Deals & Recruiting Roundup: WEG, Rockefeller, Avantax, SageView And More

WEG Acquires Piermont Wealth Management. Executive Wealth Group Joins Focus Firm Bordeaux. Recruitments By Rockefeller, LPL, Raymond James And Avantax. LaSalle St. Adds Advyzon To Tech Stack. SageView Appoints CFO And Chief Growth Officer.
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

This edition of the Deals & Recruiting Roundup covers Wealth Enhancement Group acquiring Piermont Wealth Management, Focus partner firm Bordeaux bringing in Executive Wealth Group to expand services for aerospace executives, Rockefeller Global Family Office onboarding Pollock Salah Wealth Partners, LPL recruiting teams from Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch, Raymond James adding two advisors with a combined $1 billion, Avantax recruiting married advisors through its Alliance Wealth Strategies affiliate, LaSalle St. adding Advyzon to augment its tech stack, and SageView appointing a new CFO and Chief Growth Officer.

Larry’s Take

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

According to a 2024 wealth management report from McKinsey, “The fastest-growing firms tend to have access to proprietary lead generation channels … have expanded their offerings (adding banking in particular), offer superior multi-segment adviser value propositions, have scalable infrastructure, and make disciplined M&A choices … More than ever, clients prefer one-stop-shop solutions for financial and other needs adjacent to wealth management.”

The report demonstrates the value of an objective outsider’s perspective. Most of the wealth management material we consume comes from industry insiders who, while deeply knowledgeable, can sometimes be so close to their work that they miss the bigger picture. And advisors who want to stay ahead of the competition need clarity on that macro view.

In the independent channel, many firms still have yet to add cash management, lending, alternative investments and even tax preparation to their services. The day is fast approaching when desirable clients will expect all of this from their advisors. Buyers and sellers alike should look for deal partners that fill in such gaps while also meeting their other M&A goals.

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. Wealth Enhancement Group Acquires $226 Million Piermont Wealth Management

Jeff Dekko, CEO, Wealth Enhancement Group
Jeff Dekko, CEO, Wealth Enhancement Group

Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG), which has over $79 billion in client assets, acquired Piermont Wealth Management, an RIA with offices in Boca Raton, Florida, and Melville, New York, that manages over $226 million in assets. CEO Philip Capell leads Piermont, which was founded in 2000.

The firm provides investment management, estate planning, gift and income tax planning, retirement planning, and financial planning to pre-retirees and retirees. The deal marks WEG’s 12th location in Florida. Advisor Growth Strategies served as the exclusive financial advisor to Piermont Wealth Management in the transaction.

“Wealth Enhancement Group is thrilled to announce the addition of Philip and his team to our organization,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of Wealth Enhancement Group. “We are confident that their extensive knowledge and experience in the financial industry will benefit our firm as we seek to provide our clients with the best possible financial advice.”

2. Focus Partner Firm Bordeaux Brings In RIA Serving Aerospace Executives

Pradeep Jayaraman, Co-Head of Partnerships and Business Development, Focus
Pradeep Jayaraman, Co-Head of Partnerships and Business Development, Focus

Focus Financial Partners agreed for the Kirkland, Washington-based RIA Executive Wealth Group to join Focus partner firm Bordeaux Wealth Advisors, which is based in Menlo Park, California. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024. Executive Wealth Group focuses on providing executives in the aerospace industry and their families with financial planning and investment management services.

The firm’s clients will gain access to Bordeaux’s investment platform, tax and wealth planning capabilities, operational infrastructure and team. The key principals of both Executive Wealth Group and Bordeaux have been serving aerospace executives in the Seattle area for more than 50 years combined. Bordeaux had over $4.4 billion in assets under management (AUM) and Executive Wealth Group had AUM of nearly $400 million as of their March SEC ADV filings.

“We are excited that Executive Wealth Group is joining Bordeaux,” said Pradeep Jayaraman, Managing Director and Co-Head of Partnerships and Business Development for Focus. “The addition of the Executive Wealth Group team will build upon Bordeaux’s significant Seattle presence and enable them to serve more corporate executives in the Seattle area.”

Advisor Transactions

3. Rockefeller Onboards Pollock Salah Wealth Partners From J.P. Morgan

Christopher Dupuy, President, Rockefeller Global Family Office
Christopher Dupuy, President, Rockefeller Global Family Office

Rockefeller Global Family Office, the wealth management division of Rockefeller Capital Management, expanded its Western Division by adding Pollock Salah Wealth Partners, which has offices in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, California. The six-person group joined from J.P. Morgan Wealth Management.

It includes Private Advisors Gary Pollock, Craig Pollock and Anis Salah, along with Financial Analyst Annette Smith, Senior Client Associate Maryann Jensen and Registered Client Associate Ethan Huang. Forbes named the group a Best-in-State Wealth Management Team this year. As of Dec. 31,  Rockefeller Capital Management oversaw $122 billion in client assets.

“Pollock Salah Wealth Partners exemplifies the high quality and deep experience of the Private Advisors we are continuing to attract to Rockefeller,” said Christopher Dupuy, President of Rockefeller Global Family Office. “This team brings extensive wealth and investment planning knowledge, and we look forward to partnering with its members to deliver the Rockefeller platform of innovative solutions to a growing base of discerning clients.”

4. LPL Recruits 2 Teams And 6 Advisors From Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch

Scott Posner, Executive Vice President, Business Development, LPL Financial
Scott Posner, Executive Vice President, Business Development, LPL Financial

LPL Financial recruited two teams, that represent $830 million in assets and a total six advisors from different wirehouses, in the same week. Erick Simonds, Eugene Sninski and Lisa Sninski left Wells Fargo Advisors, where they oversaw $250 million, to launch Brick, New Jersey-based Windward Wealth Advisors.

