In a move that helps Indianapolis-based Deerfield Financial Advisors expand into the Chicago area, the fee-only firm has acquired Bowyer, Weydert Wealth Planning Partners of Park Ridge, Illinois, the firm announced in a news release Tuesday, June 1.
The addition of Bowyer Weydert, with $160 million of AUM, will bring Deerfield Financial Advisors‘ firm assets to more than $460 million, Deerfield partner Susie Steel said in a telephone interview. The office in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago, numbers three employees and the Indianapolis office, which serves clients in two countries and 19 states, numbers 11 employees.
“We believe the acquisition of Wealth Planning Partners creates a firm where the sum of the two firms is greater than either firm on their own,” said Deerfield CEO Dick Bellmer, who served as 2007-8 chairman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), in the release. “We believe it is mandatory to help our clients meet their goals in an objective and un-biased manner.”
Deerfield’s acquisition also provides Bowyer Weydert with a succession plan so clients’ transition to a new advisory team will be seamless when Gary Bowyer, 63, retires, Steel said.
As part of the agreement, Bowyer, a CFP, will become executive VP of Deerfield’s new Illinois office. Benjamin Hockema, 22, has joined the Deerfield team as a financial planner in the Park Ridge office, and he is currently studying for his CFP tests, Steel said. Partner Steve Weydert is leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities, she added.
This marks the first acquisition for Deerfield, which usually grows its business through its “centers of influence and normal referral sources,” Steel noted. But the firm, which has three partners in its Indianapolis office, was eager to take advantage of the opportunity to expand with Bowyer, who met Bellmer 15 years ago when he first joined NAPFA.