Deals & Recruiting Roundup: Fisher, Equitable, Compound, Nepsis And More

M&A By Fisher Investments, Wealth Enhancement Group And Allworth. Recruitments By RBC, NewEdge, Carson, Equitable, Compound And RFG. Strategic Appointment By Nepsis And Gentrust. And Bank Of America Releases Its 2024 Wealthy Americans Study.
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report
Chris Latham, Managing Editor, Wealth Solutions Report

This edition of the Deals & Recruiting Roundup covers Fisher Investments agreeing to sell a minority stake, Allworth acquiring Del Monte Group, Wealth Enhancement Group acquiring Atlas Fiduciary Financial, RBC recruiting the Brown-Brinkley Group, NewEdge Advisors recruiting Stonebridge Financial Partners, Carson Group recruiting Avery Wealth, Equitable Advisors recruiting Star City Private Wealth, Compound Planning surpassing $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), RFG Advisory surpassing $5 billion in AUM, Nepsis expanding its tax services team, GenTrust appointing Suzanne Peck as President and Bank of America Private Bank releasing its 2024 Study of Wealthy Americans.

Larry’s Take

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

RIA owners across the country are bound to be inspired, and awestruck, by Ken Fisher’s success. The outspoken founder turned his firm into one of the very few RIAs that are household names, and the story goes that he started his firm with a mere $250.

Now he reportedly will become $7 billion richer as a result of a private equity and sovereign wealth fund minority stake in Fisher Investments. The firm is so large that J.P. Morgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets served as its joint financial advisors on the deal.

The lesson for other firm owners is not necessarily to try and be the next Ken Fisher, but to recognize how he combined focus, discipline, commitment and vision over the past 45 years to build a business that is well positioned for the future – and honors his legacy.

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. Fisher Investments Sells Minority Stake, Firm Valuation Places At $12.75 Billion

Ken Fisher, Founder and Executive Chairman, Fisher Investments
Ken Fisher, Founder and Executive Chairman, Fisher Investments

Fisher Investments (FI) agreed to sell a minority stake to Advent International and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). The investment of $2.5 billion to $3 billion values FI at $12.75 billion. Ken Fisher will remain FI’s Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, and Damian Ornani will remain as CEO.

Ken Fisher will retain a majority of beneficial ownership and of voting shares exceeding 70%. He founded FI in 1979. Today the independent, fee-only RIA and its subsidiaries manage over $275 billion across Institutional, U.S. Private Client and Private Client International. Advent International is a global private equity firm with $94 billion in AUM of Dec. 31. ADIA is a sovereign wealth fund.

“This transaction is aimed dually at estate tax and planning purposes while assuring that FI will maintain its traditional culture, growth evolution and devotion to exceptional client service,” Fisher said. “FI has been my life. While my health is excellent, this transaction with an atypically long holding period for a private equity transaction will ensure FI’s long-term private independence and culture should anything untoward happen to me. And, we will have the support of world class partners who understand us operationally and culturally, and value what we are and will be.”

2. Allworth Acquires $220 Million Del Monte Group In California

Scott Hanson, Co-Founder, Allworth Financial
Scott Hanson, Co-Founder, Allworth Financial

Folsom, California-based Allworth Financial acquired Northern California-based Del Monte Group. As a result, Allworth has 18 locations in California and 42 offices nationwide. The deal is Allworth’s fifth acquisition of the year and its 36th acquisition since 2018.

Richard and Ingrid Del Monte founded their firm in 1992. It has over $220 million in AUM. Richard Del Monte, another advisor and two support personnel will join Allworth. Earlier in June, Allworth acquired Lafayette, California-based Stewart & Patten Company, which has over $1 billion in AUM. Allworth has approximately $22 billion in assets under advisement.

“I got to know Richard when I first started in this industry in the early 1990s,” said Allworth Co-Founder Scott Hanson. “He was an advocate for a financial planning-based approach and helped shape my early views of the importance of being a fiduciary. When we started on our mission to find like-minded firms to join Allworth, Del Monte Group was one of the first we thought of. He and his firm embody everything we look for in a partner.”

3. Wealth Enhancement Group Acquires $219 Million Atlas Fiduciary Financial

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

Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG) acquired Atlas Fiduciary Financial, an RIA with offices in Sarasota, Florida, and Oakland, New Jersey. Founder and CEO Laura Mattia and Partner and CIO Stephen Craffen lead the six-person team, which manages over $219 million in assets. Atlas Financial was founded in 2020.

The deal marks WEG’s 12th location in Florida and its fifth location in New Jersey. WEG has $85 billion in client assets, and serves over 61,000 households across 115 offices nationwide. The firm recently announced the acquisition of Houston, Texas-based The Financial Advisory Group, which manages over $1.22 billion in assets.

“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Laura, Stephen and their team at Atlas Fiduciary Financial,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of WEG. “They take a science-driven approach to planning and investment management while keeping their clients at the heart of everything they do. The team has decades of experience in addition to exceptional academic credentials, and we look forward to bringing them on board.”

