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Evensky & Katz to Merge With Foldes Financial

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Evensky & Katz Wealth Management has signed an agreement to merge with Foldes Financial Management LLC to become the largest independent registered investment advisory firm in South Florida.

With the addition of Foldes Financial, which manages approximately $600 million for 400 clients, the firm, to be called Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial Management once the merger is completed on July 14, will have $1.5 billion in assets under management.

David Evensky, principal and executive vice president at Evensky & Katz, told ThinkAdvisor Friday that besides being “a very good fit,” the addition of Foldes Financial helps Evensky & Katz “scale its business” in order to deliver better services to clients.

Noting the industry consolidation among wealth management firms, Evensky says that advisory firms are moving from being single practitioners to ensemble practices. Merging the firms, for instance, will allow for the purchase of “more sophisticated software,” Evensky said, and allows the merged entities to “pass off the lowest cost to our clients.” Said Evensky: “The larger you get [the more you can] deliver that pricing discount” to clients.

Foldes Financial is led by founder Steve Foldes, the former co-founder and president of Fun Footwear Co. that launched the popular “jellies” sandals in the early 1980s. He was also a former Evensky & Katz client as well as a wealth manager at the firm before leaving to launch Foldes Financial in 1996.

Foldes told ThinkAdvisor on Friday that while the merger provides for a succession plan for him now that he recently turned 65, he “loves” what he does and doesn’t plan on diminishing his role at the firm for at least another six years.

With just himself and another senior advisor handling the firm’s 400 clients, Foldes says that “One thing that has always concerned me is: What happens if I get hit by the proverbial bus? How do I protect my clients and staff?” That’s why “the merger of my firm with another one made all the sense in the world,” as the merged entities will create a “team approach” to handling client accounts.

Under the merged entity, Harold Evensky will continue as chairman while Foldes will serve as vice chairman. All of Foldes’ six employees will be retained.

As to whether more mergers are in Evensky & Katz’s future, “We are very interested in growing,” David Evensky says. “We would be happy to look at other opportunities.”

Check out Evensky’s 10 Tips for Retirement Success on ThinkAdvisor.