Independent broker-dealer First Allied announced Tuesday that it has joined in an acquisition deal with private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners, allowing the BD and Lovell to buy First Allied from parent Advanced Equities Financial Corp.
San Diego-based First Allied, with about 1,000 financial advisors in 500 branches located around the United States, makes up Advanced Equities’ independent brokerage group, including registered investment advisor (RIA) and wealth management businesses. Upon closing of the transaction, First Allied will be an independent company and continue to operate under the First Allied brand.
“At a time when many independent broker/dealers are challenged to find sustainable growth, First Allied continues to succeed by providing a platform that enables its affiliated advisors to grow their businesses,” said First Allied President Adam Antoniades in a statement. “Becoming a free-standing company, with the financial support of a great partner in Lovell Minnick, will provide us with additional flexibility and resources to further accelerate our growth.”
Founded in 1994 as a privately held company, First Allied in 2005 was sold to Advanced Equities by Wells Fargo.
Potential buyers for broker-dealers on the market have shrunk over the past few years, making this acquisition big news in the advisory world. Private equity and venture capital firms are the primary group of buyers right now, said Jon Henschen, head of Henschen & Associates, a recruiting firm for independent advisors in Marine on St. Croix, Minn., in this month’s issue of Investment Advisor.
“There are fewer buyers out there right now,” Henschen said. “There are just not many insurance firms looking for brokers, for instance, since many of them have gotten out of this business.”