Sarah Grafton, William Grafton IV and Dexter Grafton left Merrill Lynch, where they managed $580 million, to launch Winter Park, Florida-based Grafton Wealth Advisors. Their father, William “Bill” Grafton III, started the family business in 1972. They joined through LPL Strategic Wealth Services, a supported independence model.

“We welcome Erick, Eugene and Lisa to the LPL community and congratulate them on the launch of their new independent practice,” said Scott Posner, LPL Executive Vice President, Business Development. “We welcome Sarah, Will, Dex and their team to the LPL community and are proud to be their chosen partner as they take the next step to continue Bill’s legacy.”

5. Raymond James Adds 2 Advisors With Combined $1 Billion

Lynette Ancona, Financial Advisor, Raymond James
Lynette Ancona, Financial Advisor, Raymond James

Raymond James added two advisors with a combined $1 billion in assets. Lynette Ancona joined the employee advisor channel Raymond James & Associates in Winter Park, Florida. Martin Lutschaunig joined the independent advisor channel Raymond James Financial Services in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Ancona, who has nearly three decades of experience, previously managed $750 million at Charles Schwab. She is joined by client service associate Stephanie Gisler. Lutschaunig, who has over 30 years of experience, previously managed $265 million at Janney Montgomery Scott. He is joined by branch manager Patricia Niles.

Martin Lutschaunig, Financial Advisor, Raymond James
Martin Lutschaunig, Financial Advisor, Raymond James

“Backed by Raymond James’ client-first, people-centric culture, I am empowered to live out my core values and personal philosophy by truly focusing on my relationships while offering quality investments, technology, research and planning tools to meet clients’ needs,” Ancona said. “Raymond James has a rich history of putting clients first, which was our top priority in choosing a firm, and we confirmed this time and time again during discussions with other advisors who had made the transition prior to ours,” Lutschaunig said.

6. Cetera’s Avantax Recruits Married Advisors Through Alliance Wealth Strategies

Todd Mackay, President, Avantax Wealth Management
Todd Mackay, President, Avantax Wealth Management

Avantax, a tax-focused wealth management subsidiary of Cetera Holdings, recruited Lockhart, Texas-based married advisors Heidi and Nicholas Irwin from Edward Jones, where they managed over $250 million in assets. They joined the Avantax affiliate Alliance Wealth Strategies.

Heidi Irwin joined her father’s financial planning practice in 2014. Nicholas Irwin joined Edward Jones in 2011. Cetera completed its acquisition of Avantax in November. Avantax had $92.8 billion in client assets as of Dec. 31. The acquisition was a recent WSR Wealth Exemplar Awards Deal of the Year.

“Heidi and Nic are an amazing cultural fit with Avantax, and I expect that they will be a terrific addition to both the Avantax Community and the Alliance Wealth Strategies team, where independent Avantax advisors Dustin Gersch and Bryan Clegg have been extraordinary partners of Avantax for many years,” said Avantax Wealth Management President Todd Mackay.

Strategic Partnerships

7. LaSalle St. Adds Advyzon To Augment Tech Offerings For Its Advisors

Mark Contey, CMO, LaSalle St.
Mark Contey, Chief Marketing Officer, LaSalle St.

Chicago-based LaSalle St., which encompasses independent broker-dealer and RIA platforms, added the Advyzon platform to augment LaSalle St.’s technology offerings. Advyzon provides portfolio management, account aggregation, performance reporting, CRM, a growth suite, client portal, mobile app and secure document management.

Last summer, LaSalle St. launched Advisor Concierge Services to augment its Technology Learning Center, through which the firm provides its advisors with live and recorded webinars, white papers, podcasts and other features that enable peer-to-peer exchanges. Advyzon also recently forged a custody and retail investment infrastructure integration with Apex Advisor Solutions.

“Advisors need to balance flexibility and efficiency when selecting a technology solution. We identify the best solutions across the widest range of platforms for our advisors, and we’ve been incredibly impressed with the utility of the Advyzon offering,” said Mark Contey, Chief Marketing Officer at LaSalle St. “But most importantly, Advyzon shares our commitment to supporting the advisors who use their services – enabling these firms to grow in the way they choose.”

Promotions & People Moves

8. SageView Appoints Christina Walsh As CFO, Steve Gaven As Chief Growth Officer

John Longley, CEO, SageView Advisory Group
John Longley, CEO, SageView Advisory Group

Newport Beach, California-based SageView Advisory Group appointed Christina Walsh as Chief Financial Officer and Steve Gaven to the newly created position of Chief Growth Officer. They will report to SageView CEO John Longley.

Walsh previously served as a Principal at Aquiline Capital Partners, and worked in M&A at Focus Financial Partners and Evercore. Gaven most recently served as CFO of RWA Wealth, formerly Adviser Investments, a private equity-backed RIA aggregator. SageView is both an institutional retirement plan advisory firm serving nearly 2,000 plan sponsors, and a wealth management business that has acquired 10 firms since partnering with Aquiline in 2020.

“We are thrilled with this expansion of our executive team, which adds two industry leaders who each bring an outstanding level of expertise, experience and knowledge,” Longley said. “As a former member of SageView’s Board of Directors, Christina already has a thorough understanding of our business and forward vision, combined with a proven ability to align thoughtful corporate finance strategies with growth plans to fuel our firm’s ongoing expansion.”

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

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