Transitions, Transactions & Promotions: ECHELON’s Latest Deals, Stratos Expands to Mexico and More

AmeriFlex’s Recruiting Growth, Stratos Expansion to Mexico and New Private Equity Backing for STP Partners

Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

As the end of the month approaches, it’s time again to provide you our latest roundup of prominent Transitions, Transactions & Promotions in the wealth management industry, covering promotions and people moves, M&A activity, advisor transactions and strategic partnerships.

We covered the following promotions and people moves in separate articles:

Advisor transactions continue at a strong pace, with The AmeriFlex Group raising asset numbers and Advisor Group winning a $190 million recruit from LPL.

Slow and steady wins the race

Though strategic partnerships have slowed this month, strategic investments have increased, with one example of many being the latest strategic investment by private equity-backed Stratos Wealth Holdings in the Mexican market.

In addition, Cerity Partners enhances its East Coast footprint, STP Investment Services prepares for M&A with a private equity investment from Lovell Minnick Partners and Wealth Enhancement Group makes new acquisitions.

The details on M&A and advisor transactions are here:

Advisor Transactions

1. The AmeriFlex Group Welcomes Three Independent Wealth Management Practices Overseeing $721 Million to its Rapidly Growing Hybrid RIA

The more the merrier

The AmeriFlex Group added six advisors in three wealth management practices totaling a growth in assets of $721 million: Denver and Sterling, Colorado-based Pilkington Financial, with $289 million in assets, Denver-based Planning Resources, with $252 million in client assets and Brea, California-based Summit Financial & Insurance Services, with $180 million in assets.

Why it matters: These recruitments total to a huge percentage of assets for The AmeriFlex Group, raising their client assets to $5.6 billion. These moves also evidence the strength of AmeriFlex’s advisor-owned business model.

For more information, view the press release here. Also see the story below for an additional AmeriFlex recruit.

2. Advisor Group Recruits Advisors With $310 Million in Assets

Advisor Group announced the recruitment of Jericho, New York-based Sergio Kindler, with $190 million in assets, through its subsidiary broker-dealer Royal Alliance Associates, and the Jericho-based OSJ New York Financial Partners. Kindler joins Advisor Group from LPL Financial.

In addition, Advisor Group recruited Haddon Heights, New Jersey-based Brett Straub and Stephanie Wade, with $120 million in assets through subsidiary broker-dealer SagePoint Financial Services and The AmeriFlex Group.

When it comes to recruitment, consider the whole package

Why it matters: In the midst of LPL’s recruiting gains, they do incur losses at times, such as with Sergio Kindler, and Advisor Group provides stiff competition for advisor talent. For local moves like Kindler, Advisor Group offers office space with support staff and an independent but corporate atmosphere, which could be an overlooked advantage in the recruitment race.

For more information, see the press releases here and here.

Mergers & Acquisitions

3. Wealth Enhancement Group Acquires Firms With $687 Million in Assets

Wealth Enhancement Group acquired St. Helena, California-based Napa Valley Wealth Management and TrueNote Investment Advisors, sister firms that oversee over $400 million in client assets, as well as Southwest Florida-based Integra Capital Advisors, with over $287 million in assets.

Why it Matters: The Napa Valley and TrueNote acquisition is Wealth Enhancement Group’s sixth in California since June 2021, following their strategic expansion plans in California.

Among its other service areas, Integra Capital Advisors specializes in serving women who are suddenly single and couples preparing for that event, which deserves commendation, especially during Women’s History Month.  

To learn more, see the press releases here and here.

4. Cerity Partners Merges with Boston-based Daintree Advisors, Expanding East Coast Presence

Cerity Partners merged with Boston-based Daintree Advisors, advised by investment bank ECHELON Partners. With the addition of Daintree’s $1.3 billion in assets, the combined firm advises on over $45 billion in client assets and will use the Cerity Partners name.

Why it matters: Both firms serve the high net worth segment, and this merger demonstrates Cerity’s desire to reinforce their strength of providing a holistic suite of services to wealthy clients. It also demonstrates the strong current of M&A activity in wealth management and ECHELON’s continued activity in this space.

Are two better than one?

To learn more, see the press release.

5. Stratos Makes Multiple Strategic Investments

Two RIA subsidiaries of Stratos Wealth Holdings – Stratos Wealth Enterprises and Stratos Wealth Partners – recently concluded a series of strategic investments.

Stratos Wealth Enterprises announced a strategic investment in Marietta, Georgia-based financial advisor Robert Patti, with $280 million in assets, as well as a controlling-interest investment in Mexico City-based NSC Asesores with $4 billion in client assets.

Stratos Wealth Partners made a minority investment in San Diego-based BWM Financial, with $1.5 billion in client assets.

Why it matters: The BWM Financial investment was the second Stratos had made in the business, and Robert Patti had already aligned with Stratos for nine years. Stratos invested new capital in these businesses following a strategy to bolster support for strong performers to accelerate their growth.

NSC Asesores is Stratos’ first international investment. While the industry commonly sees investments between Canada and the U.S., Mexico is rarer. Will more American firms look south for expansion?

Will more American firms look south for expansion?

For more information, view the press releases here, here and here.

6. STP Investment Services Receives Growth Investment from Lovell Minnick Partners

STP Investment Services, which leverages technology solutions to serve over $340 billion in assets, received investment support from private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners to enable its growth plans. Deal terms were not disclosed.

STP made significant acquisitions in recent years including Accusource and Tower Fund Services.

Why it matters: Lovell Minnick invests private equity in wealth management and fintech, with previous investments in firms including AssetMark, HD Vest (now Avantax Wealth Management), Foreside and Mercer Advisors. With the backing of Lovell Minnick, expect to see STP step up M&A activity.

For more information, view the press release.


Julius Buchanan, Senior Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at jbuchanan@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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