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New York-based Atria Wealth Solutions says it is buying Next Financial Group of Houston, which has about 500 advisors with roughly $13 billion in client assets under administration. Next President Barry Knight will keep his executive role as part of the deal.

The purchase is Atria’s fourth broker-dealer acquisition since 2017 and should give Atria a network of more than 1,900 independent advisors with about $65 billion in total assets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Atria also owns broker-dealer Cadaret Grant, as well as CUSO Financial and Sorrento Pacific Financial, which have investment programs for credit unions and banks. As part of the acquisition, Atria also is buying Next Financial Insurance Services Co. and Visionary Asset Management.

“In our intense effort to provide advisors with the most competitive set of capabilities that will enable them to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving industry and shifting client demands, we need the right partners to join us on this journey,” according to Atria founding partner and CEO Doug Ketterer. “Next is the ideal partner to join us in this industry transformation.”

The company says it will continue to invest “significant capital and resources in technology, product solutions, services and support.” These efforts include advisor-client collaborative technologies, an enhanced advisor portal and client-facing capabilities, as well as more streamlined business processes and analytics.

“It has taken us a long time to find a partner who embodies our values as an organization and shares our passion to offer advisors a clear path to growth,” Knight said in a statement. “The advisor and client experience platforms Atria is introducing will revolutionize the independent channel.”

Atria, with the backing of Lee Equity Partners, announced plans to buy Cadaret Grant — an independent broker-dealer with about 900 advisors and some $23 billion in assets under administration — in April 2018.

Ketterer, the former head of field management at Morgan Stanley, formed Atria in late 2017 as a wealth management solutions holding company in cooperation with COO Eugene Elias, the prior head of client and advisor platforms at Morgan Stanley, and Chief Growth Officer Kevin Beard, who previously led acquisition and recruiting strategies for the Advisor Group of IBDs.

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