Mariner’s $8 Billion Leap Into the Financial Institutions Space

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst,
Wealth Solutions Report

Mariner’s Acquisition of Michigan RIA Opens Door to Bank and Credit Union Wealth Management Platforms, Brings Other Institutional and Private Clients and Range of Institutional Service Capabilities

Mariner Wealth Advisors announced the acquisition of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based RIA Heber Fuger Wendin Investment Advisors, with $8.6 billion in assets under management, closing the transaction on July 31. This deal continues the firm’s strategic series of acquisitions designed to increase its expertise, integrated capabilities and scale.

Backed by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green, Mariner recently closed the  acquisition of The Financial Services Network, with $26 billion in assets and serving 400 financial advisors.

Prior to The Financial Services Network, Mariner most recently acquired Corbenic Partners, Taylor Wealth Management and Emerson Wealth.

The financial institutions-focused Heber Fuger significantly expands Mariner’s clientele and service capabilities to community bank and credit union wealth management platforms, a new area for Mariner.

Expansion to Community Banks and Credit Unions

Wealth management is big business here

Marty Bicknell, CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors, said “In addition to being aligned with [Heber Fuger’s] business philosophy, we’re excited to work with them to grow their very valuable offering supporting community banks and credit unions.”

In addition to financial institutions, Heber Fuger serves a broad range of clients primarily in the South and Midwest.  The firm’s clients encompass hospitals, foundations, manufacturers, insurance companies and individuals.  Its services include asset liability management, investment portfolio accounting, mortgage servicing rights valuation, investment advisory services and financial planning.

Renewed Focus on Financial Institutions-Based Wealth Management?

The transaction marks a moment in the industry when there appears to be a renewed focus on financial institutions-based wealth management across the independent channel.

LPL Financial, Ameriprise and Cetera Financial Group have been longstanding players in supporting bank and credit union-based wealth management programs across the country.

Other large firms in the space, however, have been catching up rapidly.

More players and a tighter race in bank and credit union-based financial advice races

In recent years, Atria Wealth Solutions, backed by private equity firm Lee Equity Partners, has been driving significant growth in recruiting wealth management programs to its CUSO Financial Services subsidiary, which has an exclusive focus on supporting credit unions.

And in May, Reverence Capital Partners-backed Advisor Group acquired Infinex, a financial institutions-focused firm supporting 230 bank and credit union programs with $30 billion in client assets.

Other Mariner Deal Details

75 offices

After the closing, Heber Fuger assumed Mariner’s name and its 11-person team continues operating as Mariner’s 75th national location and fourth in Michigan. Mariner now advises on over $60 billion in client assets.

Los Angeles-based investment bank and consultant ECEHELON Partners advised Heber Fuger on the transaction. The firm recently advised on the AssetMark acquisition of Adhesion Wealth, the Simon Quick merger with Red Hook, Daintree Advisors’ sale to Cerity Partners and Paradigm’s sale to Creative Planning, among others.

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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