Focus Financial said Friday that its partner firms closed six deals in as many months, adding $1 billion in assets under management. It also helped a partner firm add an advisor after the group had initially struck a succession agreement with the individual rep.
In addition, the partnership has helped its member firms boost total AUM by roughly $2 billion so far this year via mergers.
“2014 has been a terrific year for Focus with tremendous activity across all of our business models,” said says founder and CEO Rudy Adolf, in a statement. “Mergers are an integral part of our value-added programs to our partners, providing them with access to Focus’ M&A expertise and capital. Mergers are also a terrific opportunity to provide succession planning and continuity to many advisors in our industry.”
The independent wealth management firms striking deals with support from Focus Financial over the past six months include the Colony Group, IFM Capital Advisors, GW & Wade, HoyleCohen, Beirne Wealth Consulting and Buckingham Asset Management, adding over $1 billion in client assets across the firms.
Focus Financial says it has completed over 60 mergers for its partner firms since its inception in 2006. In the first half of 2014, Focus facilitated mergers for Atlas Private Wealth Management, Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management, LVW Advisors, Sapient Private Wealth Management and Telemus Capital Partners.
“We now have 31 partners firms and affiliates,” said Rajini Kodialam, managing director and co-founder of Focus Financial, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
The five partner firms that have joined it so far in 2014 are Gratus Capital Management of Atlanta; Flynn Family Office of New York; Summit Financial Wealth Advisors of Lafayette, Louisiana; Quadrant Private Wealth of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and IFM Capital Advisors of Denver.
Partner firms and affiliates now have more than $80 billion of client assets and produce roughly $325 million in yearly revenue, Kodialam says.
“It’s been a very good year,” she explained, “with lots of pure organic growth at our partner firms, which are the best in class in the country. Mergers also are very important, and we help our partners and affiliates … with legal support and capital to execute them.”
Details on Deals
GW & Wade, a Wellesley, Massachusetts-based partner firm with $4.8 billion in client assets, recently added advisor Paul St. Onge, an East Greenwich, Rhode Island-based sole practitioner with $150 million in client assets. Onge entered into a Focus Successions agreement with GW & Wade to “ensure continuity of service to his clients beyond his eventual retirement, but shortly after decided to accelerate the process by merging with GW & Wade,” according to Focus Financial.
“This is the first example we’ve had of signing a succession deal with an advisor who then decided to merge with a partner or affiliate,” Kodialam said. “We believe this is a trend we will see a lot more of.”
The Boston-based Colony Group, an RIA with about $3.7 billion in client assets, merged with Long Wharf Investors of Boston in July.