After growing its assets under management to about $2.1 billion at the end of 2018 from about $1.45 billion in 2015, wealth management firm Keel Point is looking to continue growing across all four of its divisions, according to company executives.
But we shouldn’t necessarily expect to see it involved in another huge merger like the one that saw the firm, a Virginia-based hybrid RIA and broker-dealer, merge with Huntsville, Alabama-based RIA BlueCreek Investment Partners four years ago.
“We’re really trying to focus on growing our offices that we have brick and mortar in now,” Joe Agee, Keel Point chief development officer, told ThinkAdvisor. Pointing to the relatively small number of team members the company has at its Tennessee offices in Chattanooga and Nashville, as well as its offices in Greenville, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., he said: “We still have space to grow within those areas and so our idea there is to focus on bringing in advisors into those areas” and the firm’s Leawood, Kansas, office also.
However, he was quick to add: “That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t necessarily do that if we found the right business to acquire in different areas. But we’re not necessarily in a numbers game. We’re not driven to just grow for the sake of growing. We want to make sure we’ve got the right advisor” each time it brings on a new wealth management professional — one who’s the “right match” for Keel Point. That means advisors with the right skills who are looking to join a fee-based wealth management firm that’s planning-based and out to make sure that “our clients are focused on their goals” and are “able to withstand” any downturns in the economy, he explained.
Something that separates Keel Point from many rivals is that the average age of its advisors is 40 now, he said, noting it tends to be higher at other firms. For example, the average advisor age was about 62 at Morgan Stanley, where he worked before joining Keel Point earlier this year, he said.
One need not look any further than Thomas O’Connor, a 33-year-old senior wealth advisor who said he “came on board about eight years ago,” to see that Keel Point is mentoring younger advisors to be able to continue serving the firm’s family clients for many years to come.
“One of our core objectives of the firm is for Keel Point to be a legacy company, and the way we will get there is by identifying, equipping and empowering young men and women who want to care for families” by becoming advisors, according to Keel Point CEO Robert Mayes. “We’re hyper-focused on that,” he told ThinkAdvisor.
Keel Point focuses on ultra-high net worth clients with assets of at least about $40 million with its Horizon Family Office that has 22 families, as well as its private client division that focuses on affluent clients with assets of about $1 million to $40 million each, Mayes said. The private client division now has nearly 1,500 households as clients and represents the “lion’s share of our revenue,” he told ThinkAdvisor.