Ron Carson

Carson Group says it is taking an equity stake in Amarillo, Texas-based Pinnacle Financial Group, which is becoming a Carson affiliate with some $1.1 billion in client assets and changing its brand.

Pinnacle is led by founder and CEO Michael David. David will keep his majority stake in the firm, which employs 28 stakeholders in five offices in Texas and Kansas.

“Michael and his team have known Carson Wealth for decades,” Ron Carson, CEO and founder of Omaha-based Carson Group, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to have such a fast-growing firm represent a new chapter of the Carson Wealth brand.”

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Carson Group announced the new equity-option arrangement on May 30, explaining that it allows a practice to sell a 25% stake and then use the Carson Wealth name. Through a pilot program, three firms with a total of $1.3 billion in assets signed on to the model earlier this year.

The Carson Group includes Carson Wealth, Carson Group Coaching and Carson Group Partners. Carson Wealth trades securities via Cetera Advisor Networks, which is being sold (along with its sister broker-dealers) to Genstar Capital, and it offers investment advisory services through its own RIA. Pinnacle was working with Cetera before agreeing to let Carson Group acquire an equity stake, so it will not be changing broker-dealers.

“It’s a transformational leap for both our team and our brand; I’m having the time of my life,” David said in a statement. “Overnight, we’ve elevated our national presence as one of the most recognized financial services brands in the country, while keeping the interests of our clients at the forefront.”

Growth Path

Earlier this month, Carson Group said it added about $613 million in assets based on nine partner firms that joined it during the second quarter — putting its total assets under management at over $6 billion. At the time, it said it expects $3.6 billion in assets to move onto its platform over the next six months, potentially bringing its AUM to $9 billion by year-end.

Since January, 27 firms have become part of the organization. One recent addition was Ruggie Wealth, which has roughly $577 million in assets, is led by founder and President Thomas Ruggie, and is based in Tavares, Florida.

During the second quarter, Carson Group hosted close to 1,000 attendees at its yearly Excell conference. It also added 45 new advisor firms to its coaching and content platform, which will see three new positions added to support 1,264 member firms in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’ve reached a critical milestone this year, and advisors across the country are taking note,” explained Aaron Schaben, executive vice president of Carson Group, in a statement. “We are setting the pace when it comes to both growth and innovation.”

Carson Group also says it acquired QBI, a low-volatility, rules-based suite of smart-beta strategies, which includes a factor-based model built on passive ETF strategies.

— Check out Top 10 Most Influential Financial Advisors: Investopedia on ThinkAdvisor.