Sequoia Financial Group, an Akron, Ohio, wealth management firm, is merging with LJPR Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory firm headquartered in Troy, Michigan. The combined firm will have close to $5 billion in AUM plus 91 employees once the deal is completed, which is expected at year-end.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it involves both equity and cash and no private equity or debt, according to Tom Haught, president of Sequoia Financial Group. The merged firm will retain the Sequoia Financial name with Haught as president and Leon LaBrecque, CEO of LJPR, as chief growth officer.
LaBrecque will become a shareholder of the new firm along with three other officers of LJPR, increasing employee ownership from 12 to 16. Cohen & Co., a national CPA firm, is a minority shareholder, an arrangement that has allowed Sequoia to coordinate wealth management planning with tax planning, Haught tells ThinkAdvisor.
“LJPR aligns perfectly with our strategy and culture and complements our existing business exceptionally well,” said Haught of the merger with LJPR. “We can serve clients better and leverage tech better. We will merge the best and the brightest of the firms’ deliverables.”
The clients of both firms are largely individuals, primarily baby boomers, but Sequoia’s clients have more assets per capita, especially among those with high net worth. Their assets average $30 million per capita compared with $2 million for LJPR, according to the firm’s latest Forms ADV.