Recruitment Roundup: Hightower, Mariner, Choreo, Robertson Stephens And Our New Recruiter Of The Month

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

Hightower Facilitates An Acquisition, Choreo Agrees to Acquire GreerWalker WealthMariner And Robertson Stephens Separately Acquire Two Firms And Raj Bhattacharyya, CEO Of Robertson Stephens Is Our New Recruiter Of The Month

In addition to covering several recent deals, this edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup spotlights our new Recruiter Of The Month as part of a recurring Q&A with a different executive responsible for bringing on top strategic and advisory talent at leading firms.

For our Recruiter Of The Month entry, we speak with Raj Bhattacharyya, CEO at Robertson Stephens. For this week’s deals, we look at Robertson Stephens acquiring LFS Wealth Advisors and Vodia Capital, Hightower facilitating a strategic merger between Hightower Bellevue and Sovereign Wealth Advisors, Mariner Wealth Advisors acquiring McGervey Wealth Management and Hayes Financial, as well as Choreo agreeing to acquire GreerWalker Wealth.

1. Hightower Facilitates Merger With $350 Million Sovereign Wealth Advisors

Hightower facilitated a strategic merger between Hightower Bellevue and Sovereign Wealth Advisors, a fee-based RIA overseeing approximately $350 million. As a result, Hightower Bellevue’s assets are almost $1 billion. Bellevue, Washington-based Sovereign Wealth – which is led by Scott Sheffield, Tara Johnson and Sharon Lailey – has served the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years.

Hightower’s M&A team dedicates professionals to assist the company’s advisory businesses in mergers and sub-acquisitions with sourcing, valuation, structuring, capital, due diligence, integration, as well as legal and regulatory concerns. As of June 30, Hightower had assets under management (AUM) of approximately $108.4 billion, and assets under administration (AUA) of approximately $132.6 billion.

Hightower provides many resources

“Through this partnership, we will be able to provide our clients with all the resources they need, now and for years to come,” Johnson said in the press release. “We are excited to strengthen our culture by aligning with a likeminded firm. Additionally, we are eager to make use of the many resources Hightower provides through an array of value-added services.”

To learn more, view the press release here.

2. Mariner Acquires McGervey Wealth And Hayes Financial, Adding $430 Million

Overland Park, Kansas-based Mariner Wealth Advisors acquired Canton, Ohio-based McGervey Wealth Management, which has approximately $105 million in AUA, and San Jose, Calif.-based Hayes Financial, which has approximately $325 million in AUA. Both firms each serve more than 170 clients, according to their respective press releases.

E. Michael McGervey founded McGervey Wealth Management in 2003. InCap Group served as its investment bank and strategic advisor on the deal. Zachary Hayes founded Hayes Financial in 2008. ECHELON Partners served as its financial advisor on the deal. As a result of the deals, Mariner added a fourth office in Ohio and an eleventh office in California.

“I have a strong connection to the local communities our firm operates in, and I am grateful for the opportunity to maintain these ties, while remaining committed to offering our clients an expanded range of services through Mariner Wealth Advisors,” McGervey said in a press release. 

Strong connection to community

“Given Mariner Wealth Advisors’ commitment to its client-first philosophy, I am confident our values will continue to shine through, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next with Mariner’s team of highly skilled advisors and professionals,” Hayes said in a press release.

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

3. Choreo To Partner With GreerWalker, Agrees To Acquire $275 Million Team

Chicago-based Choreo agreed to acquire GreerWalker Wealth LLC and enter into a strategic partnership with the tax, accounting and advisory firm GreerWalker LLP. GreerWalker Wealth LLC oversees approximately $275 million in AUM and is an affiliate of GreerWalker LLP, which has offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina.

The partnership aims to accelerate growth for both Choreo and GreerWalker LLP by generating new opportunities for their financial professionals and clients. The acquisition agreement boosts Choreo’s total assets under management and advisement to approximately $14.8 billion. As WSR previously covered, Choreo also recently agreed to acquire Enso Wealth Management and Cherry Bekaert Wealth Management.

“Partnering with GreerWalker is a special opportunity,” Larry Miles, CEO of Choreo, said in the press release. “Our firms have a strong philosophical alignment, shared CPA heritage and a complementary vision for future growth.” 

Philosophical alignment

To learn more, view the press release here.

4. Robertson Stephens Acquires LFS Wealth And Vodia Capital, Adding $370 Million

San Francisco-based Robertson Stephens acquired San Ramon, California-based LFS Wealth Advisors, which has approximately $210 million in assets, and Boston-based Vodia Capital, which has over $160 million in assets.

LFS Founder John Lau is joining Robertson Stephens as Managing Director and Principal. He is accompanied by seven colleagues. “Together, I believe that we will be able to give our clients more investment opportunities and complementary wealth planning capabilities to truly fulfill their goals,” Lau said in a press release.

Commitment to transparency

Vodia Founder David Matias also is joining Robertson Stephens as Managing Director and Principal. He is accompanied by five colleagues. “Robertson Stephens shares our commitment to transparency and integrity and is a clear match with our values and goals, as well as the standards our clients have come to expect,” Matias said in a press release.

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


Recruiter Of The Month

Raj Bhattacharyya, CEO, Robertson Stephens

Raj Bhattacharyya, CEO, Robertson Stephens

Robertson Stephens oversees assets of more than $4 billion, with 77 employees across 16 locations in California, New York, New Jersey, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Colorado and Massachusetts. In addition to covering the acquisitions above, we recently named Robertson Stephens a WSR Wealth Exemplar Fee-Based RIA of the Year.

WSR: Why has Robertson Stephens had such strong success making acquisitions this year?

Bhattacharyya: The thesis behind Robertson Stephens is based upon building a firm with the capabilities to rival the largest wealth management institutions in the country while maintaining the culture and feel of a boutique RIA. This goal resonates with entrepreneurs looking not simply for a liquidity event or a succession plan but want to be a part of something bigger and strive to always provide the highest level of service to their clients. 

Our open architecture approach to client service also allows advisors and their teams to focus on what they do best and offload what they may lack or find burdensome to our internal resources. It is a testament to our collaborative culture and the experience of our colleagues that newly onboarded advisor teams start leveraging these resources on Day One.

WSR: What has your role been as an executive in helping Robertson Stephens to conduct these deals? 

Bhattacharyya: We ensure that a team joining us will have met their various partners in the central areas several times before we get to a transaction. So when we start the transition process, there is already great connectivity across many people in both firms, which is then implemented by checking off a thorough checklist of items involving every part of the firm. 

My role through the process is very hands on, particularly around the financial aspects of the transaction, and ensuring that the legal agreements reflect the spirit of what both parties are trying to accomplish. 

This requires full and transparent communication among all parties, especially since merging your firm with another is a deeply personal decision for most entrepreneurs. My main contribution is the continuous dialogue I keep with the owners of these businesses as we go through the process. 

We talk through our vision for the firm and how our two businesses will thrive together. We say no to many more deals than we say yes to, and these discussions are key to maintaining our most valuable attribute, which is our culture.

Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

Related Posts

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign Up for Our Newsletters