March 2024 Financial Advisor and RIA Moves and Acquisitions

In March, Dakota tracked significant activity in the financial advisor and RIA sectors, noting a trend towards the growth of independent channels and RIAs. The data highlighted a move away from traditional wirehouse channels, with a notable increase in the number of advisors joining independent firms and RIAs. Platforms such as LPL and Raymond James are becoming more appealing due to their ability to offer advisors greater flexibility and a wider selection of product options.

One of the larger acquisitions this month; Focus Financial Partners, has announced a merger between two of its partner firms, GW & Wade and The Colony Group. GW & Wade, which managed about $10.4 billion in assets as of December 2023, became part of Focus in 2007. The firm is led by principals Roger Wade and Tim Pinch and will continue to operate under the name GW & Wade at The Colony Group after the merger. This merger represents Focus Financial Partners' second intra-partnership merger under its new hub strategy. The financial details of the transaction, slated to close in the first quarter of 2024, were not disclosed. The combination of these firms underlines Focus Financial Partners' strategy to consolidate its network of partner firms for enhanced operational efficiency and growth.

One of the larger moves this month, UBS has rounded up a group of current advisors to form the Stone Harbor Group, based in Hartford, Connecticut. The team manages approximately $1.3 billion and consists of Richard Cyphers, Gerald Dubey, Douglas Domian, Scott Mintz, David Sacharko, and Sean Siana, who combine for over 150 years of industry experience. Richard Cyphers, a veteran in the industry since 1977, joined UBS in 2009 from Citigroup, where he specialized as a senior advisor in the Citi Family office. Gerald Dubey, with industry experience dating back to 1971, also transitioned from Citi's family office to UBS in 2009. Sean Siana made the move to UBS from Merrill Lynch in 2012, followed by Douglas Domian in 2013, and David Sacharko joined from Merrill Lynch more recently. Scott Mintz has been with UBS since the start of his career in 2004. 


Commonwealth Financial Network has successfully welcomed an advisor team from Lincoln Investment, bringing in approximately $384 million in assets. The team, based in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, operates under the name Tupelo Wealth Partners and consists of advisors Les Benzak, John Gallagher, and Lynn Craig. Tupelo Wealth Partners is known for offering a broad range of wealth management consulting services, with a specialized focus on Pennsylvania’s pension plan. Benzak accredited the technology, culture and leadership as reasons for the transition. By joining Commonwealth, Benzak believes the practice will be able to save time and focus more on its goal of tripling assets under management through both organic and inorganic growth strategies. Benzak has been in the financial industry since 2001, starting his career with Lincoln Investment and has also been associated with Capital Analysts. Gallagher entered the industry in 1993 with CitiStreet Equities and has a history with several other firms including Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., MetLife Securities, and Lincoln Investment. Craig's industry experience dates back to 1984, starting with First Investors Corp, and includes associations with multiple organizations such as The Great-West Life Assurance Co., Butcher & Singer, and CitiStreet Equities. All three advisors hold CFP designations. 

Raymond James has recruited an advisor team from UBS. The team, Coastal Oak Wealth Advisors, led by James "Buck" Williams. Coastal Oak is based in Jacksonville, Florida and manages over $235 million in client assets. He is supported by his seven-person advisory team. The team at Coastal Oak Wealth Advisors specializes in managing generational wealth, investment strategy, risk management, and legacy planning. Williams has a decade-long history in the financial industry, having started his career at Fidelity Brokerage Services in 2011. Throughout his career, he has been associated with several prominent firms, including Strategic Advisers, Merrill Lynch, and UBS. Buck is actively involved with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund currently serving as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. He also holds CFP and CEPA designations. The move to Raymond James represents a strategic shift for Williams and Coastal Oak Wealth Advisors, aiming to leverage Raymond James' extensive resources and expertise. 

