After a “four-year, overnight merger” process, Angie Herbers Inc., led by Angie Herbers, and Wealth Management Marketing Inc., led by Kristen Luke, are merging to form a new, as-yet-unnamed company with 14 employees that will be based in San Diego.
Herbers, whose firm was founded 12 years ago (and who has been writing for Investment Advisor and ThinkAdvisor for nearly that long; view her most recent writings here), made that quip in an interview Thursday in which she explained the rationale for the merger and the offerings to advisors that the merged company will provide.
The merger is one of equals, with Herbers holding half of the new company’s stock and Luke holding the other 50%. “It’s a true merger,” said Herbers, “creating a new brand and a new name,” which will be rolled out either late this year or early in 2015. Herbers will be managing partner; she and her four employees will move from Manhattan, Kansas, to San Diego, where Wealth Management (founded in 2008) and its 10 employees (including Luke) is based.
“Kristen and I have worked with mutual clients for more than four years,” Herbers said, and “lots of clients told us we should merge; it took us four years for us to say ‘You’re right’” to those clients.
For clients, Herbers said, normally “I would come in at the very beginning and develop a strategy” to help create “great people, processes and procedures, M&A or a succession plan,” but then would refer to Luke’s firm for fulfilling an advisory firm’s marketing strategy.
“I was referring all this business to Kristen, and then we’d work together,” says Herbers, and that’s when clients would say “Why not work together under one firm that offers it all? Once we said yes, it became easy to put together” the merger.
Herbers admits, however, that while she helped “facilitate over 100 mergers” for her advisor clients, “it’s different when it’s your own.”