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Loring Ward Merging With Focus Financial-Backed Buckingham for $235M

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Wealth management services provider Loring Ward is merging with the Buckingham Family of Financial Services, a member of Focus Financial Partners, for $235 million in cash and stock.

The combined firm should work with 300-plus RIAs and have a combined $30 billion in assets under management.

“This merger is one of the largest transactions in the history of Focus and is a consummate example of the type of firms we seek to attract and the value we add to our partner firms in the execution of their growth strategies,” according to Focus Chairman and CEO, Rudy Adolf. “This merger will create a true leader in the wealth management solutions space.”

The deal includes $117.5 million in cash and $117.5 million in Focus Class A common stock. Further payments to Loring Ward depend on revenue growth thresholds being met over the next six years, with a cash considerations set to be funded by existing cash and borrowing from Focus’ revolving credit facility.

“We are very excited to be joining forces with the Buckingham and Focus teams,” said Loring Ward CEO Alex Potts, in a statement. “We all share a fiduciary oriented desire to help entrepreneurs, their team members and their clients and are excited about the new opportunities that a combination with Buckingham will bring.”

Focus says that the deal should be accretive to its shareholders right after closing, as measured by adjusted net income per share, excluding synergies that the partnership firm expects to realize in revenue and spending by combining operations and integrating certain business activities.

The transaction is expected to close by year-end, subject to customary closing conditions.

Loring Ward was founded in 1990 and is based in San Jose, California. With $17 billion in assets as of March 31, it a turnkey asset manager that relies on products from Dimensional Fund Advisors. 

The Buckingham Family of Financial Services includes Buckingham Strategic Wealth of St. Louis, which has over 25 U.S. locations and had $13.1 million in client assets under management and administration as of Jan. 31, as well as BAM Advisor Services, a turnkey wealth management partner for more than 100 independent firms. The two entities have partnered with Focus since 2007.


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