A group of advisors, including Jake Bryant, have left Ameriprise Financial Services to start their own independent firm, Adapt Wealth Advisors. The new firm aims to serve high net worth individuals, family offices, estates, and retirement plans with financial planning and investment management. Adapt is headquartered in Atlanta and manages approximately $1.1 billion in assets. Jake Bryant is the owner and chief executive of Adapt Wealth. Bryant has been associated with Ameriprise since 1998, maintaining dual registration for much of his tenure until his recent departure. Bryant has furthered his knowledge in the industry by obtaining ChFC, AIF, CRPC, APMA, and CEPA designations along with five FINRA certifications. Alongside him, former Ameriprise advisors, including Donnie Robinson, Tim Hodell, Scott Herndon, Jonathon McAdow, Tyler Robinson, and Kathy Hodell, have joined Adapt Wealth. 

Osaic has acquired Cornerstone Advisors, an advisory practice with approximately $360 million in client assets. The team was previously managed under Cetera Financial Group. The practice is based in Baxter, Minnesota, with additional branches in Perham, Minnesota, and Bismarck, North Dakota. Cornerstone is led by James Benson, who specializes in providing financial planning and portfolio management services primarily to pre-retirees and mass-affluent retirees. Benson has been a part of the financial industry since 1996. He was associated with Cetera from 2016 until his departure in February. Benson also holds a CRPC designation. The partnership with Osaic is expected to provide Cornerstone Advisors with enhanced flexibility and resources, which will improve and facilitate their business growth.

Osaic has attracted a four-member advisory team from LPL Financial, which previously managed $240 million in assets. Through the transition, Carolina-based Sturkie Wealth Management has been launched. The firm specializes in investment management and strategic wealth planning for retirees, pre-retirees, small business owners, and professionals. The Sturkie Wealth Management team is led by founder Stephen Sturkie and Wealth Advisor Joe Dunat. Stephen Sturkie, with over 26 years of experience in the investment industry, began his career at First Union Brokerage services in 1996 and has since worked with notable firms like Edward Jones and BB&T Investment Services. He had been associated with LPL for nearly 12 years before joining Osaic. He currently holds his Series, 7, 63 and 66 registrations through Osaic Wealth. 

LPL Financial has acquired advisors Brice Lowe and Bradley Moser from Stifel Financial, who manage approximately $150 million in assets. The duo will operate under the name Aero Capital and align with the Mariner Advisor Network, which provides support for advisors on LPL's platform. Based in Wichita, Kansas, Aero Capital offers a wide range of wealth management services. Their offerings include wealth planning, asset management, tax-advantaged investment strategies, and estate planning review services. Additionally, they specialize in providing charitable giving strategies to their clientele, which consists of affluent families, business owners, and private family foundations. This new partnership highlights LPL's ongoing efforts to enhance its platform and service offerings by incorporating experienced advisors and their teams. Prior to launching Aero Capital with his stepson, Brice Lowe, Brad Moser spent more than 35 years in the financial services industry, having started in 1986 with Merrill Lynch. Moser spent a substantial duration with Stfiel from 1998 until transitioning to LPL. Brice Lowe began his career in the financial industry in 2009, starting with Stifel. He has also obtained CFP and CPWA designations. 

Raymond James has recruited experienced financial advisor Andrew Spearman from SageView Advisory Group. Spearman has joined the employee advisor channel based in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Andrew has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. At SageView, he managed approximately $100 million, focusing on clients such as business owners, health care professionals, and individuals nearing or in retirement. Spearman's career in financial services began with an internship at Smith Barney, where he later worked for 18 years as an investment analyst. His professional journey also includes roles as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo and First Allied Securities. Spearman made the move to Raymond James in November.

