Oppenheimer Recruits Meridian Wealth Group, Choreo Agrees To Acquire $1.8 Billion Enso Wealth Management, OneDigital Adds $300 Million JFL Total Wealth Management And Fifth Third Bank Launches Hybrid RIA Fifth Third Wealth Advisors
This edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup covers a recruitment, two acquisitions and the launch of a hybrid RIA. Oppenheimer & Co. expanded its Nashville presence with the recruitment of Meridian Wealth Group. Choreo agreed to acquire the 22-member team Enso Wealth Management in California.
OneDigital acquired the retirement plan and employee benefits specialists JFL Total Wealth Management in New Jersey. And Fifth Third Bank launched Fifth Third Wealth Advisors to recruit teams with over $1 billion in assets.
1. Oppenheimer Expands Nashville Office With Recruitment Of Meridian Wealth Group
Oppenheimer & Co. expanded its Private Client Division by bringing on Meridian Wealth Group, which will operate through its Nashville office. Meridian is led by John Wade, who has over 20 years of financial services experience and will serve as Executive Director, Investments. The team includes Aaron Fiske, Director, Investments, as well as two experienced associates.
Phil Hall serves as Executive Director and Branch Manager of Oppenheimer’s Nashville office, which opened in March. The company had $35.3 billion in assets under management (AUM), 985 advisors and 91 retail branch offices as of Sept. 30, according to its third quarter earnings report.
In addition to wealth management, Oppenheimer provides securities brokerage and investment banking services to high net worth individuals, families, corporate executives, local governments, businesses and institutions.
“Though we had several intriguing opportunities during our search for a new firm, what Phil and Oppenheimer are doing in Nashville stood out immediately, and we wanted to be a part of it,” Wade said in the press release. “At Meridian, we’re passionate about helping our clients pursue their lifelong financial goals through customized solutions, personalized service and a common-sense approach to investing.”
Choreo, an RIA with 28 locations nationwide, agreed to acquire Petaluma, California-based Enso Wealth Management, which oversees approximately $1.8 billion in AUM. The team of 13 advisors and nine support staff will operate under the Choreo brand as Jim DeCota, co-founder and President of Enso, becomes its Managing Director.
The deal expands Choreo’s presence in northern California and Nevada, while boosting its total AUM to $13.5 billion, according to the press release. Enso is Choreo’s first acquisition since launching as a standalone company. In February, Choreo’s management team, a group of its advisors and private equity firm Parthenon Capital bought it from RSM, which is among the biggest accounting firms in the U.S.
“While I am enormously proud of what we have achieved over the years, joining forces with [Choreo CEO Larry Miles] and the Choreo team will provide us with the tools, resources and expertise that will allow us to serve our clients better than ever before and take our business to the next level,” DeCota said in the press release. “I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together moving forward.”
OneDigital Investment Advisors acquired JFL Total Wealth Management, a Boonton, New Jersey-based team that also provides retirement plan services and employee benefits programs for businesses. Jerry Lynch, President of JFL, will join with his five-person team that has approximately $300 million in AUM.
According to the press release, the deal is the seventh strategic wealth management transaction in 2022 for OneDigital Investment Advisors. The RIA is a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based insurance brokerage, financial services and HR consulting firm OneDigital, which serves over 100,000 employers. The RIA has AUM of approximately $108.1 billion, more than 1 million participants and 41,000 individual accounts.
“Over the last 25 years, JFL has prided itself on delivering customized financial planning and retirement management services and developing personal relationships with our clients and their families,” Lynch said in the press release. “OneDigital shares the same outlook with their clients and employees.”
Fifth Third Bank launched a hybrid-model independent RIA called Fifth Third Wealth Advisors that aims to recruit wealth management teams with books of business that exceed $1 billion. The new RIA currently has teams in Naples, Florida; Springfield, Illinois; Reno, Nevada; Fresno, California; San Francisco and the Atlanta metro area.
Eric Housman serves as President of Fifth Third Wealth Advisors. He has 34 years of financial services experience, and previously was Managing Director of Fifth Third Private Bank’s MidAtlantic Region.
The new RIA aims to provide advisors who transition with comprehensive back-office support and dedicated onboarding resources, as well as the style of an independent boutique wealth management business that can leverage the capabilities of a prominent regional bank.
“Our advisor teams have the opportunity to take advantage of our flexible investment management platform while also providing access to additional services such as trust powers, credit and planning through Fifth Third Bank,” Housman said in the press release. “We have coupled this model with a robust technology stack and Fidelity Investments as our custodian.”