Atria Partners With Harvard Credit Union, Commonwealth Recruits Aegis Consulting, Integrated Partners Adds Two Teams, Merit Acquires Planned Futures, Concurrent Restructures As Hybrid RIA, EP Wealth Appoints Ryan Parker CEO, And Adviser Investments CEO Mario Ramos Is Our New Recruiter Of The Month
Our Weekly Recruitment Roundup now includes separate sections for people moves, strategic alliances, M&A and advisor recruitment. For our newest Recruiter Of The Month, we speak with Mario Ramos, CEO of Adviser Investments. In something of a twist, this latest profile focuses on a successful M&A dealmaker instead of our usual focus on advisory teams switching firms.
This week’s deals also cover Atria Wealth Solutions subsidiary CUSO Financial Services partnering with Harvard University Employees Credit Union, Commonwealth Financial Network recruiting Aegis Consulting, Merit Financial Advisors acquiring Planned Futures, Concurrent Investment Advisors restructuring as a hybrid RIA, Integrated Partners adding two teams in Michigan and EP Wealth Advisors appointing its President Ryan Parker as CEO as Patrick Goshtigian becomes Executive Chair.
Jacksonville, Florida-based Aegis Consulting joined Commonwealth Financial Network. Principals Michael Cirino and Alexander Harrison previously served 39 and 25 years respectively at Lincoln Financial. They lead a team of 11 advisors and additional support staff, bringing over $1.2 billion in client assets with them.
The average team member has worked with clients for more than 24 years. Aegis Consulting provides fee-based financial planning, wealth management, and estate and business succession planning for high- and ultra-high net worth clients, family businesses and executives. Commonwealth has more than 2,100 independent advisors who oversaw more than $242.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31.
“While our bias was to stay where we were, after an extensive due diligence process, it was clear that Commonwealth was the best choice for our clients, advisors and staff,” Cirino said. “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel – we just want to make the wheel better, and Commonwealth gives us the ability to do that and run the business the way we want.”
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Integrated Partners recruited two Michigan-based advisory teams as affiliate partners. Wealthcare Management Services (WMS) and JMB Financial Services Group (JMB), both headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, collectively oversee more than $500 million. David Petoskey is President and owner of WMS and Joshua Barron is President and owner of JMB.
Integrated Partners has more than 200 advisors, 170 CPAs and 116 regional offices nationwide. In addition to aligning advisors with CPAs, the firm provides advisors with technology, marketing, M&A, succession planning and other support services. In February, Integrated Partners acquired Laurel Wealth Advisors, an RIA with approximately $2.25 billion in assets. Integrated Partners has approximately $16 billion in client assets, according to a spokesperson.
“Dave, Josh and their teams have already been working with our Managing Director of Investments, Stephen Kolano, to build a collaborative series of investment models and custom portfolios,” said Paul Saganey, Founder and CEO of Integrated Partners. “Tapping into our Business Owner Solutions and family office experience will add another dimension to both teams of advisors.”
Mergers & Acquisitions
3. Merit Financial Advisors Acquires $460 Million Planned Futures
Atlanta-based Merit Financial Advisors acquired Williamsport, Pennsylvania-based Planned Futures, an RIA with more than a dozen professionals and $460 million in assets under management (AUM). Planned Futures provides investment management and retirement planning for state employees and mass affluent clients. James Arnold and John Keene, Jr., who lead Planned Futures, will become Regional Directors and Partners at Merit.
The deal is Merit’s 19th acquisition since December 2020, when Wealth Partners Capital Group and strategic investors led by HGGC’s Aspire Holdings took a minority investment in Merit. Earlier this year, Merit acquired TFG Wealth Management, INVEX Financial and WealthPlan. Those deals brought on a combined $424 million in assets and two Pennsylvania offices. As of March 31, Merit had 40 offices nationwide and managed $8.1 billion in assets.
“Expanding Merit’s presence in Pennsylvania has been a focus for some time, and we are very pleased to have James and John lead the charge,” said Rick Kent, Founder and CEO of Merit. “Their team’s expertise, service offerings, and culture align exceptionally well with our core values. We are incredibly synchronized in nearly every aspect.”
CUSO Financial Services (CFS), a broker-dealer subsidiary of Atria Wealth Solutions focused on the credit union wealth management space, announced a multi-year partnership with Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU), which serves the Ivy League institution’s more than 52,000 members and manages over $1 billion in client assets.
