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Focus Financial Partners Maintaining Aggressive M&A Pace

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Focus Financial CEO Rudy Adolf. Focus Financial CEO Rudy Adolf.

Focus Financial Partners says two of its RIA partner firms have announced acquisitions that should close in early 2019, giving the wealth management consolidator momentum for another period of active deal-making: The Colony Group is adding Aurora Financial Advisors, and Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman is bringing on WG&S.

Boston-based Colony Group is set to acquire Aurora, a wealth management firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts, that was started in 2002 by Susan Miller, CPA, CFP, CDFA. Colony has over $6 billion of client assets, while Aurora has roughly $400 million.

Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman of Los Angeles says it is picking up WG&S, also of Los Angeles, founded by Eric Wasserman, Howard Grossman and Michael Sloan. WG&S has more offices in other parts of California, as well as in Delaware and Texas.

“Providing access to capital and operational expertise is key in facilitating mergers and acquisitions,” according to Focus CEO Rudy Adolf. “Through M&A, clients always benefit from a broader range of services and deeper bench strength.”

In mid-December, Focus said the family office of Altman, Greenfield & Selvaggi of New York planned to join its ranks. In addition, its partner firm Buckingham Strategic Wealth of St. Louis announced that two groups were coming on board: Alpern Wealth Management of Pittsburgh and Griffon Financial Planning of  Bend and Ashland, Oregon.

Altman, Greenfield & Selvaggi was founded in 1986 by Abraham Altman and Frank Selvaggi. It is currently led by Selvaggi, Barry Greenfield, Stuart Gelwarg, PJ Barry, Tom Carr, Anthony Bonsignore, David Altman, Steven Pregiato and Joshua Schmell. Griffon opened its doors in 2000.

“AG&S will be our first family office and business management firm to be headquartered in New York, making them an ideal hub for additional acquisitions,” Adolf said in a statement. “In addition, Buckingham continues to be exemplary in M&A and growth.”

Buckingham moved to add $17 billion in assets when it bought turnkey asset manager Loring Ward in November for about $235 million.

On the downside, Focus Financial’s stock is having a tough time these days. Its shares went public at $33 on July 26, but are now trading near $26.


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