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Marty Bicknell, CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisor

Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Mariner to Buy $26B Firm, LPL Partner

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What You Need to Know

  • The Financial Services Network is set to operate as Mariner Advisor Network and maintain its strategic relationship with LPL Financial.

Mariner Wealth Advisors is acquiring the Financial Services Network, which provides administrative, compliance and other services to about 400 advisors with $26 billion in assets under administration, for an undisclosed sum.

After the deal closes, the Financial Services Network will operate as Mariner Advisor Network and will maintain its strategic relationship with LPL Financial.

The deal aims to “expand the reach of Mariner Platform Solutions, an affiliate of Mariner Wealth Advisors that offers a suite of resources to independent financial advisors who seek to scale their businesses and focus on serving clients without the distractions of back-office responsibilities,” according to a statement from Mariner.

“Today is a win for advisors who seek to spend more time advising their clients and growing their business and less time managing the day-to-day operations,” Mariner Wealth Advisors CEO and President Marty Bicknell said in the statement.

“The depth of experience among the professionals at the [Financial Services] Network and the reach and expertise of LPL Financial will enable us to serve more advisors and enhance their access to some of the industry’s best back-office and consulting resources,” Bicknell continued.

The firm being bought by Mariner was founded in 1984. It is led by Daxs Stadjuhar, Christopher Mercado and Jeremy Olen, who will stay in their executive roles after the deal is completed.

“From the day we met the Mariner team, it was clear that we shared the same advisor-centric mission and passion for helping advisors excel as business owners,” Mercado said in the statement.

“The complementary nature of our expertise, solutions and advisor-centric philosophy will accelerate the expansion of our network, broaden the scope of how we work with advisors, and help advisors overcome the traditional impediments to growth,” he added.

Mariner Platform Solutions now works with 33 firms, 66 advisors and $2.6 billion in assets under management, while Mariner Wealth Advisors and its affiliates advise clients with some $60 billion in assets (as of March 31).

“It’s exciting when you get the chance to align your organization with a firm that shares the same vision and principles for taking care of advisors so they can take better care of their clients,” Matthew Enyedi, managing director, LPL Financial said in a statement.  

Earlier Deals

About a month ago, Mariner Wealth Advisors said it was buying Corbenic Partners, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based based independent RIA with over $1 billion in assets under management.

This deal was Mariner’s fourth acquisition of 2022, following its purchases of Boston-based Taylor Wealth Management Partners; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based Emerson Wealth; and Miramar Beach, Florida-based Arbor Wealth Management. Mariner acquired 14 firms in 2021.

The Bethlehem office is Mariner Wealth Advisors’ 74th U.S. location, its sixth in Pennsylvania and its second in the Lehigh Valley. 

(Shown in photo: Marty Bicknell)