HUECU, established in 1939, serves Harvard’s staff, students and alumni, Harvard teaching hospitals and other affiliated organizations. The deal comes a week after Atria announced a similar deal for CFS with Mobiloil Credit Union, which also holds over $1 billion and serves nearly 75,000 members. CFS provides credit unions with a product platform, practice management resources, digital tools and offers four program models for the institutions.
“Our members are asking for expanded financial services, and CFS has a proven track record in the industry when it comes to implementing wealth management programs for credit unions,” said HUECU President and CEO Craig Leonard. “It’s clear that CFS shares our same values and mission – to offer members the support and options they can’t get anywhere else.”
Tampa, Florida-based Concurrent Investment Advisors, which departed from Raymond James last year, has restructured as a multi-custodial hybrid RIA and onboarded five new advisory groups collectively overseeing more than $440 million in new AUM. By onboarding pre-existing accounts to the RIA platform, Concurrent aims to surpass $17 billion in assets under advisement by year-end.
The new groups are Allegiant Wealth Partners of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Danielson Tate Capital Partners of Mandeville, Louisiana; Spectrum Wealth Partners of West Berlin, New Jersey; Price Financial Management of Berlin Township, New Jersey; and Alex Reid, who joined existing Concurrent partner Columbia Associates.
Concurrent uses Practifi, Black Diamond, SmartX and other tech platforms, with Fidelity as its initial custodian. A partnership with Merchant Investment Management provides advisors with strategic resources, operational support and equity opportunities.
“Throughout our history, we have been driven to provide advisors with the tools, resources and support they need to grow their businesses, and embrace an independent and fiduciary-based model,” said Concurrent Co-Founder Nate Lenz. “To have five new joins, even through an intense transition period, speaks to the success and culture our advisors have demonstrated to the marketplace over the years.”
Promotions & People Moves
6. EP Wealth Advisors Names Ryan Parker CEO, Patrick Goshtigian Executive Chairman
Torrance, California-based EP Wealth Advisors announced that, as of July 1, CEO Patrick Goshtigian will transition into the role of Executive Chairman and that President Ryan Parker will become the new CEO. Parker joined EP Wealth in 2021 and became president last year. He has 26 years of financial services experience, previously serving as President and CEO of Wealth Management at Citizens Financial and prior to that CEO at Edelman Financial Services.
Goshtigian has been with EP Wealth since 2011 and became full-time CEO in February 2022. He previously was a managing director at Nuveen Investments and before that at NWQ Investment Management Company. In his new role, Goshtigian will maintain his active participation across key leadership teams. EP Wealth is a fee-only RIA with more than 30 offices in 11 states and over $18.7 billion in assets as of April 30.
“EP has enjoyed tremendous growth and continues to deliver for our expanding client base, now with a national footprint,” Goshtigian said. “In my new role – working on a full-time basis as Executive Chair – I’ll be in a position to focus on specific strategic initiatives and M&A, while providing a sounding board for Ryan.”
Recruiter Of The Month
As previously reported, Newton, Massachusetts-based Adviser Investments and Boston-based Ropes Wealth Advisors are merging to establish a bespoke advisory firm that will manage nearly $15 billion in client assets. The two RIAs employ more than 185 professionals including wealth advisors, portfolio managers, fiduciary and financial planning specialists, and client service professionals. To learn more about it, we spoke with Adviser Investments CEO Mario Ramos.
WSR: Why was now the right time for Adviser Investments to join forces with Ropes Wealth Advisors?
Ramos: Adviser Investments has had three decades of successfully serving sophisticated clients and building our business by providing those clients with the advanced solutions they need. We believe M&A, when done correctly, can significantly enhance capabilities so we can better serve clients while growing our business.
In the case of RWA, we also felt the businesses and company cultures were highly complementary. In addition, the leadership and financial services capabilities at Ropes Wealth Advisors clearly stood out during the entire process for multiple reasons. We feel quite fortunate that the Ropes Wealth Advisors team shared a similar perspective about us.
WSR: How do you see the deal impacting the firm’s ability to recruit top talent and acquire leading practices?
Ramos: This deal underscores just how serious we are about partnering with other high-caliber wealth managers as merger partners. In Ropes Wealth Advisors, for example, we saw a tax-savvy approach to institutional-level investment management and trust and estate planning, combined with a proven ability to seamlessly work with attorneys to create unique client solutions.
Moreover, we believe we can double our AUM during the next three to five years through continued strategic mergers and acquisitions that add value to clients. It’s also worth noting that our M&A strategy reinforces our capabilities when it comes to delivering an exceptional service experience to our clients. The firms we look to partner with must have a similar track record in building a client-centric culture with their teams.
Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org