Vanessa Martinez, a former financial advisor at Hightower Advisors, has launched a new registered investment advisor firm, Expressive Wealth, based in Chicago. Expressive Wealth currently manages approximately $200 million in assets. The firm aims to serve a diverse clientele including individuals, families, businesses, and inheritors. Martinez anticipates the firm's assets under management to reach around $500 million by the end of 2024. Vanessa Martinez leads as managing partner and CEO. The idea for creating her own RIA emerged from interactions with her clientele at her previous firm, The Lerner Group at Hightower, where she recognized a demand for more comprehensive financial assistance. Her industry experience dates back to 2008 when she registered as a broker with Chase Investment Services. She also has a background in promoting financial wellness among female leaders through her consulting firm Em-Powered Network. Expressive Wealth is co-owned by Lauren Genuardi, who also acts as the managing partner and chief compliance officer. The team also includes Darlene Duncan, a partner and wealth advisor with extensive experience in the financial industry since 1981.

Laura Blanton, formerly of Wells Fargo, has joined Raymond James & Associates. She will operate as Blanton Wealth Management and will be based in Greenville, South Carolina. At Wells Fargo, she managed approximately $252 million in assets.Blanton’s financial career began in 2002 with A.G. Edwards, which was later acquired by Wells Fargo, where she has been a financial advisor since 2014. Through Raymond James, Blanton aims to provide sophisticated financial products and resources while prioritizing her clients' best interests. Blanton's team at Raymond James includes Client Service Associate Bethany Hermelin.

Savvy Advisors recently expanded its network by welcoming three new advisors: Aaron Wiegman, Dustin Parsons, and Arynton Hardy. Wiegman and Parsons join from Financial Sense Wealth Management and Arvest Wealth Management. Respectively, while Hardy, the CEO of Hardy Capital Investments, will maintain his brand within the Savvy network. Wiegman began his career in 2000 with Liss Financial Services and brings extensive experience from various financial institutions before joining Savvy in January of this year. Hardy entered the financial industry in 2015 with Merrill Lynch before establishing Hardy Capital in 2019; he joined Savvy in February. Parsons, who began his career in 2017 at Arvest Wealth, registered with Savvy in December 2023. With these additions, Savvy's advisor network has grown to include 15 wealth managers. Savvy has also added Fidelity Investments as a custodian.

Ashton Thomas Private Wealth, associated with Arax Investment Partners, has expanded its network by welcoming a team from Raymond James' Alex.Brown division. The McDonagh Bauers Private Wealth Team, led by Ted McDonagh and Daniel Bauers, is located in New York and oversees approximately $500 million in assets. Ted McDonagh began his career in the financial industry in 1997 at Prudential Securities and had a stint with Lehman Brothers before joining Alex.Brown in 2008. Daniel Bauers started in 2008 with Lehman Brothers before joining Alex.Brown. Both had previous experience at Deutsche Bank Securities before joining Raymond James in 2016. The team is also supported by senior registered associate Justine Kinaj.

Brian Pflaum, a financial advisor in Alabama, has shifted his business to LPL Financial after learning that his previous firm, Lincoln Financial Advisors, would be acquired by Osaic. Pflaum, who has been with Lincoln Financial Advisors since 1998, specializes in offering planning and wealth management services. He manages approximately $345 million in assets. Through the transaction, Pflaum has rebranded his practice as TPG Private Wealth.

Osaic has added a four-advisor group known as Latitude Wealth Advisors, which oversees approximately $210 million in assets. This team is based in Hauppauge, New York, and consists of advisors Robert Martino, Jason Harris, Anthony Martino, and Mark Harris, who all bring extensive experience to Osaic.Previously affiliated with Ameriprise Financial, they have now joined Osaic's Affiliated Advisors. Latitude Wealth Advisors specializes in comprehensive goal-based financial planning for individuals, families, and businesses. Robert Martino, who started his career at Ameriprise's predecessor firm IDS Life Insurance Co. in 2003, has been with Ameriprise throughout his career. His brother, Anthony Martino, also spent his entire career at Ameriprise, starting in 2015. Jason Harris began his career in 2002 at Bank of New York and held various non-advisory roles at major financial institutions before registering as an advisor in 2014. He joined Ameriprise in 2016. Mark Harris, the father of Jason Harris, started his advisory career in 1999 at David Lerner Associates and has since worked with several firms before moving to Ameriprise in 2016. 

