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Carson Group Taps More Funds to Fuel Partner Firm M&As

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headshot of Carson Group CEO Ron Carson Carson Group CEO Ron Carson.

Carson Group says it has raised more funding to make more minority investments in advisory firms that join its partnership program. The capital also will be used to support partner firms’ own acquisition plans.

The news comes during the group’s online Partner Summit conference, during which it also said it will give Holistiplan software to partner firms to help them with tax planning. 

Carson Group has made nine minority investments in advisory firms to date. The investments involved both existing and new partners.

“We are in the process of completing our tenth minority investment, and we have a number of opportunities behind it. The need is there, and our offering is unique,” said Jason Carver, managing director of mergers and acquisitions for Carson Group, in a statement.

Partner firms “own the majority of the upside, and we provide the resources for them to substantially enhance it,” Carver added.

An RIA led by Mike Kabarec in Palatine, Illinois, for instance, sold a minority stake to Carson Group in early 2019. Afterward, it brought on two advisors and has grown its assets by about 75%.

Kabarec says the funding from Carson Group allowed him “to transition the bulk of my equity down to my younger partners while also positioning us for growth well into the future.”

Advisory firm owners are “increasingly ready to engage in buy/build/partner decisions, especially given the events of the last few months,” according to Carson Group.

But those with about $600 million or less in assets under management generally have had to either “figure it out on their own, or sell to a larger player, which of course means giving up their independence, control and entrepreneurialism,” explained Carson Group President Aaron Schaben, in a statement.

Carson Group is “addressing this gap by providing minority investments in firms to help with succession planning and equity transfers, and by supporting their growth efforts through Carson’s value-added resources — all while they maintain majority control and ownership of their business,” Schaben added.

The firm currently has six staff members focused on helping partner firms identify potential acquisitions, negotiate terms and later onboard new individual advisors and teams.

Carson Group’s advisory network includes about 300 advisors with $13 billion in assets and 25 Carson Wealth offices.

— Check out 5 Ways Financial Advisors Miss New Business on ThinkAdvisor.


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