Transitions, Transactions & Promotions: How Does LPL Keep Dominating the Recruiting Landscape?

Julius Buchanan, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

LPL Maintains Lead in Advisor Recruiting, CI Financial Acquires $11 Billion U.S. Firm, Multiple Firms Making High Net Worth Moves and More

After last month’s focus on wealthtech news, we return this month to coverage of advisor transactions, promotions and people moves, strategic partnerships and M&A across the wealth management industry. With our industry making copious moves in all these areas, we curated the highlights: 

  • LPL continues to lead the pack in advisor transactions by a wide margin, recruiting advisors with over $2 billion in combined assets.
  • In promotions and people moves, Advisor Group continues to expand its executive bench, SageView makes a strategic hire in the government and public sector retirement space and SFA Partners promotes its business development head to COO.
  • Hightower placed a strategic investment giving it access to direct indexing tools that produce customized, tax-smart portfolios while Stratos continues placing minority equity stakes in high-performing affiliates. 

Without further delay, the details are here:

Advisor Transactions

1. LPL’s Eight Recent Recruits Bring Aboard Over $2 Billion

LPL Financial recently affiliated with eight new recruits totaling over $2 billion in assets: Beltway Wealth Management with $360 million in assets, Lisa Tesar with $260 million, Alcove Private Wealth with $265 million, Floe Financial Partners with $345 million, Northern Lakes Financial Group with $120 million, The Hannon Financial Group with $175 million, Carmack Capital Management with $510 million and Nick Bevad with $135 million. 

Why it matters: LPL tops the leader board in advisor recruitment again by a wide margin. Although many strengths matter besides quantity and sheer size, quantity indeed matters when a firm consistently recruits at this pace. 

How does LPL Financial continue to single-handedly dominate the recruiting landscape of the wealth management industry?  It’s a code many of their peer group firms would no doubt love to crack.

For more information, the press releases are here.

Mergers & Acquisitions

2.  Allworth Financial Expands Midwestern Presence with Horseman Group Partnership

Allworth Financial, with $14 billion in assets, acquired St. Louis-based Horseman Group, with $991 million in assets, the firm’s largest transaction since acquiring RAA in 2019. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and private equity firm Lightyear Capital together own a majority of Allworth shares. 

Why it Matters: Allworth completed its 19th transaction in four years with the Horseman Group, demonstrating the power of private equity in wealth management M&A, as well as the popularity of the M&A growth model as a teacher’s retirement fund participates in this space usually occupied by venture capital and private equity.

To learn more, see the press release here and Ian Wenik’s coverage in Citywire RIA.

3. DeVoe Represents Three Firms Transitioning to Creative Planning

DeVoe & Company, the M&A investment bank, advised Louisiana-based Resource Management LLC, with $1.9 billion in assets, in its transition to Creative Planning, with $225 billion in assets, as well as San Francisco Bay Area-based Emery Howard, with $1.8 billion in assets, and Heritage Way Advisors, with $440 million, in sales to Creative Planning. Both Resource Management and Emery Howard specialize in service to high net worth clients.

Why it Matters: With these transactions as its third, fourth and fifth for 2022, DeVoe demonstrated that it will play a large role in this year’s wealth management M&A space, while Creative Planning showed its bullishness on high net worth services and its firepower to execute sizeable deals. 

To learn more, the press releases are here, here and here

4. Simon Quick Advisors Merges In Red Hook Management

Morristown, New Jersey-based Simon Quick Advisors merged with Red Hook Management, also based in Morristown, with $420 million in assets, bringing the combined firm to $5 billion in assets under management. Gladstone Associates facilitated the search process and ECHELON Partners advised Simon Quick. 

Why it Matters: This merger follows five years after Simon Quick, which focuses on high net worth and multi-family office clients, merged with William E. Simon & Sons family office in 2017. Rather than growing rapidly through mergers, Simon Quick emphasizes that they review potential partnerships selectively, looking for the right fit in values and client focus. 

To find out more, see the press release.

5. CI Financial to Acquire Former Eaton Vance Investment Counsel Division, Expanding U.S. Wealth Management Strategy

CI Financial will acquire certain assets of Boston-based Eaton Vance WaterOak Advisors, formerly Eaton Vance Investment Counsel (EVIC), which provides comprehensive wealth management services for $11.4 billion in assets, primarily serving families, endowments, foundations and institutions. The transaction is expected to close in 4Q22.

