Close
ThinkAdvisor

Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

RIA Sequoia Financial Strikes Deal, Pushing Assets to $7B

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • The combined firms will operate under the Sequoia name and have about 110 employees.
  • The deal is expected to close in the current quarter.
  • Wealthstone's principals will become Sequoia shareholders.

Sequoia Financial Group says it is acquiring Wealthstone Advisors in a deal that should create an RIA with more than $7 billion in assets under management and 110 employees.

The combined firm will be based in Akron, Ohio, and operate under the Sequoia brand. Wealthstone principals Jim WylandNorm CookBrian Stertzer and Jack Zhang will become shareholders of Sequoia Financial.

Financial terms of the acquisition, expected to close in the current quarter, were not disclosed.

The news comes less than a year after group Kudu Investment Management of New York, which works with capital partner White Mountains Insurance Group, acquired a minority stake in Sequoia.

Sequoia made its latest move just three weeks after the end of the first quarter, in which RIAs completed a record-breaking 58 transactions, according to DeVoe & Co.

To put the first-quarter transaction volume in perspective,  this was the first time RIA M&A crossed the 50-deal milestone in any quarter,” according to the the latest DeVoe & Co. RIA Deal BookThe volume of deals was 33 in January, 12 in February and 13 in March.

Ohio Roots

Sequoia was formed in 1991 in Akron and had about $5.75 billion in assets as of March 31. Wealthstone, founded in 1977 by Wyland in Columbus, Ohio, managed about $1.4 billion in assets as of March 31.

“We have long admired Wealthstone as a client-focused firm with a similar culture and passion for providing excellent and comprehensive financial advisory, wealth management and consulting services,” according to Thomas Haught, Sequoia CEO and president.

The merger adds “talent, resources and investment expertise to our combined client base,” he said in the announcement.

Agreeing, Wyland said in a statement: “The merger is marvelously synergistic for all parties, especially for our clients and employees who will benefit immediately from the enhanced scale and increased durability of the combined firm.”

During the conversations that Wealthstone had with Sequoia, “we got to know Tom and members of the team better as a company and as individuals,” according to Cook, Wealthstone’s CEO.

“Each interaction has reinforced that we share a common vision and values,” he said. “It became clear they were the right partner and that now was the right time. That’s why we decided to join Sequoia.”

– Janet Levaux contributed to this report.

(Image: Shutterstock)