(Photo: Shutterstock)

Wealth Enhancement Group, an independent wealth firm with $11.8 billion in client assets, is buying AEPG Wealth Strategies, a registered investment advisor with about $1 billion in assets based in Warren, N.J. The transaction is the 13th deal WEG has made in the past six years.

AEPG has 27 employees and serves more than 600 advisory and retirement plan clients, many of whom are doctors and dentists.

“Acquisitions of select independent financial advisor businesses support our national growth strategy by bringing in the talented professionals we need to serve a growing client base in diverse geographies,” according to Jeff Dekko, CEO of WEG, which includes some advisors who trade securities via LPL FInancial.

Backed by Lightyear Capital, WEG serves clients in more than 40 states. It moved to purchase a $1.3 billion group, Planning Solutions Group of Baltimore/Washington, D.C., last month.

Raymond James’ Hires

In New Orleans, Raymond James recruited a Merrill Lynch team with about $372 million in assets to its indie channel: the Henderson Hutter Group. The group was founded by Lee Henderson and George Hutter, CFP.

Also on the team are Megan Giardina; Christine Shea, financial planner; Patrick Kungl, investment associate; and Alli Eis, business operations coordinator.

The group serves retirees, “sudden wealth” clients and women investors, and has a focused niche group of energy company clients.

“What drove our search from the very beginning is what would be in the long-term best interest of our clients,” said Hutter, in a statement. 

“The things we kept coming back to during our search were autonomy, flexibility, and stability. Raymond James checked all of those boxes,” added Henderson.

Also moving to Raymond James Financial Services are Austin Heberger and Gavin Lee of Pasadena, California. They operate as Arroyo Capital Partners and joined from Wells Fargo, where they have worked with $350 million in client assets. 

Other members of their team are Jennnifer Graybill, office manager, and Leonard Emocling, client services manager. The group works with a variety of clients, including families, retirees and female investors.

“Raymond James has a long-standing reputation of being a wealth management-focused firm that puts clients first,” said 22-year industry veteran Heberger, in a statement.

 “Since joining the firm, we have experienced firsthand the outpouring of support and willingness to assist from everyone we have worked with,” according to Lee, who has 23 years n the business. 

LPL News 

LPL Financial says Suffolk Wealth Management, the investment program offered at credit union Suffolk Federal, has joined its hybrid platform. The wealth team works with roughly $110 million of client brokerage and advisory assets and joins from CUNA Brokerage Services.

Suffolk Federal has 11 branches in Long Island, with investment services provided by financial advisors James Gallagher and Mark Filiberto and office support from Corinne Giammatteo. Gallagher, vice president of credit union services.

“Being in the industry for 30 years, there has been so much change and we felt it was time for us to align with a platform that could create more opportunities for our members,” said James Gallagher, in a statement.

LPL also welcomed Patrick Foy, CFP, and Chris Willis in Winnie, Texas (near Houston). The duo join from Raymond James independent channel, where they worked with $125 million of assets.

 Foy and Willis have worked together for over 18 years with the help of office manager Victoria Paniagua.

“We want to help our clients plan for their futures, live the best lifestyle that they can in retirement, and leave a legacy to their families,” according to Foy, who mentioned they take an approach to managing portfolios with an eye on risk first, return second.

 “With the support of LPL, we will have access to resources that can streamline the services we provide and help eliminate loads of paperwork, which will allows us to spend more time developing deeper relationships with our clients,” said Willis, who specializes in tax services.