AssetMark Inc. announced today that it had agreed to acquire the turnkey asset management program (TAMP) assets of Philadelphia-based Clark Capital Management Group, adding 670 advisors to the AssetMark platform. The deal will also give AssetMark’s 6,500 advisor platform users access to several Clark Capital investment products, through Clark’s PUMA (Personal Unified Management Account) SMA.
Clark Capital has $1.75 billion in assets under management in its TAMP program, and $1.55 billion more in assets to which it acts as an asset manager. The deal is expected to close in 2015’s third quarter, after which AssetMark said it will have about $27 billion in total assets.
In an interview Wednesday, AssetMark CEO Charles Goldman declined to provide any financial details of the transaction, but instead said “the way the transaction is being structured is unique: Clark will continue to manage money” for its existing clients and “the TAMP itself and its advisors will become part of” AssetMark’s platform. Clark Capital will also continue to provide relationship management to its existing clients, adding to the “100 relationship managers,” said Goldman, that AssetMark “has in the field.” About 125 of AssetMark’s advisors currently use both the Clark and AssetMark platforms, “and hopefully many more” will do so, said Goldman, the former Schwab and Fidelity RIA custodian executive.
Those 670 advisors are “all independent advisors,” said Goldman, meaning RIAs and independent broker-dealer advisors, “no employee advisors.” As such, he said there was a “great cultural fit between the two firms.” The transaction provides scale to Clark Capital, and allows its advisors access to AssetMark’s technology, while the “Clark family remains entrepreneurial and can continue to grow” its business under the AssetMark umbrella.
In a statement, Clark Capital Chairman and CEO Harry Clark said the deal “allows us to focus on what we’ve been doing best for nearly 30 years – developing a combination of innovative and traditional strategies that can help clients stay on track to reach their goals.”
Goldman said that the deal reflects the changing nature of the TAMP business, where smaller entrepreneurs are seeing the limitations of their size. “Clark wants to focus on investment management, and they wanted a great home for those nearly 700 advisors.”
Goldman said AssetMark is “going to do more of these kinds of deals – maybe one or two a year.”
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