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Technology > Investment Platforms > Turnkey Asset Management

Large RIAs Buckingham and Founders to Merge

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Call it a rollup, merger, whatever you like, but consolidation in the RIA space continues. Focus Financial Partners, a partnership of independent wealth management firms with more than $51 billion in assets, announced Thursday that Founders Financial Network will merge into Buckingham Asset Management.

Buckingham, based in St. Louis, joined the Focus network in February 2007. Founders, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, was one of the founding partners of Focus, having joined at its launch in January 2006. The companies say their combined client assets under management or administration reach “nearly $17 billion.” The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Rudy Adolf “I am pleased to see how this relationship has developed over the years,” Rudy Adolf (left), founder and CEO of Focus, said in a statement. “It has grown from mutual admiration to a deeper level of partnership, further emphasizing the value we bring to our partner firms.”

Buckingham delivers fee-only wealth management to high-net-worth individuals, businesses, trusts, nonprofits and retirement plans. This merger is the sixth transaction for Buckingham in two years. Together, the transactions have added $1.1 billion in assets, have broadened its geographic footprint and have strengthened the firm’s economy of scale, according to the firm.

“Founders’ strong reputation and outsized capabilities in Silicon Valley will greatly enhance Buckingham’s offerings and geographical reach for current and prospective clients,” added Adam Birenbaum, CEO of Buckingham. “We believe these California transactions will be extremely advantageous to our BAM business over the coming years, enhancing the support we can provide to the growing base of West Coast firms with whom we partner.”

Founders will keep its offices in Cupertino, Burlingame, Palo Alto and San Francisco, and adopt Buckingham’s name. Founders will continue to be led by Bob Kresek along with Bob Campbell, Edward Cho, Jovita Honor and Dan Taylor.

“It comes to a point where a large RIA has to do things differently than a one or two man shop,” Kresek, managing principal at Founders, told AdvsiorOne. “I was the one who instigated the deal because we were looking to ramp up rather quickly, and we wanted a partner that could help us do that. It turned out that Buckingham had clients here and wanted a larger presence in Silicon Valley. Rather than open a satellite office, we could offer them what they were looking for.”


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