Three Firms Merge Into Rebranded And Merchant-Backed Trivium

Trivium, Paradigm And Lyons & Lyons Merge And Rebrand With Capital And Strategic Support From Merchant, Demonstrate Merchant ‘Ecosystem’ Model Of M&A

Westport, Connecticut-based Trivium Point Advisory announced mergers with Connecticut-based RIA Paradigm Financial Partners and Ridgefield, Connecticut-based Lyons & Lyons, CPAs. The two firms will adopt the Trivium name and mission as part of a rebranding. Trivium has offices in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York and manages $716 million, according to its January Form ADV.

Mergers

George R. Gerhard, Managing Partner, Trivium Point Advisory
George R. Gerhard, Managing Partner, Trivium Point Advisory

“We are excited to enter into this partnership with the Paradigm team,” said George R. Gerhard, Managing Partner at Trivium. “It is a true integration of two established wealth management organizations that allows for elevated experience and continuity.”

Paradigm Managing Partner, Lee S. Rawiszer, said, “Change is necessary as the world of

financial advice becomes increasingly complex. It is crucial to evolve and continue serving our

clients in the most progressive way.”

Lee S. Rawiszer, Managing Partner, Paradigm Financial Partners
Lee S. Rawiszer, Managing Partner, Paradigm Financial Partners

Lyons & Lyons brings its tax services, including accounting, tax planning and business consulting to Trivium’s investment advisory and financial planning services.

David Lyons, owner of Lyons & Lyons, said, “As we combine our strengths with Trivium, we embark on a new chapter with even greater potential to serve our clients. Trivium will continue the legacy of personalized service and exceptional financial guidance that has made Lyons & Lyons a trusted name in our community.”

Ron Pac, Managing Partner at Trivium, said, “We are delighted to welcome both teams from Paradigm and Lyons & Lyons into our family. Together, we will seek to further elevate our commitment to the community while expanding our services and capabilities to address the evolving financial needs of all our clients – all within one trusted brand.”

Rebranding

The rebranding includes a refreshed website, logo, tagline and signature video. As part of the rebranding, Trivium’s new tagline is, “Clarity at Life’s Crossroads,” which refers to the Latin meaning of “Trivium”: a crossroads or place where three roads meet. In the firm’s name and brand, the three roads represent tax and accounting, business advisory services and wealth management.

Merchant “Ecosystem”

Paradigm received an investment from and partnered with Merchant Investment Management starting in 2018, and the newly merged Trivium will continue to be backed by Merchant. “The complementary aspects of the businesses came to fruition very quickly,” said Bryan Staff, Managing Partner at Merchant. “It’s a great group of individuals with generational leadership, a succession plan in place, high growth ambition and a lot of inorganic growth going forward.”

Bryan Staff, Managing Partner, Merchant Investment Management
Bryan Staff, Managing Partner, Merchant Investment Management

With 34 team members, Merchant takes a partnership approach to investing, with approximately 72 wealth management firms and 10 essential services firms in its network, which Staff refers to as its “ecosystem.” “We’re not a private equity firm,” Staff told WSR. “We want to keep the lion’s share of the equity in the principals that built the firms that we’re partnering with. We’re not passive – we are minority, non-control but collaborative partners to the wealth management businesses that we invest and partner with.”

Staff added, “We’re very much adept at providing tax-efficient capital, both debt and equity, offering our underwriting team, our M&A resources, so while they’re busy building the company organically, we’re working with them to look at opportunities, to underwrite those opportunities, to make sure it’s a good cultural fit, and to bring advisors together to grow the business, expand the multiples, and ultimately to expand the enterprise value of those businesses.”

He further described the Merchant ecosystem as an environment in which many of the invested firms become complementary of each other and work together. Merchant examines the firms from a macro level to determine what each firm does well and how it may improve, then provides strategic support at those points. For the services firms, Merchant takes a larger stake, possibly a majority investment, and provides the services of these firms to the ecosystem’s wealth management firms on a cost-minus basis.

“The Future Of Intelligent M&A”

A spokesperson for Merchant said that the Trivium merger is a case in point of the Merchant ecosystem model. “There’s no conventional provider of private capital that would’ve been able to dive so deep and actively think in such an anticipatory way around each of the cross-functional and cross-disciplinary elements of what this combination of firms ideally should look like. You’re combining that with a far-sighted organizational strategy in the form of M&A that is integrated with the succession planning outcome.”

The spokesperson explained that Merchant brought together capital, strategic planning informed by familiarity with the industry, and an ability to execute on that strategy because they have the necessary industry relationships to bring deals together and the reputation capital of a firm that aims solely to create long-term businesses of value. “What we’re talking about here speaks to the future of intelligent M&A, the future of active operational investing and the future of how to bring ecosystems of relationships together.”

Julius Buchanan, Editor in Chief at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at jbuchanan@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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