The Buckingham Family of Financial Services, a partner firm of Focus Financial Partners, has merged with Sonoma County-based Wealth Management Consultants LLC (WMC), the firm announced Monday. Buckingham also said it is continuing to execute its succession plan for Buckingham Asset Management, an affiliate, with the transition of Adam Birenbaum to chief executive.
Buckingham, whose firms collectively advise on more than $12 billion in assets, recently appeared on the 2010 INC 5000 list of the fastest growing private U.S. companies, the statement said.
Buckingham, which is headquartered in St. Louis, said that its strategic merger with WMC fits its goal to become the leading passive investment firm. The merger was conducted with the guidance and resources of Focus Financial Partners, it said.
“We are delighted to be joining forces with the talented WMC team,” Bert Schweizer, Buckingham’s co-founder and chairman, said in the statement. “WMC presents an excellent opportunity to broaden the geographic reach, scope and scale of our combined wealth management services to individuals, businesses, trusts, not-for-profits and retirement plans.”
WMC, which manages approximately $400 million, was co-founded by Irwin “Irv” Rothenberg some 20 years ago. Like Buckingham, the statement said, WMC is a longtime proponent of Modern Portfolio Theory and passive investing, believing that client goals are best reached by an investment strategy designed to consistently take market gains while limiting investment costs. In addition, Rothenberg helped to build Buckingham’s sister company, BAM Advisor Services, a turnkey asset management platform that offers support services for RIAs and CPAs, with an emphasis on passive investing. WMC will maintain its name and continue to be led by Rothenberg, Thelia Eagan and Brent Thomas.
Birenbaum’s transition to chief executive, succeeding Schweizer, will allow Schweizer to focus on his role as chairman of the firm and continue his role as an advisor to Buckingham clients, the statement said.