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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Laird Norton, Wetherby Merge to Create $15B Wealth Group

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Laird Norton Wealth Management and Wetherby Asset Management have merged their operations, creating a new firm with over $15 billion in client assets and offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Laird Norton CEO Kristen P. Bauer is serving as CEO of the combined entity, while Debra Wetherby will continue as managing partner and head of Wetherby Asset Management and will serve on the board of the merged firm.

“This is a merger of independent firms who share the DNA of offering conflict-free investments and financial advice to provide clarity on important life and legacy goals,” according to Bauer, a 2021 winner of ThinkAdvisor’s LUMINARIES awards. “Coming together will create more value for clients than just the sum of our parts.”

Wetherby was founded in 1990 and has some 80 employees. Laird Norton has been in business for over five decades, is based in Seattle, operates as both an RIA and trust company and is majority owned by Laird Norton Co., which invests in real estate and other ventures.

The recently combined family- and employee-owned company will continue to do business with both the Laird Norton Wealth Management and Wetherby Asset Management names. Its services include impact investing, private equity and other alternative investments; trust services and multi-generational estate planning; philanthropic advising; family business and real estate advisory services; and financial and tax planning.

It’s “rare to find a firm that is both a trust company and an RIA that has been doing it for more than half a century with the backing and expertise of a seventh-generation family enterprise,” said Wetherby, in a statement. “We built WAM to be a trusted partner to our client families for generations, and there’s no better partner for our future than a firm that brings generations of experience to the table.”