Northern Illinois-based Savant Wealth Management closed a deal on Thursday to buy tax and accounting firm Peay & Associates and its associated RIA, SwaimBrown Wealth Management, in central South Carolina.
Both entities were founded and principally owned by Jay Peay. He is joining Savant as a partner, along with Ashley Tate, who held a minority stake in the accounting business. Five additional employees of the combined firms will become employees at Savant.
The second pair of tax and advisory firms Savant has acquired this year, and the sixth CPA in its history, the deal adds tax talent and $146 million in managed assets, while expanding the firm’s national footprint to 38 offices in 14 states.
CEO Brent Brodeski said the focus on tax practices helps Savant differentiate itself from other wealth management providers, adding that a national shortage of CPA professionals means having those services available in-house puts the firm in a stronger position.
Peay said he was looking for a partnership to allow his companies to expand services locally and noted Savant already has a presence in Columbia, S.C., an hour and a half away from their Clinton offices.
In addition to the combo deal to buy Delaware-based CPA firm R.F. Book and its affiliated RIA, announced in July, Savant has also picked up Basil Financial Group in Chicago, Capital Directions in Atlanta, Domani Wealth in Lancaster, Penn., Paragon Financial Advisors in Columbia, S.C., and The Relaxing Retirement Coach in Wellesley, Mass, this year. The acquisition of $2.2 billion AUM Bridgeworth Wealth Management, announced earlier this month, is expected to close in December.
Those additions represent more than $8 billion in acquired assets in 2023, bringing Savant to nearly $24 billion in total AUM.
Established more than three decades ago, Savant offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan and family office services for individuals and institutions, as well as corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through affiliated Savant Tax & Consulting. Estate planning document preparation and other legal services are available through its affiliated law firm, Savant Legal.