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RIA Roundup: MAI Picks Up $1.4B RIA in Cincinnati

At least 10 deals, representing more than $8 billion in transacted assets, were announced this week along with a rebrand and two RIA launches.

MAI Capital Management scooped up a firm in its home state of Ohio with $1.4 billion in assets, while SageView Advisory Group picked up a practice in Indiana and a 10-person team from Avantax joined the Kestra Private Wealth Services platform as BYRT Financial.

In earlier reported deals, Hightower bought a $3.3 billion New York firm; Mercer added an Iowa firm with $275 million; Redhawk Wealth Advisors acquired a team of 10 in Connecticut managing $245 million; Baird attracted an Edelman advisor managing more than half a billion; and Diversify Advisor Network launched its third affiliation model with three acquisitions representing more than $2 billion in assets.

Also this week: Laird Norton and Wetherby unveiled their shared brand two years after they merged and two new RIAs were launched—BridgePort Financial Solutions, created by Cambridge Investment Research, and a new ‘co-operative’ platform called Avise Financial.

MAI Passes $20B in Assets with $1.4B Ohio Acquisition

Cleveland-based MAI Capital Management acquired one of the largest registered investment advisory firms in Cincinnati, adding $1.4 billion in client assets and establishing the region as one of the firm’s largest markets.

With an additional office in the Washington, D.C. area, Madison Wealth Management was founded in 2000 and comprises 32 employees, including 12 advisors, providing customized financial planning and investment portfolio management, retirement and stock option planning and trust and estate advice for almost 600 clients, according to federal filings.

Two Madison executives—founder and President Jim McDermott and Chief Investment Officer Ed Kuresman—are stepping into regional president roles with MAI. The firm expects to leverage infrastructure and resources around things like talent, operations and marketing that are available through MAI.

“This partnership enhances and accelerates our mission as a full-service wealth management boutique,” McDermott said in a statement.

“We look forward to expanding our reach and integrated capabilities with the addition of this talented team,” added MAI CEO Rick Buoncore.

The deal, which closed on Jan. 5, represents MAI’s 33rd acquisition since stepping into the M&A arena in the summer of 2019. With $18.8 billion previously under management, it brings MAI over the $20 billion threshold with close to 7,500 clients.

MAI has been majority owned by Galway Holdings since 2021.

SageView Advisory Scoops Palmer Retirement in Indiana

SageView Advisory Group, a retirement plan-focused RIA managing $156 billion at the end of 2023, acquired Palmer Retirement Consulting in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Palmer President Dan Palmer, who founded the firm in 2016, has joined SageView as a managing director. Along with Retirement Plan Consultant Kristina Nearing, the pair serves both plan sponsors and individual wealth management clients; SageView declined to share the number of clients or assets they brought with them in the deal.

“I look forward to benefiting from SageView's scale, back-office efficiencies and business development infrastructure to support my clients' goals," Palmer said in a statement.

Based in Newport Beach, Calif., SageView was founded in 1989 and has been owned by Aquiline Capital Partners since 2021. The firm advises on more than 2,000 defined contribution, defined benefit and deferred compensation plans in addition to providing wealth management advisory services.

Last year, former Silicon Valley Bank Private President John Longley took over founder Randy Long’s role as CEO when he became SageView’s first chairman.  

Kestra PWS Adds BYRT Financial in Georgia

Austin-based Kestra Private Wealth Services attracted a team from Avantax with around $134 million in client assets and a team of 10.

BYRT Financial Advisors, in Southeastern Georgia, was led by Matthew Tuten and Adam Tolle, both of whom have taken on partner roles at Kestra PWS. The team provides retirement, estate and tax planning for wealthy households and individuals.

Tuten learned about Kestra through a firm that joined last year.

“With the added support of Kestra PWS, we are strategically positioned to create a more sustainable business, grow our team of advisors, carry out acquisitions of smaller firms, and better serve existing and future clients,” he said in a statement.

Owned by Kestra Financial, the private wealth division was launched in 2012 to help wirehouse and W-2 advisors go independent, providing office logistics assistance, consultative compliance support, a comprehensive platform, a transition plan and daily management support. The firm has since helped to launch more than 36 practices in 17 states.

Kestra Financial was overseeing more than $100 billion in client assets across three RIAs and one broker/dealer at the end of 2022, about half of which was under management. The firm is owned by Kestra Holdings, which is majority owned by Warburg Pincus and includes acquisition-focused RIA Bluespring Wealth Partners and Arden Trust Company.  

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