Focus Financial Partner Firms Complete Strategic Deals

The transactions boost client assets by approximately $450 million

Focus Financial Partners announced Tuesday that four of its partner firms have completed strategic transactions in the last 60 days, either closing on important sub-acquisitions or recruiting well-respected new professionals to their firms.

The four firms are JFS Wealth Advisors, LLBH Private Wealth Management, CapGroup Advisors and The Buckingham Family of Financial Services. The deals boost client assets by approximately $450 million.

Rudy Adolf “These recent transactions are excellent examples of the kind of growth plans that Focus has always supported,” said Rudy Adolf (left), founder and CEO of Focus, in a statement. “For any financial advisor, the client is always the top priority, leaving little time to think about strategic acquisitions or senior recruitment. In leveraging Focus’ national network and industry relationships, our partner firms can strengthen their business continuity, client services and growth trajectories far more easily than they could on their own.”

Supported by Focus Financial, the following four strategic transactions have closed in the last 60 days:

  • Pittsburgh-based H.L. Zeve Associates merged with JFS Wealth Advisors: JFS Wealth Advisors, an independent wealth management firm in Hermitage, Pa., acquired Pittsburgh-based H.L. Zeve Associates, a wealth advisory firm with $325 million in assets under management. The transaction, completed on Dec. 31, brings JFS Wealth Advisors’ assets to more than $1.2 billion of client assets under management, making it a premier firm in the Pittsburgh market. Under the agreement, Harvey Zeve, founder and CEO of H.L. Zeve, has joined JFS as a consultant and Steve Lee, president of H.L. Zeve, will stay on as managing principal. Founded in 1986 by Bob Jazwinski, JFS provides integrated financial planning and investment strategies to over 1,000 clients across 30 states. Jazwinski said in the statement that “We are excited to have the talented team from H.L. Zeve on board. Their engrained presence in the Pittsburgh market allows us to extend our services to a broader range of high-net-worth clients.”

 

  • LLBH Private Wealth Management strengthens leadership with new managing director: On Dec. 1, LLBH Private Wealth Management, a Westport, Conn., independent RIA with nearly $1 billion in client assets, appointed Haley Rockwell as a new managing director. Rockwell joins LLBH through a partnership agreement with Greenwich, Conn.-based Chronogram, a private wealth management firm, where she managed $110 million in client assets and served as owner and CEO. In joining LLBH, Rockwell can leverage LLBH’s multifamily office offering and resources for her ultrahigh-net-worth clients. LLBH’s continued growth and success has allowed it to expand its family service offering, including trustee and concierge-level services, to meet the needs of its ultrahigh-net-worth clients.

 

  • CapGroup Advisors hires financial advisor Jeremy Kuhlen and acquires private client assets: Richmond-based CapGroup Advisors, a founding partner of Focus Financial with more than $1 billion in assets, hired Jeremy Kuhlen as Managing Director, effective Jan. 1. Kuhlen previously co-founded Mentor Wealth Management, a Richmond-based firm with approximately $35 million in assets. Under the agreement, CapGroup will merge Mentor’s clients into its Private Client Practice. As a member of CapGroup, Kuhlen can now offer his clients access to a large team of industry professionals and institutional resources, including sophisticated portfolio management and technological infrastructure. Kuhlen’s strong relationships in and around Richmond will help support CapGroup’s growth and business development goals.

In addition, The Buckingham Family of Financial Services, comprised of Buckingham Asset Management, BAM Advisor Services and BAM Risk Management, has appointed the author and blogger Dan Solin as a wealth advisor at Buckingham Asset Management and as director of investor advocacy at BAM Alliance, a community of more than 130 independent wealth management firms.

In his new role, Solin will be responsible for enhancing the vast library of thought leadership materials already produced by the firm's thought leaders, including Carl Richards and Larry Swedroe, and will help lead the firm’s business development efforts. Prior to joining the BAM Alliance, Solin was senior vice president at Index Fund Advisors, an Irvine, Calif.-based RIA, where he managed significant levels of assets and was responsible for business development.

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