Top Newsmakers Roundup – Deals, Deals, Deals Galore!

Investment Product Launches, Acquisitions, Venture Funding and Recruiting Rule the Roost in Our Latest Newsmakers Roundup

In each Top Newsmakers Roundup, I share some of my favorite recent stories from key media outlets that I believe WSR community members should find of interest, either as a stand-alone story, or in terms of the broader trends each article reflects.

For this week, it’s all about new growth and expansion opportunities.  In some cases, we’re looking at the launch of new financial product and investment management vehicles, while in other instances we’re looking at new venture funding deals for fintech, supercharged recruiting among large IBD firms as well as continued private equity-backed RIA rollup deals.

As always,  I hope you enjoy this curated selection of top news stories.


Larry Roth

CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

Advisor Ross Gerber Launches Active ‘Roaring ’20s’ ETF
By Diana Britton
July 1, 2021

Ross Gerber is bringing back the ‘Roaring ’20s’!

AdvisorShares Gerber Kawasaki ETF is based on nine investment themes advisor Ross Gerber expects will outperform in the post-COVID economy. Ross Gerber, president and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, a $2 billion registered investment advisor in Los Angeles, is launching an actively managed exchange traded fund, with AdvisorShares as the sponsor.  Not in this story, but of potential interest to WSR readers:  While the marketplace for ETFs is extremely crowded to say the least, if any independent wealth manager is well-positioned to grow such a vehicle by engaging with investor hearts and minds, it would be Ross Gerber, who took his firm from under $150 million in advisory assets in 2012 to the multi-billion asset shop it is today – All organically, versus via M&A deals.

Now Valued at $2 Billion, Addepar Sets Sights on Further Expansion
By Sabrina Escobar
July 6, 2021

In their latest round of funding – this time at $150 million – brings Addepar’s valuation to $2.17 billion. The company’s CEO Eric Poirier sees further growth on the horizon.  The story speaks nicely to the broader theme we’re seeing in terms of accelerated growth for wealthtech firms that offer data aggregation, analytics and reporting in an industry where many firms continue to deal with multiple separate data and reporting functions as part of their legacy operating platforms.

WEG Buys $1 Billion Advisor in West Coast Expansion
By Ross Snel
July 12, 2021

Who else will be inspired to get off the sidelines?

Minneapolis-based Wealth Enhancement Group has acquired $1.04 billion RIA Oakwood Capital Management in Los Angeles. This acquisition is the latest in WEG’s westward expansion.  The article itself is part of what looks like an ever-intensifying trend of private equity-backed rollup consolidation deals continuing to drive the bulk of M&A activity across the wealth management space.  Not included in this story, but worth pointing out:  While the private equity-backed ownership model has its fair share of critics across the industry, there is little doubt that success stories like WEG will encourage sources of private growth capital that haven’t engaged with the wealth management space yet to get off the sidelines and start capturing dealflow opportunities.

With a New Platform This VC Firm Aspires to Make the Asset Class More Accessible to RIAs
By Michael Thrasher
July 14, 2021

A top neurosurgeon, a cardiologist-turned-serial entrepreneur, and three high-profile wealth management executives have started a venture capital firm – Mammoth – and are simultaneously developing a platform they say will transform the way RIAs build investment portfolios.  According to the story, it is not known yet when the platform will be up and running broadly.  Not included in this article, but worth noting:  Successfully becoming part of the asset manager selection process among well-established RIA firms can be challenging for new players – But the escalating interest among private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms into the HNW and UHNW RIA space further underscores the growing influence of this segment of our industry.

Advisor Group Network Firm Nabs Pair of FAs from Voya
By Alex Padalka
July 20, 2021

The real win? Recruiting a pair of FAs!

Advisor Group’s Royal Alliance Associates has added a team of N.Y.-based Precision Wealth Solutions, which caters to police and firefighter clients and boasts $121 million in client assets.  Not included in this article, but in terms of broader industry commentary:  The announcement is part of a broader cadence of recruiting wins reported throughout this year by the Reverence Capital-backed network of independent wealth management firms, all happening at a time when each of the largest IBD firms – LPL, Cetera, Raymond James, Commonwealth and Cambridge – have been turbocharging their advisor recruiting efforts.

Merchant stakes $12.2bn Raymond James-affiliated OSJ
By Ian Wenik and Andrew Foerch
July 26, 2021

RIA investor Merchant Investment Management, which has been very active in acquiring equity stakes in RIA firms across the country, has purchased a minority stake in Concurrent Advisors. The Raymond James-affiliated advisor has a combined $12.2 billion in assets.  Not included in this story, but worth noting for further context:  Merchant Investment Management is also a minority equity owner in Perigon Wealth Management, a San Francisco-based independent RIA that was recently part of WSR’s Upmarket section’s feature story on firms that are taking creative new approaches to M&A and affiliation models to successfully grow.

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