Why it Matters: As discussed previously in this column, Canadian firm CI Financial continues to employ acquisition strategies to expand its American business rapidly. The Eaton Vance transaction, along with other transactions in progress, will bring CI’s U.S. assets to $133 billion, with global assets of $311 billion. 

To learn more, see the press release.

Promotions & People Moves 

6. SFA PARTNERS PROMOTES JAMIE MACKAY TO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

SFA Partners, which holds Strategic Financial Alliance, Strategic Blueprint and SFA Insurance Services, promoted Jamie Mackay to Executive Vice President and COO. Mackay joined the firm in 2017 as Vice President of Business Development and in his new role will continue his business development duties while adding oversight of the company’s operations.

Why it Matters: To promote a loyal employee from a business development role to COO is an honor, but promoting that person to COO while keeping the business development portfolio shows the firm’s confidence in Mackay and demonstrates SFA’s prioritization of business development in its operations. 

To learn more, see the coverage by The DI Wire.

7.  SageView Advisory Group Continues Buildout Of Capabilities With Addition Of Government And Public Sector Retirement Plan Expert Javier Obando

SageView Advisory Group, which advises on over $149 billion in defined contribution, defined benefit and deferred compensation plans, hired 25-year veteran government and public sector retirement expert Javier Obando to bolster its retirement coverage while also opening doors for retirement plan participants to participate in the firm’s comprehensive wealth management offerings.

Why it Matters: In our discussion with SageView’s Head of Wealth Management, Jim Dario, he described the firm’s growth plans for the wealth management side of the business, which include supporting retirement plan participants who show interest in financial planning. 

Obando will contribute to this wealth management growth strategy by introducing plan participants to wealth management, while boosting SageView’s support for clients in government and public retirement plans.

For more information, see the press release.

8. Advisor Group Continues To Grow and Build On Its Strategic Vision With Addition Of Experienced Business Strategist and Compliance Expert

Advisor Group hired Dimple Shah as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Iryna Northrip as Chief Compliance Officer, Investment Advisory. Shah brings two decades of experience as a corporate strategist including at consulting firm Cielo Advisors and as Head of Corporate Strategy at LPL Financial. Northrip previously served as Chief Compliance Officer for Mariner Wealth Advisors and, prior to that, with law firm Bryan Cave LLP.

Why it Matters: Advisor Group continues deepening its bench of senior executives with two new hires in compliance and strategy, following on three other recent executive hires. As an enterprise with several large broker-dealers and other subsidiaries under its umbrella, Advisor Group could place these resources within its subsidiaries, but chooses to centralize.

To learn more, see the press release.

Strategic Partnerships

9. Stratos Wealth Enterprises Acquires Minority Equity Stake in Boston-based Wealth Management Firm with $350 Million in AUM

Through its subsidiary Stratos Wealth Enterprises, Stratos Wealth Holdings purchased a 25% equity stake in Maryland-based Veritas Boston Wealth Management, with approximately $350 million in assets, which has affiliated with Stratos since 2019. As of December, Stratos oversees $23.3 billion in assets.

Why it Matters: With Veritas, Stratos continues its strategy previously covered in this column of identifying high-performing affiliated advisors and partnering with them more deeply through minority equity investments in order to catalyze growth, which stands in sharp contrast to the typical approach in wealth management of acquiring or merging with firms.

For more information, see the press release.

10. Hightower Makes Strategic Investment in Altium Wealth Management

Hightower Advisors made a strategic investment in Purchase, New York-based Altium Wealth Management, with $2.7 billion in assets, primarily serving high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. As part of the partnership, Altium made its proprietary direct indexing tools that create customized and tax-aware portfolios available to Hightower’s financial advisors. 

Why it Matters: The high net worth client theme recurs several times in today’s column, in this summary as well as in the summaries on Creative Planning and Simon Quick, reflecting multiple moves by firms to gain increased access to this segment. In addition, this partnership highlights the trend of leveraging technology to customize portfolios.

To learn more, see the press release.
Julius Buchanan, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at jbuchanan@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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