Industry watchers are labeling HD Vest owner Blucora’s planned acquisition of tax-focused broker-dealer 1st Global as “big news, but not at all surprising,” according to popular blogger and financial planner Michael Kitces.
“Blucora owns TaxAct [software] as well, and was already building synergies around HD Vest’s base of CPA-centric advisors,” Kitces said on Twitter. “1st Global was ‘the other’ big CPA-centric broker-dealer. Just merges together two already-strategically-well-aligned firms.”
The $180 million stock deal involving two Dallas-Fort Worth independent broker-dealers could results in a firm with close to 4,500 advisors and $60 billion in total assets.
“And the consolidation continues!” tweeted Kyle Van Pelt, an executive at SS&C Advent and blogger. “Expect to read a bunch more of these over the next three to four years.”
Tuesday’s news of the IBD acquisition comes about 3 1/2 years after Blucora announced plans to buy HD Vest. It also takes place less than a week after wealth platform provider Envestnet said it was purchasing the parent of software maker MoneyGuide for $500 million.
The latter combo, according to Envestnet Chairman and CEO Jud Bergman, had been percolating in his head “for about as long as we’ve been a public company,” or nearly nine years. “We’ve been trying to get to it” for a while, he said, “and we were not the highest bidder.”