Deals & Recruiting Roundup: LPL, Commonwealth, Osaic And More

LPL Agrees To Acquire Atria In Mega Deal. Pathstone, Twenty Four Wealth And Perigon Also Conduct Acquisitions. Commonwealth Reports Record Annual Recruitments. Summit Financial, Nepsis, Prospera, Osaic And Sanctuary Also Recruit Advisors.

This edition of the Deals & Recruiting Roundup covers LPL agreeing to acquire $100 billion Atria Wealth Solutions, Pathstone agreeing to acquire $3 billion Crestone Capital; Stratos-backed Twenty Four Wealth acquiring $115 million Raymond Noel & Associates; Perigon acquiring $425 million Prudeo Partners, Commonwealth recruiting nearly $16 billion last year; Summit Financial adding two firms and $725 million in assets; Nepsis recruiting 29-year industry veteran Ed Stober; Prospera recruiting $625 million Painter, Smith & Amberg; Osaic recruiting $117 million Egéa Wealth Management; and Sanctuary helping to launch ALFA Advisory.

Larry’s Take

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report
Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

Last week, I extolled the virtues of smaller M&A deals. Sure enough, LPL Financial’s agreement to acquire Atria Wealth Solutions puts the spotlight right back on mega deals. It also raises some intriguing questions for advisors and the industry as a whole.

LPL’s platform has proven robust and versatile enough to satisfy over 22,000 advisors. Yet no firm can be all things for all advisors. That’s why brokers break away from wirehouses, why advisors launch their own RIAs and why IBDs compete so intensely by offering an array of affiliation models.

The fundamental difference between LPL and the wirehouses is that the average LPL advisor maintains much greater control of their practice and a much greater proportion of their production. If Atria’s advisors also view LPL as the superior choice to their other options in the independent channel, that could signal even larger deals to come.

If you would like to discuss this Larry’s Take further, including how these trends might impact your business, please contact me at larry.roth@rlrstrategicpartners.com.

Mergers & Acquisitions

1. LPL To Buy $100 Billion Atria Wealth Solutions

Doug Ketterer, CEO & Founding Partner, Atria Wealth Solutions
Doug Ketterer, CEO & Founding Partner, Atria Wealth Solutions

LPL Financial signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire New York-based Atria Wealth Solutions. As part of the deal, Atria will transition its brokerage and advisory assets now custodied with its network of broker-dealers to the LPL platform.

Atria supports about 2,400 advisors and 150 banks and credit unions that, combined, manage approximately $100 billion of brokerage and advisory assets. LPL serves over 22,000 financial advisors, including advisors at about 1,100 enterprises and at approximately 570 registered investment advisor firms nationwide. As of Dec. 31, its total advisory and brokerage assets were $1.35 trillion, LPL said Feb. 1, while reporting its fourth quarter and 2023 results.

“Atria was founded on the vision to help deepen and enrich the relationship between financial advisors and their clients while helping them build strong and growing practices and programs,” said Doug Ketterer, CEO and Founding Partner of Atria Wealth Solutions. “LPL shares our fundamental belief of putting advisors at the center of everything we do.”

2. Pathstone Agrees To Acquire $3 Billion Crestone In Colorado

Matt Fleissig, CEO, Pathstone
Matt Fleissig, CEO, Pathstone

Englewood, New Jersey-based Pathstone agreed to acquire Boulder, Colorado-based Crestone Capital, which has over $3 billion in assets across approximately 150 families. The deal will put Pathstone’s assets over $100 billion, with 20 offices nationwide and more than 550 team members, over 225 of whom being shareholders of the firm.

Eric Kramer, who founded Crestone in 1991, will join Pathstone’s CEO Council and Chief Investment Office. Crestone is a 100% employee-owned firm with more than 50 employees across offices in Colorado, Texas and California. Pathstone provides comprehensive family office services and customized investment advice for families, family offices, and foundations and endowments.

“From the very beginning, we admired Crestone’s culture and approach to working with sophisticated families,” said Matt Fleissig, CEO of Pathstone. “The focus on building a firm for ultra-high net worth families is what has historically differentiated both Pathstone and Crestone, making the combination a natural fit and that much more powerful as we seek to build a true multi-generational family office experience for our clients.”