A significant family advisor team from UBS has transitioned to Baird's Private Wealth Management unit, overseeing around $680 million in client assets. This team is part of The Palm Financial Group, based in Madison, Wisconsin, featuring advisors Michael Palm, Matthew Palm, and Nicholas Palm. The advisors bring extensive expertise from UBS. Michael Palm brings the most experience with 36 years in the financial industry, predominantly spent at UBS since 1990, after a brief period at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Michael also holds CFP and CIMA designations. His sons, Matthew and Nicholas Palm, contribute 11 and 8 years of experience respectively, with Matthew having a previous stint at Baird before joining UBS in 2014, and Nicholas starting his career at UBS in 2016. Matthew holds a CFP designation, while Nicholas holds a CPA designation. This addition is Baird’s second of  2024 and indicates an expansion phase for the firm. 

LPL Financial has added seven advisors from Osaic, bringing with them a total of $700 million in assets. The advisors, including Michael Matheson, Susan Anderson, Marie Henrichs, Amy Holewa, Jeff Schuler, Paul Lyon, and Dan Pias, were all previously associated with Financial Dimensions Group, an Osaic firm. These advisors are based in Maple Grove, Minnesota, where they operate distinct practices such as M2 Financial Group, Holewa Financial, and Schuler Financial Advisor Group but often collaborate on business strategies and service models. Veterans in the financial industry, Matheson, Schuler, Pias, and Lyon, have been active since the late '80s and early '90s, initially registering with Ameriprise Financial and its predecessors. They joined Osaic in 2005 after starting their careers with companies like IDS Life Insurance Co. and American Express Financial Advisors. Amy Holewa entered the finance sector in 1996 with IDS Life Insurance and has worked with various firms including Ameriprise and ING Financial Partners before moving to Osaic. Marie Henrichs began her career in 2006 with Royal Alliance Associates, a precursor to Osaic, and has also been associated with SagePoint Financial. Susan Anderson started in the financial industry in 2009 directly with Osaic.

Tampa-based Concurrent Investment Advisors has three new advisors in January: Ramin Abrams, Glenn Holmes, and Sean O’Neill, who collectively bring $365 million in client assets. Glenn Holmes and Sean O’Neill were previously associated with Raymond James, while Ramin Abrams was with Wells Fargo before joining Concurrent. As part of their move, Abrams and Holmes are establishing new offices for Concurrent. Ramin Abrams is opening a new location in New York City under the Concurrent Advisors brand. Glenn Holmes is launching T7 Legacy in Jacksonville, Florida, aiming to serve corporate executives and business owners in the Southeast region. Sean O’Neill, on the other hand, is joining Legacy Wealth Partners, an existing partner of Concurrent based in Denver. 

Sheila Ryan has been promoted to the role of president of Colony Wealth Management, one of Focus Financial Partners' largest affiliates, The Colony Group. In her new position, Ryan will oversee the daily operations of the Boston-based RIA's approximately 150 advisors, a number expected to increase to around 175. Ryan officially assumed her new role on January 1, 2024, and is gradually transitioning into the position as Stephen Sadler, Colony's co-founder and managing director, shifts towards retirement. Ryan has approximately 15 years of experience in the wealth management industry and previously served as Colony’s managing director of wealth management strategy. Before her current role at The Colony Group, Ryan had worked as an equity research analyst, director of operations, and consultant at the firm, and also gained experience at Charles Schwab and Loring Ward.

Carson Group has acquired a two-advisor team from Elk River Wealth Management, marking its second wealth deal in 2024. The team, composed of David Carroll and Jon Springer from Elkhorn, Nebraska, managed approximately $163 million in client assets at Elk River, which was established in 2020. Both have served over 20 years in the wealth management industry. While specific financial details were not disclosed, Carson Group will fully own Carroll and Springer’s practice through Carson Wealth. The duo is in close proximity to Carson's Omaha headquarters. 

