors to more than $75.1 billion. 

Majority owned by TA Associates and Onex Partners, WEG has grown to 100 offices—with more than 400 advisors serving close to 48,000 individual households and 1,000 institutional investors—since its founding in 1997.

Realta Wealth Announces Inaugural Corporate Advisory Board

The recently rebranded Realta Wealth named a trio of industry professionals to serve on its first corporate advisory board this week.

A dually registered advisory platform overseeing around $3.3 billion in assets for households and institutions, Realta tapped RLR Strategic Partners Managing Partner Larry Roth to chair the new board, which also includes Haven Tower CEO Joe Kuo and Docupace COO Mike Zebrowksi.

The board will offer “objective insights, expert analysis, informed counsel and relevant support regarding the firm's strategic direction,” according to an announcement. This includes leveraging their individual strengths to help develop a long-term service strategy, create a “differentiated” tech stack and improve marketing and communications strategies.

Extolling the talents of each member, Realta CEO Kevin Keefe said in a statement that his firm looks forward to “gaining insight and guidance from each of them as Realta aggressively evolves to meet the needs of our rapidly changing industry."

"Realta is a firm on the move,” added Roth. “They have committed leadership, dedicated staff and loyal advisors. I am thrilled to chair their Advisory Board as we work together to leverage and amplify our unique perspectives to help Kevin and his team steer their newly re-branded firm toward even greater success, with category leading wealth management solutions, innovative technologies and valuable advisor growth offerings." 

Based in Wilmington, Del., Realta is owned by Orange Street Holdings and comprises around 160 independent advisors.

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