LPL Adds $1 Billion, AmeriFlex Surpasses 100 Advisors, Savant To Acquire Retirement RIA, Private Advisor Group Affiliate Adds Sage Financial Design, Rosemont Invests In Landmark Management, Miracle Mile Appoints Bruce Milam CEO, TMG Appoints Jeff Pierce CEO And Amit Dogra At tru Independence Is Our Recruiter Of The Month
This edition of the Weekly Recruitment Roundup features our newest Recruiter Of The Month. We speak with Amit Dogra, President and Chief Operating Officer at tru Independence, about the firm’s success at helping several firms launch this year.
This week’s deals also include LPL Financial recruiting three teams and $1 billion in assets, The AmeriFlex Group surpassing 100 advisors and reaching $6.5 billion in assets, Savant Wealth Management agreeing to acquire The Relaxing Retirement Coach, Private Advisor Group affiliate WP Financial acquiring Sage Financial Design, private investor Rosemont taking a minority stake in the multifamily office Landmark Management, Miracle Mile Advisors appointing Bruce Milam as its first CEO and The Mather Group appointing former Wipfli Financial Advisors CEO Jeff Pierce as its new chief executive officer.
1. LPL Recruits Three Teams With 10 Advisors And Over $1 Billion, In The Same Week
LPL Financial announced the recruitment of three teams consisting of a total of 10 advisors who collectively oversee more than $1 billion, all in the same week.
Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Blue Sky Wealth Management, which is comprised of advisors Joe Di Biasi, Greg McElheny, Leor Getzel and Bill Simmermon, brings $275 million from Osaic. Elkhorn, Wisconsin-based Omnia Wealth Group, which is comprised of advisors Isaac J. Hart, Robert Entwistle Jr., Matthew L. Malvitz and Sam Asani, brings $400 million from Edward Jones. And Elkhart County, Indiana-based advisors Scott Hartman and Adam Johnston bring $375 million from Cetera Investment Advisors.
“Taking ownership of your practice and gaining the freedom to make decisions for your business and your clients is an exciting move, and with LPL Strategic Wealth Services, they have a partner every step of the way,” Scott Posner, LPL’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, said of Omnia Wealth. LPL Strategic Wealth Services is designed for advisors who want to own their business without operational and business management responsibilities.
2. AmeriFlex Surpasses 100 Advisors, Reaches $6.5 Billion In Assets
Hybrid RIA The AmeriFlex Group announced it now has over 100 financial advisors located in 14 states, overseeing $6.5 billion in client assets. More than 75% of these advisors are equity owners in the advisor-owned firm.
The firm’s SuccessionFlex program, launched in 2021, brought in 12 advisors. The program gives advisors an option, before retirement, to sell from 30% to 40% of their current revenue stream to the firm with no minority ownership discount. In May, the firm announced the AmeriFlex Premier+ platform, an automated financial planning solution that provides customizable “what-if” scenarios reflecting transitional client situations such as retirement, purchase or sale of a home or business, divorce or loss of a loved one.
“During a period of massive consolidation, we chose to build a wealth management firm that aims to empower financial advisors to put planning first and deliver innovative services that support them at every stage of their career,” said Thomas Goodson, AmeriFlex’s Founder and CEO. “Since founding in the firm in 2019, our focus on the needs of our advisors has been the key to our success.”
Mergers & Acquisitions
3. Savant Agrees To Acquire $483 Million The Relaxing Retirement Coach
Rockford, Illinois-based Savant Wealth Management agreed to acquire Wellesley, Massachusetts-based The Relaxing Retirement Coach, a fee-only fiduciary RIA firm with six employees and $483 million in assets under management (AUM). The deal marks Savant’s fifth acquisition of 2023.
Jack Phelps founded The Relaxing Retirement Coach in 2003 to help savers prepare for the transition from work to retirement. This year, Savant also has gained offices in Georgia, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. In total, Savant has 32 offices in 12 states. In May, the acquisition of Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Domani Wealth, which has approximately $1.5 billion in AUM, pushed Savant’s AUM to approximately $19.5 billion.
“We were looking for a partner who aligned with our core values and long-term plans,” Phelps said. “Savant not only shares our values, planning-first philosophy and commitment to act as a fiduciary; it also has the ability to help us scale our operations and significantly enhance our range of services with tax planning, estate planning and trust services designed to help our clients live the lives they’ve earned.”
4. Private Advisor Group’s WP Financial Acquires $95 Million Sage Financial Design
West Hartford, Connecticut-based WP Financial, an affiliate of Private Advisor Group, acquired Sage Financial Design, a $95 million financial planning firm based in nearby Simsbury, after the death of Robert Sheldon “Whitey” Thompson, Sage’s president. Sage, which has four full-time employees, will operate as the Simsbury branch of WP Financial.
In September, WP Financial recruited advisor Elizabeth DeBassio from Connecticut Wealth Management, where she had worked for nearly a decade. The Sage acquisition brings WP Financial’s AUM up to $650 million, according to a spokesperson. Morristown, New Jersey-based Private Advisor Group has over $25 billion in AUM.
“Bob was a well-known figure in my hometown, and his work laid a solid and respected foundation for financial planning,” said Bill Rabbitt, owner of WP Financial. “Our goal is to honor his legacy, minimize any disruption for investors, and elevate their planning support through technological advancements and innovation.”
