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RIA Roundup: Retirement Plan Biz Brings $5.6B AUM to OneDigital Investment Advisors

OneDigital acquired Huntington National Bank’s 401(k) and retirement plan business this week, while Clearstead Advisors picked up local firm CLS Consulting. The Mather Group and NewEdge Wealth both announced key hires.

OneDigital is continuing to grow its wealth management and retirement divisions with its fifth acquisition this year and Clearstead is bolstering trust services with the addition of CLS Consulting.

Meanwhile, The Mather Group replaced former CCO Maureen Kiefer-Goldenberg and NewEdge Wealth brought in a new managing partner.

In earlier news, RBC snapped up a $1 billion team from First Republic Bank. Here are some notable acquisitions and advisor moves in the wealth management space over the past week.

OneDigital Buys Huntington National Bank's 401(k) Advisor and Retirement Plan Business

OneDigital Investment Advisors, an RIA owned by insurance brokerage, financial services and HR consulting firm OneDigital, announced it has acquired Huntington National Bank’s 401(k) advisory and retirement plan business.

Huntington is the wholly owned banking subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated in Columbus, Ohio.

Following a six-year business relationship, Huntington will partner with OneDigital to create additional scale for 1,300 clients sponsoring workplace savings plans of all sizes, according to the announcement.

“The addition of Huntington’s retirement plan business will create an even stronger service organization at OneDigital,” OneDigital President of Retirement and Wealth Vincent Morris said in a statement. “We will continue to expand our capabilities for these plan sponsors, enhance our financial wellness and advice offerings and accelerate our value creation for all our stakeholders.”

“It is our collective goal to ensure our clients receive the same high standard of service they expect while gaining the technological excellence and deep product capabilities offered by OneDigital," said Huntington EVP and Director of Wealth Management Michael Robinson.

The acquisition of Huntington brings 18 advisors and $5.6 billion in retirement plan assets under management to the OneDigital platform, representing 41,000 individual accounts. Huntington’s retirement teams will expand One Digital’s presence in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; and Pittsburgh.

Based in Overland Park, Kan., and Columbus, Ohio, the multifaceted OneDigital has been building out its wealth management and benefits and retirement divisions, with five acquisitions completed between the end of January and mid-March.

Per a Form ADV, OneDigital oversaw approximately $27 billion in managed assets and $62 billion in advised assets as of March 29, 2023.

The Huntington transaction closed on March 31. Terms were not disclosed.

Clearstead Acquires Business of CLS Consulting

Clearstead Advisors, a Cleveland-based registered investment advisor serving high-net-worth and institutional clients, has acquired the business of a local wealth management firm as part of an inorganic growth strategy.

In March, Clearstead signed an agreement to acquire the business of CLS Consulting, founded by Cindy Steeb in 2017. Steeb advises HNW individuals, private family trust companies and family-owned businesses on estate planning and fiduciary matters, according to an announcement. A pioneer in the development of single-family trust companies in Ohio, she has served as an advisor and trustee to several family trust companies and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.  

Steeb will join Clearstead as senior managing director of trust administration services in the firm’s private wealth management group.

“I look forward to joining the Clearstead team and working together to build a significant wealth management business,” she said in a statement.

“Cindy Steeb’s commitment to excellence fits the Clearstead culture,” said CEO Dave Fulton. “Our scale and capabilities will help her clients, and she brings personal and technical skills to us to expand our offerings.”

This is the third acquisition Clearstead has made since receiving a majority investment from Flexpoint Ford in February 2022, and the ninth in its history.

Founded in 1989, Clearstead provides financial and tax planning, investment management, trust, family office and OCIO services to more than 1,100 clients in 29 states. The firm currently oversees approximately $26.6 billion in client assets.

NewEdge Wealth Names Josh Gully as Managing Director

NewEdge Wealth, a boutique RIA serving ultra-high-net-worth families, family offices and institutional clients, announced the appointment of Josh Gully as a managing director.

In his new role, Gully is responsible for fostering client relationships and expanding the firm's assets under management. He is based out of the firm's headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Gully joins NewEdge after 30 years with Morgan Stanley, where he was a private wealth advisor and managing director. He specializes in serving entrepreneurs, private investors, family offices and multigenerational families.

"Josh and I, along with NewEdge partners John Straus and Jeff Kobernick, have a long working history and deep respect for each other," NewEdge Wealth CEO Rob Sechan said in a statement. "Josh has a proven ability to meet the needs of ultra-high-net-worth clients and will greatly contribute to the strong culture that NewEdge Wealth embodies. His addition continues the momentum of the caliber of talent we are building at NewEdge.”

“I am excited to introduce a new level of investment offerings, intellectual capital, and specialized service to my clients," said Gully.

A division of NewEdge Capital Group—which comprises multiple business lines and supports more than 300 financial advisors serving thousands of households, family offices and institutions—NewEdge Wealth currently oversees around $5.7 billion for more than 1,300 clients.

The Mather Group Hires Stuart Evans as Chief Compliance Officer

The Mather Group, a Chicago-based RIA with 15 offices across the country overseeing more than $11.6 billion in client assets, has hired Stuart Evans as chief compliance officer.

Evans steps into a role that has remained vacant since the departure of former CCO Maureen Kiefer-Goldenberg, who left TMG in November of 2022 to join Mariner Wealth Advisors, according to her LinkedIn profile.

With a background in compliance, Evans has nearly 30 years of industry experience in regulatory oversight, operations, and mergers and acquisitions. He joins TMG from Cerity Partners, where he spent more than three years as CCO after Cerity acquired Executive Monetary Management, a firm at which Evans held the roles of deputy CCO and CCO.

Prior to that, he was CCO at Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management for almost four years.

In his role at TMG, Evans is charged with managing and coordinating all the firm’s regulatory compliance activities.

“We’ve always believed in the importance of fostering a strong culture of compliance at TMG, and Stu is going to be instrumental in helping us maintain and improve upon that,” said TMG CEO Chris Behrens. “Stu brings a level of experience that is exactly what our firm needs as we navigate the dynamic regulatory environment while also growing rapidly. And, as a seasoned industry executive, his knowledge and skills will also be valuable on our leadership team.”

Majority owned by Vistria Group, TMG offers financial planning, tax advice and preparation, portfolio management, concentrated stock management, risk assessment and estate planning guidance.

The firm has grown rapidly in recent years, increasing AUM by more than 700% over the past five years and adding 18 new firms since October 2018.

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