Advisor Transactions

4. RBC Recruits $915 Million Advisor Team From Truist

RBC Wealth Management added a multigenerational financial advisor team from Truist that managed about $915 million in client assets. The Brown-Brinkley Group has joined RBC’s Tysons, Virginia office. In the U.S., RBC Wealth Management has $583 billion in client assets with more than 2,100 advisors operating in 190 locations in 42 states.

Leading team are Alexander S. Brown, Managing Director and Financial Advisor; William F. Brinkley, Managing Director and Financial Advisor; and Taylor Brinkley, Financial Advisor. Also joining are Lane Thomas, Senior Business Associate; Victoria Roberts, Senior Business Associate; Hunter Brammer, Senior Financial Associate; Carly Kacvinsky, Registered Client Associate; and John Kim and Jan Conner, Client Associates.

Left to right: Alexander S. Brown, Managing Director and Financial Advisor; Lane Thomas, Senior Business Associate; Carly Kacvinsky, Registered Client Associate; Hunter Brammer, Senior Financial Associate; William F. Brinkley, Managing Director and Financial Advisor; Taylor Brinkley, Financial Advisor; Victoria Roberts, Senior Business Associate; and John Kim, Client Associate, the Brown-Brinkley Group
The Brown-Brinkley Group, RBC Wealth Management

“Their dedication to clients aligns perfectly with [RBC’s] values and culture, and we are confident they will continue to thrive here,” said Warren Bischoff, Mid-Atlantic Complex Director for RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

5. NewEdge Picks Up $540 Million Advisor Team From Carson

Neil Turner, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, NewEdge Advisors
Neil Turner, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, NewEdge Advisors

New Orleans-based RIA NewEdge Advisors recruited Stonebridge Financial Partners from Carson Wealth, where the team oversaw approximately $540 million in client assets. Michigan-based Stonebridge has offices in Troy and Grand Rapids, and has provided comprehensive wealth planning services to individuals, families and business owners since 2004.

Joining NewEdge are Tim Bearden, Founder and Wealth Advisor, and Tyler Silverthorn, Evan Topor and Taylor Maks, Partners and Wealth Advisors. The Stonebridge team also includes three additional wealth advisors and 11 firm and client support staff.

“Our company is built to support advisors who prioritize the client experience, and Tim and the Stonebridge team are a prime example,” said Neil Turner, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of NewEdge Advisors. “We look forward to providing the culture, tools, and support needed for Stonebridge to thrive and continue to deliver unparalleled service to their clients.”

6. Carson Group Recruits $212 Million Avery Wealth In Michigan

Burt White, CEO, Carson Group
Burt White, CEO, Carson Group

Omaha, Nebraska-based Carson Group recruited Dan Reese and his Jackson, Michigan-based independent wealth management firm, Avery Wealth, to its partner network. Avery is a fee-only firm whose team of advisors and client services staff oversee $212 million in assets. Reese has over 23 years of financial services experience.

Carson Group manages $35 billion in AUM and serves more than 50,000 families across its network of more than 150 partner offices, including over 50 Carson Wealth locations. Carson Wealth recently acquired three partner locations in Atlanta; Hagerstown, Maryland; and Johnson City, Tennessee.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dan Reese and the Avery Wealth team into the Carson Group community,” said Burt White, CEO of Carson Group. “By tapping into Carson’s expansive resources and network, Avery Wealth can focus even more energy on what they do best – helping clients achieve their most important financial goals.”

7. Equitable Recruits $326 Million Virginia-Based Team From Truist

Equitable Advisors recruited Lori Brown and Jim Carroll from Truist, where they managed $326 million in client assets. They each have over two decades of experience and co-lead the Roanoke, Virginia-based practice Star City Private Wealth.

Joining them are Madelyn Brown, Financial Consultant; Michele Page, Registered Client Service Associate; and Sherry Minnix, Client Experience Manager. Equitable Advisors had approximately $91 billion in assets under administration as of March 31, and has more than 4,300 financial professionals across the country. It is a subsidiary of Equitable Holdings.

Lori Brown and Jim Carroll (center), Star City Private Wealth, Equitable Advisors
Lori Brown and Jim Carroll (center), Star City Private Wealth, Equitable Advisors

“We take pride in forming strong, long-lasting relationships that help build better lives and communities, as well as becoming our clients’ trusted advisors,” Brown said. “In addition to being able to scale our business, we can now create even more meaningful connections with our clients and better serve their individual needs by leveraging the comprehensive planning strategies and advanced technology offered at Equitable Advisors,” Carroll said.

8. Compound Planning Adds 6 Advisors, Surpasses $2 Billion In AUM

Christian Haigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Compound Planning
Christian Haigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Compound Planning

Compound Planning, a digital family office, surpassed $2 billion in AUM, growing its AUM by over 80% since September. The firm also added six more financial advisors, bringing its year-to-date total recruits to 21 advisors. Compound Planning now has over 30 experienced financial advisors.

