Private Equity-Backed Wealth Enhancement Group’s Hire of Eric Weiss as Chief Growth Officer Underscores Intensifying Convergence Between Financial Services and Tech
Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG), a Minneapolis-based RIA aggregator that is majority owned by private equity group TA Associates, announced last week that it is tapping expertise from Silicon Valley to supercharge growth.
The fast-growing firm, which has reached over $55 billion in client assets after a past year of continuous acquisitions of RIA businesses across the country, announced last week that it has appointed fintech and financial services veteran Eric Weiss as Chief Growth Officer.
This newly created position supports the firm’s multi-year growth strategy and increased focus on organic growth for advisors in the post-acquisition period, according to a press release issued by WEG.
Weiss is charged with supporting a “modern and technologically advanced advisor and client experience, leveraging innovative methods of client engagement and personalization,” according to the press release. He will lead the marketing, sales and custodial referral programs and report directly to WEG CEO Jeff Dekko.
“Wealth Enhancement Group’s marketing initiatives have always fueled robust organic growth,” said Dekko. “With a seasoned growth expert and C-suite leader of Eric’s caliber, we will build upon and accelerate this success [and our] vision for how digital transformation can have a multiplier impact on the growth WEG is creating through acquisition.”
Expertise from Financial Services and Technology
Starting his career at Prudential Financial, Weiss spent more than 25 years in rapidly growing Silicon Valley technology companies, leading performance-based marketing and product teams, and supported five acquisitions and an IPO. Most recently, he served as Chief Marketing Officer, TIFIN WealthTech. Immediately before that, he served in several executive roles with Personal Capital.
Weiss joins a particularly deep bench of WEG senior executives, supporting the firm’s significant recent growth. From Jim Cahn, WEG’s long-time M&A lead, to Terri Kallsen, who joined WEG from Charles Schwab as the Chief Operating Officer in 2020, the team’s growth and expertise represent the firm’s ambitions to establish itself as a truly national wealth management brand, the company said.
“I’m excited to help accelerate the organic growth of WEG by applying the latest advances in digital tools, artificial intelligence and data analytics to personalize the entire client experience,” Weiss said. “We are enabling our existing and newly acquired advisors to deliver with unprecedented scale and quality of service.”
Mr. Weiss earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, his Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Science & Technology from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and his BA from the University of California, San Diego with a double major and honors in Economics and Political Science. He also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco, where he teaches graduate courses in the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Strategy, and International Business.
Emerging “Super-Aggregator” Segment
Wealth management industry investors note that WEG’s growth demonstrates how the broader RIA segment itself is fast becoming dominated by “super-aggregators” – RIA aggregators that have achieved a significantly greater size than average through a combination of access to extensive capital resources and a fine-tuned process to acquire and integrate smaller RIAs on a scalable basis.
The next logical step for firms that have achieved this level of momentum could be to sharpen efforts on organic growth.
“Bringing aboard a consumer-facing fintech and user experience expert to lead an organic growth effort is an interesting move from one of the leaders of the consolidation effort within the RIA space,” said Adam Malamed, CEO of Ajax Investment Partners, a Miami-headquartered merchant bank and venture fund.
“An increased push for organic growth within the red-hot RIA market, especially from a super-aggregator like WEG, represents an incredible opportunity to enhance the value of these larger firms further through digitally enhanced and streamlined integration and better end-client service.”
Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, can be reached at email@example.com