buinessmen with puzzle pieces

Atria Wealth Solutions announced it will add to its broker-dealer reach by acquiring Western International Securities Inc, an independent broker-dealer based in Pasadena, California, that serves over 400 independent financial advisors and has $13 billion in assets under administration. Upon the close of the sale, Atria will represent almost 2,500 advisors with close to $80 billion under administration.

“The amount of change impacting our industry today is unprecedented and driven externally by the end client and internally by the financial advisors,” said Doug Ketterer, CEO and Atria founding partner, in a statement. “It is clear that each constituent wants optionality. We are seeing a greater number of advisors who want independence, but at the same time, they don’t want to spend time on the array of decisions that come with choice like finding an office, selecting technology and hiring support staff.”

WIS adds to Atria’s growing array of IBD subsidiaries, which include NEXT Financial Group, Caderet, Grant & Co., CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial.

In a year of more than 100 M&A deals in the advisory world, IBDs also have been active, including the latest blockbuster announcement of Charles Schwab’s potential purchase of TD Ameritrade for a reported $26 billion. This news followed the mid-November announcement of Advisor Group’s planned purchase of Ladenburg Thalmann that will form a firm servicing 11,500 independent advisors with $450 billion in assets.

The profession is beginning to realize we don’t need 50,000 trading departments, research departments, marketing departments or compliance departments,” Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Group told ThinkAdvisor after the Advisor Group announcement.

WIS has a flexible affiliation model that will help Atria expand its offerings to independent advisors, according to Atria.

“WIS has always been about providing a differentiated advisor experience,” said Don Bizub, CEO of WIS, in a statement. “By partnering with Atria, we’re able to take full advantage of their advanced technology, robust product partner lineup and vast operational support network to greatly accelerate the evolution of our offering much faster than we could ever do on our own. Because our industry is changing so rapidly, I’m thrilled to be partnering with such an innovative team who can move quickly, unencumbered by legacy platforms.”

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