3. Stratos-Backed Twenty Four Wealth Acquires Raymond Noel & Associates

Anthony Truino, CEO, Twenty Four Wealth
Anthony Truino, CEO, Twenty Four Wealth

Darien, Connecticut-based Twenty Four Wealth, which is associated with Stratos Wealth Partners and has over $800 million in client assets, acquired the wealth management business of Bedford, New Hampshire-based Raymond Noel & Associates, bringing on nearly $150 million in assets. Stratos served as an advisor in the acquisition.

Stratos Wealth Partners manages over $11.8 billion in advisory assets and advises, through LPL Financial, over $8.4 billion in brokerage and third-party managed assets for a total of $20.2 billion as of Dec. 31. Stratos supports 288 independent advisors, more than 80 home office staffers and 117 locations nationwide. In August, Stratos Wealth Holdings named Phil Nuttall as COO, taking the reins of the firm’s infrastructure and asset management operations, and helping to drive growth.

“After meeting Ray and his team, we realized immediately the synergies in our process and delivery of our client experience,” said Twenty Four Wealth CEO Anthony Truino. “Bringing together our firms to execute a shared vision of a more hands-on wealth management future made perfect sense. With the support of Stratos, we are on an incredibly strong foundation to achieve our ambitions and client-centric growth goals.”

4. Perigon Acquires $425 Million Prudeo Partners

Arthur Ambarik, CEO, Perigon
Arthur Ambarik, CEO, Perigon

San Francisco-based Perigon Wealth Management, which has approximately $6.9 billion in client assets, acquired Prudeo Partners, which oversees approximately $425 million across offices in Reading, Pennsylvania and West Columbia, South Carolina. Perigon recently received a minority investment from Constellation Wealth Capital to enhance its strategic expansion.

Prudeo’s Partners, Michael Krumholz and Andrew Todd, join Perigon as Partner and Wealth Advisor, respectively. The team also includes financial advisors Sheila Little and Manuel Villegas, Client Relationship Manager Sally McFarland, Operations Manager Jennifer Shroyer, Operations Specialist Sara Smith and Research Assistant Josh Krumholz.

“Prudeo’s practice is built upon delivering a client-centric, goal-oriented financial plan and that is a perfect fit for the culture we continue to build at Perigon,” said Arthur Ambarik, CEO of Perigon. “We are thrilled to work closely with the team as they drive meaningful growth for their practice by delivering for their clients.”

Advisor Transactions

5. Commonwealth Recruits Nearly $16 Billion Last Year, In New Record

Wayne Bloom, CEO, Commonwealth Financial Network
Wayne Bloom, CEO, Commonwealth Financial Network

Commonwealth Financial Network onboarded 292 advisors to new and existing practices last year, bringing on $15.9 billion in client assets, a nearly 42% increase to 2022, marking another year of record recruiting for the firm. As of Dec. 31, Commonwealth supported nearly 2,200 affiliated advisors and had over $296 billion in client assets.

The average assets of advisors who joined affiliated firms increased nearly 34%, and advisors who joined existing practices represented nearly $820 million of the overall recruited assets. Commonwealth received the highest score among independent advisors in the J.D. Power U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Studies for the years 2010, 2012 to 2014 and 2018 to 2023.

“Commonwealth is well-positioned to attract client-centric advisors who rely on innovative solutions that broaden capacity and expertise while building efficiencies and scale into their operations,” said Wayne Bloom, CEO of Commonwealth. “We’re evolving faster than ever before and intently focused on growth while firmly staying true to our legacy and standards of affiliation.”

6. Summit Financial Adds 2 Firms As Affiliates, Gaining $725 Million

Stan Gregor, CEO, Summit Financial Holdings
Stan Gregor, CEO, Summit Financial Holdings

Parsippany, New Jersey-based Summit Financial Holdings added as affiliate firms Birmingham, Alabama-based Garrett, Perkins & Horton Advisory Partners (GPH), which has $530 million in assets; and Valparaiso, Indiana-based Brad Werner & Company, which has over $195 million in assets.

Both firms will access Summit Growth Partners (SGP), which offers cash monetization, equity participation and exclusive partnership privileges. In January, Summit recruited Lutherville, Maryland-based Oracle Private Wealth Advisors, an all-woman team with over $300 million in AUM that also uses Summit Growth Partners.

“Like Summit, Stephen [Garrett Sr.] and Brad [Werner] have been in the business of providing clients with a high level of service for decades. We look forward to continuing that tradition, supporting both firms in the delivery of thoughtful, individualized advice that elevates clients’ financial well-being,” said Stan Gregor, CEO of Summit Financial Holdings. “As we approach our 43rd year in business, we have never experienced such a robust pipeline of advisors committed to joining Summit.”