LPL has added The McAnally Investment Group from Wells Fargo. They manage around $250 million and are based in Booneville, Mississippi. The team includes leader, J. Mark McAnally, his sons Josh and Brandon McAnally, and support staffer Carlin Crowe. Their shift to LPL's traditional independent channel marks their departure from nearly 25 years of working within wirehouse models. The decision to leave was partly due to frustrations with policies on smaller accounts at their former firm. J. Mark McAnally initiated his career at Edward Jones in 2000 and moved to Wells Fargo in 2011. While Josh and Brandon started their careers at Wells in 2016 and 2023, respectively. Brandon also holds a CPA designation. The team emphasizes their newfound ability to offer personalized service without the constraints of account minimums.

The Li Group has transitioned from Morgan Stanley to Wells Fargo in Worcester, Massachusetts. They managed approximately $169 million in assets and generated $1.8 million in annual revenue while at Morgan Stanley. The team is led by David Z. Li, a veteran in the industry with 32 years of experience. Li's professional journey began in 1992 at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., and he has since worked with several financial institutions before his stint at Morgan Stanley starting in 2013. Accompanying Li in the move is junior partner Jason W. Camuti. Camuti started his brokerage career with Merrill Lynch in 2011 and moved to Morgan Stanley alongside Li in 2013. Simultaneously with this acquisition, Wells Fargo experienced the departure of a different financial advisor team to LPL.

LPL Financial has welcomed the addition of Nolan Venable to its team. Operating out of Lafayette, Louisiana, Venable transitions to LPL with approximately $150 million in assets, previously managed under Osaic. As the founder and CEO of Wealth Advisors, LLC, Venable has built a financial services enterprise since 1984, dedicated to providing a broad range of financial products mainly to individuals in the southwestern Louisiana. In addition to leading Wealth Advisors, he manages a tax service and an insurance company, all housed under one roof. Bringing over three decades of expertise in the financial sector to his new role, Venable is recognized for his extensive experience and holds multiple professional licenses. His decision to join LPL Financial was influenced by the firm's proven stability in the market, its commitment to supporting advisors, and the comprehensive technological solutions it offers.

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) has expanded its wealth management operations in Houston, attracting two seasoned financial advisors, Matthew Summers and Matthew Moncrief, from Hightower Advisors. The duo, who have been partners for over a decade, join BBH as managing directors. Their primary role at BBH will involve catering to the financial needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. Summers and Moncrief also bring to the table their expertise in assisting business owners, as well as foundations and endowments. The pair made their move to Hightower Advisors in 2018, joining the firm through its acquisition of Salient Partners. Their addition to BBH is part of the firm's broader strategy to strengthen its wealth management presence in strategic locations like Houston. Their careers in the financial services sector commenced in 2008, marking the beginning of their extensive experience in the industry. Prior to joining the firm in 2024, Summers worked for Houlihan Lokey, Salient Partners, and Hightower Advisors. He has 18 years of investment experience. For Moncrief, he has worked for Amegy Bank Salient Partners and Hightower before joining BBH in 2024. 

Raymond James has recruited a team of financial advisors from UBS, who collectively managed over $300 million in assets. The advisors, based in Irvine, California, include Steven Hocking, Jennifer Hocking, and Ryan Mueller, and they will operate under Raymond James & Associates as THG Retirement Solutions of Raymond James. THG focuses on financial planning and wealth management for a diverse client base, including corporate retirement plans, business owners, and individuals nearing or in retirement. Steven Hocking began his journey in the financial securities industry in 2002, and he has extensive experience in the retirement planning space. His career includes a stint at UBS, where he specialized in corporate retirement plans. Jennifer Hocking's career in financial services began in 2002 at Toyota Financial Services, and she moved to UBS in 2015. Ryan Mueller's financial career started in the operations department of a boutique insurance brokerage before he transitioned to UBS as an advisor in 2018. 

