Private Equity-Backed Firm Of The Year: Choreo, Facet And Hightower

WSR Names Choreo, Facet And Hightower Advisors As Private-Equity Backed Firms Of The Year

The WSR Wealth Exemplar Awards for Private Equity-Backed Firm of the Year go to the top three wealth management firms that have received significant or majority equity investments from private equity, venture capital or other institutional investors for expansion and growth purposes.

Choreo

Larry Miles, CEO, Choreo

Choreo emphasizes the well-being of clients and their families and communities in its vision for wealth management. The firm originated in February 2022 when its management team, a group of its advisors and private equity firm Parthenon Capital bought the company from CPA firm RSM US LLP, launching it as a separate firm and adopting the Choreo brand. Including its years as part of RSM, the firm has over 20 years of history.

With 48 locations and 124 advisors, Choreo has expanded rapidly since its recent launch as a separate enterprise. Its total client assets grew to $15.1 billion as of April 30, 2023, from $11.8 billion the prior year. Among its M&A activities, it acquired Enso Wealth Management, with $1.8 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 13 advisors, in November 2022, and the wealth management business of BDO USA, which is expected to add $8.1 billion in client assets, in October 2023.

Facet

Anders Jones, CEO & Co-Founder, Facet
Anders Jones, CEO & Co-Founder, Facet

Founded in 2016 by Anders Jones, Brent Weiss and Patrick McKenna, Facet uses an annual membership model rather than the traditional charge based on assets, pairing clients with a CFP to develop financial plans in one-on-one meetings. The firm emphasizes the affordability of financial advice, and 80% of its members never worked with a financial planner before Facet.

Facet has over 200 employees and approximately $2.3 billion in assets. It has raised over $165 million in venture capital backing, including raising $100 million in 2022 in a fundraising led by Durable Capital Partners, with investments from Warburg Pincus, TeleSoft Partners and Green Cow Venture Capital.

As part of its differentiated approach, Facet uses “Total Financial Life Resources” as a metric for the financial lives of members, including investments, home equity, cash, retired debt, and workplace retirement benefits and pensions. It tracks members’ well-being with life event metrics such as babies born, new homeowners, the elimination of debt burdens and the establishment of emergency funds.

Hightower Advisors

Bob Oros, Chairman & CEO, Hightower Advisors
Bob Oros, Chairman & CEO, Hightower Advisors

Hightower Advisors has averaged 7% organic growth for the past four years. Together with its affiliates, it has $130.8 billion in AUM as of Sept. 30, 2023, and a network of 138 wealth advisory practices. The firm provides investment, financial and retirement planning; private market alternatives; and estate and tax planning, to individuals, foundations and family offices. It also operates an in-house trust company and provides consulting services to businesses on 401(k) plans.

Private equity firm THL Partners announced an investment in Hightower in October 2017, which closed in early 2018. Since that time, the firm has focused on M&A, as well as advisor support through shared technology and services.

Hightower recently announced a strategic investment in Capital Management Group of New York, with $3.3 billion in assets, the fifth wealth manager formerly affiliated with an IBD in which the firm has both made a strategic investment and onboarded the firm to its network. It announced 12 M&A transactions in 2023.

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at mmadden@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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