Mergers and acquisitions activity in the RIA space came roaring back this week, after two slow months and a general consensus that dealmaking had slowed. A flurry of sub-$500 million deals were announced, adding up to more than $3 billion in transacted AUM, as some new players got in on the game and others continued to execute on ambitious inorganic strategies.
Prospera Financial alone added three new firms to its platform, with a combined $539 million in client assets. Hightower announced it facilitated its fifth merger of the year for Fairport Wealth in Cleveland, Kestra Private Wealth Services helped launch an independent practice previously affiliated with Avantax and MAI picked up a Midwest firm with around $430 million in AUM.
Meanwhile, OneSeven acquired Callahan Financial with a co-investment from capital partner Merchant Investment Management, which also bought a minority stake in a $600 million AUM asset management shop to provide risk-managed strategies to partner firms.
Last Friday, Sanctuary announced that it has added a father-son team in California with around $600 million in assets.
In earlier reported news, 115-year-old Rothschild has made its first acquisition; Litman Gregory has made its second; Mercer added teams in California and Texas; Mission Wealth added a trio in the Pacific Northwest; Oswego Crest Financial Group left Commonwealth for Steward Partners; and Homrich Berg acquired Calvary Wealth and opened a new Nashville office as it continues regional expansion.
Prospera Financial Adds 3 Firms with $539M in Combined Assets
Dallas-based Prospera Financial Services, a dually registered platform for RIAs and IBDs with around $6 billion in assets under management, announced this week the addition of three new firms with a combined $539 million in assets and locations in three national geographies.
G4 Wealth Management, located in a northwest Phoenix suburb, is an eight-person team led by Matthew Gaspar overseeing $320 million in assets for families, executives and business owners.
With offices in Boston and Fort Lauderdale, East Coast Capital Management is a nine-person team led by Managing Director Michael Trethewey with about $130 million in managed assets.
Paraclete Wealth Consultants, located half an hour west of Kansas in Lamar, Colo., was founded earlier this year by Chief Wealth Advisors Michael Beard. Along with Client Services Specialists Brittany and Tami Beard—Michael’s wife and mother, respectively—the faith-based family-owned practice oversees around $89 million in assets for ranchers, farmers and business owners in or nearing retirement with a net worth of at least $1 million.
"Over the past several months, we have seen significant consolidation among mega firms in our industry, leaving many advisors asking if there is a different path to build their businesses," said Prospera President and COO Tarah Williams. "The addition of G4 Wealth Management, East Coast Capital Management and Paraclete Wealth Consultants serves as a meaningful proof point that our value proposition is resonating with growth-minded advisors across the country.”
Founded in 1982, Prospera has increased revenue by 108% over the last five years, the firm said, through M&A and organic growth strategies, while maintaining one home office staffer for every 2.4 advisors on the Prospera platform.
Hightower Supports 5th Tuck-In for Fairport Wealth, Adding NJ-based Wealth CMT
Chicago-based Hightower Advisors facilitated its fifth merger of the year for partner firm Fairport Wealth in Cleveland.
Wealth CMT, an RIA in Cherry Hill, N.J., with $300 million in AUM, brings Fairpoint to $4.5 billion in assets. The five-person team led by founders and principals Andrew Barnett and Eric Feder works with more than 180 clients.
“In seeking a like-minded strategic partner, we determined that Fairport Wealth offers both additive wealth management solutions for our clients and professional development opportunities for our staff,” Barnett said in a statement.
In addition to M&A support, Hightower offers a range of services to expedite organic growth, including business development consultation; marketing, talent acquisition, HR and back-office support; and technology, investment management, compliance and trust and estate resources.
At the end of the second quarter, the firm boasted approximately $131 billion in assets under management across 135 affiliated firms in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
Kestra Private Wealth Services Adds $170M Kaizen Wealth Planning
Austin-based Kestra Private Wealth Services, a hybrid RIA subsidiary of Kestra Financial reporting close to $5 billion in client assets, added a Southern Texas firm overseeing about $170 million.
Less than an hour from the Gulf of Mexico in Victoria, Texas, Kaizen Wealth Planning is helmed by David Bayarena and his assistant, Jamie Schacherl. The firm’s location gives Kestra PWS its second office in its home state.
The duo joined Kestra PWS from Bumgardner Morrison & Co., an Avantax-affiliated CPA firm where Bayarena spent 14 years as the sole financial advisor, according to an announcement. Frustrated with the lack of growth potential, he chose to launch his own practice with Kestra’s support.