7. Nepsis Recruits 29-Year Industry Veteran Ed Stober

Ed Stober, Senior Wealth Advisor, Nepsis
Ed Stober, Senior Wealth Advisor, Nepsis

Minneapolis-based Nepsis, which had $298 million in assets under management (AUM) as of its January SEC ADV filing, recruited 29-year industry veteran Ed Stober as Senior Wealth Advisor. In addition to client relationships, he will focus on advisor training. Stober previously worked at Choreo, Schwab, Thrivent and Ameriprise.

In November, Nepsis acquired the full-service tax, accounting and consulting firm Sevenich, Butler, Gerlach & Brazil (SBGB), which serves family-owned business and individual clients. That month, the firm also promoted Matt Pearson to President. Pearson initially joined Nepsis as a research analyst in 2013.

“Nepsis’ commitment to innovation and client-centric solutions really aligns with my view of how things should be done. I’m excited to be a part of a company that shares my values and outlook,” Stober said. “I’m looking forward to advancing our shared vision of providing unparalleled financial support for our clients.”

8. Prospera Onboards $650 Million Painter, Smith & Amberg

Tarah Williams, President and COO, Prospera Financial Services
Tarah Williams, President and COO, Prospera Financial Services

Dallas-based Prospera Financial Services recruited advisors Charles Painter, David Smith, Jeffrey Amberg and Kallie Rawson of Painter, Smith & Amberg to its network. The Redlands, California-based firm has $650 million in AUM. Established in 1982, Painter, Smith & Amberg’s four advisors provide wealth management, 401(k) and investment services.

In January, Prospera launched the Prospera Generational Wealth Platform, a support team for family office services that helps advisors find opportunities and design sophisticated strategies for ultra-high net worth clients. In November, the firm expanded its Succession Your Way services for advisors, which helps them navigate the process of selling or acquiring a practice.

“The dedication to personalized service that Charles, David, Jeffrey and Kallie bring to every client relationship has placed Painter, Smith & Amberg, Inc. among the best in the business,” said Tarah Williams, President and COO of Prospera Financial Services. “We share similar core values and are pleased they chose Prospera the help them continue to foster their growth and success for years to come.”

9. Osaic Recruits $117 Million Egéa Wealth Management In Illinois

Kristen Kimmell, Executive Vice President Business Development, Osaic
Kristen Kimmell, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Osaic

Osaic recruited Evanston, Illinois-based Egéa Wealth Management, which is led by Alex Papadopoulos and manages $117 million in client assets. Papadopoulos has 24 years of industry experience and joins from LPL. Egéa develops sustainable portfolios with the goal of aligning clients’ beliefs and values with their investments.

In 2023, Osaic recruited new financial professionals representing approximately $22 billion in total client assets. In December, Osaic announced the acquisition of the Lincoln Wealth firms, which has more than 1,450 advisors and $108 billion in client assets. Osaic has $506 billion in client assets and supports over 10,500 independent financial advisors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alex and Egéa Wealth Management to Osaic,” said Kristen Kimmell, Executive Vice President Business Development at Osaic. “With continuous investments in technology, wealth management strategies, and practice management support, Osaic provides all the tools to amplify business growth.”

10. Sanctuary Helps Launch Denver-Based ALFA Advisory

Anthony Englert, Founder and Managing Director, ALFA Advisory
Anthony Englert, Founder and Managing Director, ALFA Advisory

Sanctuary Wealth brought on Anthony Englert, who launched the Denver-based firm ALFA Advisory. The new firm focuses on serving small business owners and entrepreneurs. Englert joins from Goldman Sachs, where he was an advisor for nearly a decade. Englert works with Stephanie Montoya, ALFA’s Senior Client Coordinator.

Sanctuary’s Partnered Independence model aims to help firms grow by providing them with resources while allowing them to decide how to build their business. The Sanctuary Wealth network includes partner firms in 27 states with approximately $28 billion in assets under advisement. In January, Sanctuary appointed Laurie Burkhard as a Director and Head of Business Consulting and recruited Rachel Carter, a Senior Retirement Benefits Consultant.

“As small business owners, my parents struggled to find the tools and resources to navigate the financial system and develop a meaningful financial plan for their business and our family,” Englert said. “Watching them build a business, create jobs and advance our economy is why I became a financial advisor and why I’m passionate about helping small business owners thrive.”

Chris Latham, Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at clatham@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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