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headshots of Advisior Group CEO Jamie Price, left, and American Portfolios CEO Lon Dolber, right

Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Advisor Group to Buy $40B American Portfolios

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Advisor Group says it is acquiring American Portfolios Financial Services, an independent broker-dealer with some 850 financial professionals working with $40 billion in client assets, for an undisclosed sum. The firms expect the deal to close in the third or fourth quarter. 

The news comes just a month after Advisor Group announced plans to buy Infinex Financial, which includes a BD with about 750 financial professionals who oversee $30 billion in client assets and some 230 community-based bank and credit union programs. 

Headquartered in Holbrook, New York, American Portfolios is led by Lon Dolber, who plans to remain the firm’s chairman, CEO and president, and to join Advisor Group as vice chairman.

While American Portfolios will become a member of Advisor Group’s network, it will continue to do business using its own brand and operating model.

“It’s highly unusual to find an entrepreneur who has built a business from hiring employee No. 1 to … all of those now with the firm today,” said Advisor Group’s president and CEO, Jamie Price, in an interview.

“The firm has been staunchly independent, and [Dolber] was not looking for an exit … ,” Price explained. “But he was looking to partner [with another entity] in order to expand both the growth and the advisor capabilities of American Portfolios, so it could better serve clients. … We’re honored to be able to partner with them.”

Dolber, who started the firm 21 years ago, said in a statement: “As we look to the future, we recognize that building scale for the advisors and practices we support will be essential to long-term sustainability. … The opportunity to work with a partner that understands our culture and success … makes good business sense, and we found that with Advisor Group and the backing of [its owner] Reverence Capital Partners.”

What Next for Industry M&A?

Advisor Group has been busy on the acquisition front, doing about 30 deals over the past five years.

“We haven’t aimed to build this business via M&As,” Price said. “It’s gratifying to find firms that are good fits and have brought capabilities to us or that we bring to them. … We make long-term investments.”

As for the market’s volatility in 2022, he believes it can make things tough for smaller players: “If you are not of the right scale in this industry, you cannot invest in the business, regulatory [and other requirements] and meet advisors’ needs,” he explained. “I expect more M&A in the industry with the market gyrating.”  

The integration of American Portfolios into Advisor Group should be relatively easy given that both firms are privately held, Price says. In contrast, Advisor Group’s $1.3 billion purchase of the publicly traded Ladenburg Thalmann, announced in 2019 and completed in 2020, had “many nuances,” according to Price. 

At year-end 2021, Advisor Group’s operations included roughly 9,700 financial professionals and $515 billion in client assets. Based in Phoenix, its BD network currently includes FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial, Securities America, Triad Advisors and Woodbury Financial Services.

Advisor Group was recognized as a 2021 LUMINARIES winner in Thought Leadership and in Dealmaking/Growth. This year, it has been named a LUMINARIES finalist in Executive Leadership for both the firm’s achievements and for those of Greg Cornick, head of Advice & Wealth Management.

American Portfolios received five LUMINARIES awards from ThinkAdvisor in 2021 for its work in Thought Leadership and Education; Executive Leadership; Diversity and Inclusion; and Dealmaking/Growth. This year it has been named a LUMINARIES finalist in the Community Impact and Executive Leadership categories. Earlier, the firm was a six-time winner of Investment Advisor’s Broker-Dealer of the Year award program. 

(Pictured: Advisor Group President and CEO Jamie Price, left, and American Portfolios President and CEO Lon Dolber.)