Savant Wealth Management, a Rockford, Ill.-based registered investment advisor with ambitious plans for growth, has recruited Patrick Lawlor to serve as its new head of mergers and acquisitions. Lawlor joins from The Mather Group, another Chicago-area RIA, where he served as president and head of M&A.
Lawlor will help Savant achieve its goal of three-to-five times growth over the next five years.
The five-year growth plan was kicked off in earnest last spring following a minority investment by middle-market private investment firm Kelso & Company, and it included an organic growth and an accelerated mergers and acquisitions strategy.
The firm’s acquisition of Virginia-based Alliant Wealth Advisors in July represented its first acquisition of 2022 and 12th in the firm’s history. The firm completed four other acquisitions in 2022, including World Trend Financial and Terry Lockridge & Dunn, both headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The RIA expects to accelerate its pace of M&A in 2023 and beyond.
“In 2021 we re-capitalized to provide Savant significantly more growth capital to accelerate from incremental to exponential growth,” Savant CEO Brent Brodeski said in a statement. “In 2022, we focused on strengthening our advisory leadership team to better position Savant for future growth. Now, we’re ramping up our growth engine by significantly expanding our M&A team, accelerating the size and volume of our M&A activity, and developing cutting-edge technology that will differentiate our client experience and help generate organic growth.”
“Many firms are aggregators that are focused on capital raising,” Lawlor said in a statement. Savant’s approach is to attract founder-driven, fee-only RIAs with a planning-first mindset and a desire to remain relevant.”
As of Dec. 31, Savant had approximately $14.3 billion in assets under advisement.