5. Rosemont Takes Minority Stake In $4 Billion Multifamily Office Landmark Management
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Rosemont, a private investor in employee-owned asset and wealth management firms, made a minority investment in New York-based Landmark Management, a multifamily office with over $4 billion in AUM that provides investment management, accounting and tax preparation services for ultra-high net worth families.
The recapitalization will support Landmark Management’s gradual transition to next-generation leadership, with Rosemont providing guidance and governance. Berkshire Global Advisors served as financial advisor to Landmark Management on the deal. It is Rosemont’s third permanent capital investment, after 26 private equity investments in the previous 21 years.
“We are thrilled to form this partnership with Landmark—which in many respects represents the ideal Rosemont investment—after several years of discussions,” said Brad Mook, Managing Director at Rosemont. “Landmark has provided distinctive investment advice and valuable services to a limited number of enduring client families over a long period of time.”
Promotions & People Moves
6. $4.5 Billion Miracle Mile Hires Bruce Milam As First CEO, Aims At Aggressive Growth
Los Angeles-based RIA Miracle Mile Advisors appointed Bruce Milam as its first CEO with responsibility for the firm’s day-to-day operations, expanding the firm’s leadership team and the formulation and execution of the next stage of its growth strategy. With over $4.5 billion in client assets and 70 employees, the firm recently merged with Karp Capital Management and received private equity investment from Corsair Capital.
Milam previously served as COO at Seattle-based Freestone Capital Management, where he led the firm to a threefold growth in AUM to over $8 billion. Prior to Freestone, Milam served as a Director at HBK Capital Management, with a focus on building out the firm’s technology and operations infrastructure.
“Miracle Mile’s historic growth is impressive, and the firm has the necessary pieces in place to fuel the next stage of expansion,” Milam said. “Our firm has a robust infrastructure that will serve as a springboard for scale, bolstered by a strong balance sheet, a talented management team, and a culture of holistic service that places clients at the front and center of all we do.”
7. $11.7 Billion The Mather Group Hires Former Wipfli Financial Advisors CEO Jeff Pierce
Chicago-based The Mather Group (TMG), a fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm with 15 offices nationwide and over $11.7 billion in client assets, appointed former Wipfli Financial Advisors CEO Jeff Pierce as its new chief executive officer. Pierce became Partner and Director of Strategic Relationships at Creative Planning when that firm acquired Wipfli last year.
Prior to Pierce, Chris Behrens had served as TMG’s CEO since January 2020. In May of this year, TMG acquired Cincinnati-based Clear Perspectives Financial Planning, which oversees $360 million. In April, TMG hired former Cerity Partners Chief Compliance Officer Stuart Evans as its CCO. In December, TMG hired former Northern Trust Asset Management Chief Financial Officer Ryan Wickert as its CFO.
“Jeff did a fantastic job building the Wipfli RIA, and I couldn’t be happier with his work during the transition,” Creative Planning CEO Peter Mallouk was quoting as saying in Citywire RIA. “I have no doubt Jeff will be a great leader of The Mather Group.”
Recruiter Of The Month
8. Amit Dogra, President And Chief Operating Officer, tru Independence
So far this year, Portland, Oregon-based tru independence has partnered to help launch the firms SYKON Capital, Gainline Financial Partners, Seven Mile Advisory and Crossover Capital Advisors, collectively representing over $2 billion in assets. The national independent advisory partnership firm already has doubled the $1 billion added in 2022, with a total of approximately $10 billion on its platform.
To learn what led to this success, we speak with Amit Dogra, President and Chief Operating Officer at tru Independence.
WSR: Why has tru Independence had so much success this year bringing new firms onto its platform?
Dogra: Our biggest selling point this year has been the formalization of our “Experience As a Service” (EAS) platform model. Having listened to the needs and wants of advisors over a long period of time, we knew that providing a great experience to advisors and allowing them to give their clients the same was important. We are ahead of the industry in giving advisors what they have been asking for: a platform that combines behavioral finance, fintech and human capital to drive their business growth.
The launch of truView, our proprietary, single-source-code business management system, reimagines the way advisors are supported in their daily operations by providing business insights, client information, portfolio management, risk metrics, and planning and investment management solutions. This user-friendly technology eliminates the complexities of the traditional tech stack.
WSR: What types of firms make for ideal partners to join the tru Independence platform?
Dogra: We are looking for growth-focused advisors, who are “up to something” when it comes to building their business and value delivering excellence in their client experience. Advisors who are entrepreneurial and looking to grow see the value that tru brings as a partner to their business. Our EAS platform has attracted advisors who have complexity in their business model and in the clients they serve. The larger the advisor, the better of a fit tru is for them.
WSR: What role do you play specifically as an executive at tru Independence in the recruitment process with firms?
Dogra: My role as president and COO revolves around how best to serve our community of advisors while also driving the growth and profitability of the firm. Paramount to this growth is the recruitment efforts, which I personally lead. I like to set the overall experience with the advisor and drive that first call, so they know they are important to tru and we are genuinely interested in them and their business.
I like to say that tru has an “active management” team and we are all involved with our advisors and potential advisors. It personally matters to me to have an individual relationship with each advisor and for them to know I am always available. Participating in their growth is something I truly enjoy, and they appreciate me being involved.
Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at email@example.com