The new advisors are Andy Park, who previously worked at Curi RMB Capital and VennWell; David Pender, who worked at Fisher Investments; Jesse Porter, who worked at Five Oceans Advisors, AdvicePeriod and AXA Advisors; Kristen Smith, who worked at Empower, Personal Capital and Resource Consulting Group; Reed Nothwang, who worked at Cerity Partners, US Bancorp Investments and Edward Jones; as well as Scott Ward, who worked at Johnson Sterling and GuideStone.

“Managing $2 billion of client assets is a testament to our team’s dedication and the trust our clients place in us,” said Christian Haigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Compound Planning. “I am thrilled to welcome these six advisors, whose extensive experience and commitment to excellence further enhance the personalized, tech-enabled services we provide.”

9. RFG Adds 5 Advisory Teams Year-To-Date, Surpasses $5 Billion In AUM

Shannon Spotswood, President, RFG Advisory
Shannon Spotswood, President, RFG Advisory

RFG Advisory surpassed $5 billion in AUM, and year-to-date onboarded five new advisory teams and hired three industry leaders. The firm targets entrepreneurial, independent advisors managing between $50 million and $300 million who aim to grow and scale their business.

In 2024, RFG added Grounded Financial Planning, Crescent Private Wealth, Confidence Financial Partners, AimWell Financial and Cooper Tower Wealth. The firm also recently recruited Abby Salameh as Chief Growth Officer, Brendan Frazier as Chief Behavioral Officer and Ken Kim as Chief Financial Officer. In addition, RFG brought on Bill Christie as National Sales Director and Ashten Legg as Director of Marketing.

“We are all about independence actually meaning something,” said Shannon Spotswood, President of RFG. “We wake up every day excited about the opportunity to help our advisors amplify their brands and maximize their own enterprise value. As we continue to expand, we remain focused on equipping our advisors with comprehensive tools and resources to provide an unforgettable client experience.”

Promotions & People Moves

10. Nepsis Expands Tax Services Team With 2 Senior Hires

Mark Pearson, Founder and CEO, Nepsis
Mark Pearson, Founder and CEO, Nepsis

Minneapolis-based Nepsis, which has over $350 million in AUM as of its June SEC ADV filing, hired Jack Cahill as Senior Vice President of Tax and Chad Koebnick as Vice President of Specialized Tax Services. They have a combined 65 years of industry experience, and will report to Bryan Eberle, President of Nepsis Tax Solutions.

Cahill is a JD and CPA who most recently served as Special Counsel at Macaluso LLP and a Partner at the strategic business advisory firm Newport. He previously worked at PwC, Ernst & Young and several other firms. Koebnick is a CPA who most recently was a business solutions advisor at Finnegan Consulting. He previously worked at Eide Bailly LLP and Wipfli LLP CPAs & Consultants.

“We are determined to take Nepsis to the next level and are making sure we have the best available talent in house to help us do so,” said Mark Pearson, Founder and CEO of Nepsis. “Jack and Chad will be instrumental for our development, improving the services we can provide to clients as we continue to scale.”

11. GenTrust Appoints Wall Street Veteran Suzanne Peck As President

Suzanne Peck, President, GenTrust
Suzanne Peck, President, GenTrust

GenTrust appointed Wall Street veteran Suzanne Peck as its first President. The firm – which has offices in New York, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico – manages over $4 billion in assets for ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions, including sub-advised relationships for other RIAs.

Peck has over 25 years of financial services experience. Most recently, she served as Head of Investments – Private Wealth Management at Neuberger Berman. Before that, she was Head of Endowments and Foundations at BlackRock. Earlier, Peck worked at Goldman Sachs in investment management, investment banking and fixed income portfolio management.

“I’m thrilled to join the very talented GenTrust team,” Peck said. “I believe GenTrust is unique in its ability to combine institutional quality investment expertise with a breadth of family office capabilities customized to each client’s needs.”

Wirehouse Activity

12. Bank Of America Study On The Wealthy Shows Generational Divides

Katy Knox, President, Bank of America Private Bank
Katy Knox, President, Bank of America Private Bank

Bank of America Private Bank released its 2024 Study of Wealthy Americans, which found that younger people and older people with high net worth differ significantly on a range of economic and investment issues. The findings reflect the responses of 1,007 U.S. individuals ages 21 or older, with investable assets over $3 million.

Younger wealthy people are twice as optimistic as older generations about the state of the U.S. economy. Wealthy people ages 21 to 43 saw the top three growth opportunities as real estate investments (31%), cryptocurrencies and digital assets (28%), followed by private equity (26%). Wealthy people ages 44 and older saw the top three growth opportunities as domestic equities (41%), real estate investments (32%) and then emerging market equities (25%).

“We’re living through a period of great social, economic and technological change alongside the greatest generational transfer of wealth in history,” said Katy Knox, President of Bank of America Private Bank. “Our study shows that wealthy Americans are focused on diversification, long-term goals and making a lasting impact with their wealth.”

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

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