Kaizen—a name taken from the Japanese word for commitment to continuous improvement and growth—now has access to Kestra Financial’s network of support services, technology platform and a range of other resources.
“The independent model allows us to channel our entrepreneurial nature and authentically serve clients in an environment free of corporate agendas,” said Bayarena. “Kestra PWS’ boots on the ground approach to support is robust, as I saw firsthand with their assistance throughout the office leasing agreement process.”
Founded in 2010 by wirehouse breakaways looking to provide institutional-grade services in an independent setting, Kestra PWS has since provided support to more than 50 independent advisors and teams. Including Kestra Investment Services, its broker/dealer, and two other branded, SEC-registered entities offering advisory and institutional services, Kestra Financial collectively oversees more than $100 billion in client assets, about half of which is managed by a network of more than 1,700 affiliated advisors.
MAI Capital Management Acquires Asset Management Group
MAI Capital Management, a fee-based RIA managing around $17 billion in assets, acquired Asset Management Group in Northbrook, Ill., in a deal that closed Monday.
AMG was founded in 1990 by Glenn Movish, who is stepping into the role of managing director and senior wealth advisor at MAI. He is joined by Ryan Hannifan, now a portfolio management analyst at MAI, and Anna Benner, senior client services specialist.
The trio manages some $430 million in assets for fewer than 350 families, individuals and small business owners, per its most recent Form ADV filing.
The acquisition, MAI’s 30th, expands the firm’s footprint in the Midwest.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, MAI was acquired in 2021 by Galway Holdings to accelerate organic growth. The firm increased assets from $900 million in early 2007 by building out a business focused on serving athletes and entertainers, establishing a retirement services division and expanding its menu of family office style services for clients at all levels of wealth.
Based in Cleveland, MAI has more than 300 employees, including around 135 advisors, serving close to 7,500 clients from offices in 22 cities in 14 states.
Merchant, OneSeven Make Moves
OneSeven, a Cleveland-based RIA with close to $2.5 billion in managed assets, acquired a Cincinnati practice in a co-investment with Merchant Investment Management, which holds a minority, non-controlling stake in OneSeven.
Founded in 1987 by Joe Callahan, Callahan Financial offers wealth management and retirement planning for individuals, families and small businesses, including elder care resources and valuation services. The firm managed a little more than $165 million in early 2023, per its most recent Form ADV filing.
Callahan clients have been transitioned to OneSeven with support from Merchant, and capital provided by both will help fuel accelerated growth for the firm. The partnership also brings the five-person Callahan team additional expertise around corporate strategy and organic growth initiatives, as well as access to an expanded array of investment management and capital market strategies.
"Our collaboration with Callahan Financial signifies our commitment to provide unparalleled financial service solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of growth-oriented advisors," stated OneSeven co-founder and President Todd Resnick.
In pursuit of that goal, Merchant also has also made a minority investment in Morgan Dempsey Capital, a boutique asset-management firm with $600M in AUM and a strong track record of delivering risk-adjusted returns for RIAs, institutions and individuals.
The collaboration, which will offer Merchant’s partner firms the tools and insights to optimize risk-adjusted returns and raise awareness about the importance of risk management, is expected to drive increased adoption of risk managed strategies among the advisor community.
A private partnership providing growth capital, strategic opportunities and management resources and consultation to independent wealth management firms and related financial services businesses, the Merchant network comprises more than 60 partner firms in three countries managing more than $140 billion in assets at the end of 2022.
Sanctuary Wealth Adds Glomb Private Wealth from UBS
Indianapolis-based Sanctuary Wealth has added Glomb Private Wealth to its expanding platform of independent advisors, the Indianapolis-based firm announced.
Founded in 1981 by Chris and Michael Glomb, the father-son team is joining Sanctuary from UBS, along with Managing Director and COO Jessica Regidor and Client Service Associate Sara-Belle Guglielmino. Based in Los Gatos, Calif., the team oversees some $600 million in assets for wealthy families, executives and business owners, with a focus on help clients navigate transitional life events.
Founded in 2018 as a destination for breakaway wirehouse advisors, the Sanctuary Wealth platform comprises more than 70 partner firms in 28 states, including more than 300 advisors overseeing around $25 billion in assets across its subsidiaries—Sanctuary Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisor, Sanctuary Securities, a FINRA member broker-dealer, as well as Sanctuary Alternative Holdings, Sanctuary Asset Management, Sanctuary Insurance Solutions, Sanctuary Global and Sanctuary Global Family Office.