Journey Strategic Wealth has acquired a father-daughter duo of financial advisors, Kerry Meath-Sinkin and Robert Meath, from Carson Wealth. The newly joined Meath Wealth Advisors will be establishing a Journey office in Minneapolis, marking the firm's initial push into the Midwest. Meath Wealth brings approximately $160 million in assets. Kerry Meath-Sinkin started her career in the financial services sector in 2016 working as a consultant for wealth management firms in Washington, D.C. She holds a CFP designation. Her father, Robert Meath, has been a seasoned professional in the industry since 1981, offering decades of experience. This acquisition represents the seventh advisory team to align with the firm. Journey already has a presence in several key locations across the United States, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond, Seattle, Park City, and the New York City and Northern New Jersey areas.

Rockefeller Capital Management has welcomed a group of advisors previously with J.P. Morgan Securities, originally from First Republic. The crew, known as Pollock Salah Wealth Partners, manages approximately $2.2 billion in assets and is based in both San Francisco and Walnut Creek, California. The team consists of advisors Gary Pollock, Craig Pollock, and Anis Salah, alongside support staff Annette Smith, Maryann Jensen, and Ethan Huang. Gary Pollock's career includes a lengthy tenure at First Republic since 2004 and a move to JPMorgan after it acquired First Republic's wealth unit. In addition to his time at First Republic, Pollock also founded and managed Bay Isle Financial in Oakland, California, and has an extensive background of approximately 20 years at Chevron Corp. Craig Pollock's experience is similar to Gary's in terms of his start at First Republic in 2004 and earlier career at Bay Isle Financial. Anis Salah brings a diverse background with roles at First Republic since 2009, contributing varied expertise to the Pollock Salah Wealth Partners team.

Marvin Rauchbach and his daughter, Leigh Ritchey, have transitioned from Valic Financial Advisors to join Osaic. Operating as Kings Mill Wealth Advisors, they are now based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Baltimore, respectively. Together, they manage over $280 million in assets. Mr. Rauchbach and Ms. Ritchey serve a range of clients, advising them on retirement and estate planning, portfolio management and many others. Rauchbach's career in the financial services sector dates back to 1986, and he has been associated with Valic since 2000. Ritchey entered the financial industry in 2011 and joined Valic a year later.

LPL has welcomed a sibling trio team from Merrill Lynch. Through the transition the advisors have launched new independent practice, Grafton Wealth Advisors, formerly known as Grafton Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch. The Florida-based team, managing approximately $580 million in assets, was originally established in 1972 by William Grafton III. Grafton III will continue his involvement as a managing partner and executive consultant, while his children, Sarah, William Grafton IV, and Dexter, will step into roles as managing partners and wealth advisors. The team emphasizes a client-centered approach, focusing on proactive strategies and personalized service to navigate market changes. William Grafton III joined Merrill Lynch in 2007, with a professional background at various other brokerage firms, including Wachovia and Prudential. His children joined the business after their graduations, with Sarah starting in 2007, William IV in 2008, and Dexter in 2013. William and Dexter also hold CFP, CEPA, CPFA and CFA designations, respectively. 

Raymond James has added Martin Lutschaunig, a former financial advisor at Janney Montgomery Scott. At Janney, he managed approximately $265 million in assets. Operating from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Lutschaunig leads Lutschaunig Wealth Management alongside Branch Manager Patricia Niles. Their client base pertains mostly to health care professionals, female investors, and retirees. With a career beginning in 1992 at Merrill Lynch, Lutschaunig brings extensive experience to his new role. He also spent the last 10 years of his career affiliated with Janney. Patricia Niles, joining him, started her career in 2000 with Tucker Anthony and has worked with several notable firms including RBC, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Janney. Both bring a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to Raymond James.

Nicholas and Heidi Irwin, a married couple and financial advisors based in Lockhart, Texas, have transitioned to Avantax. They will join the Alliance Wealth Strategies firm, an Avantax affiliate, aiming to leverage the firm’s tax-focused financial planning and wealth management expertise. Nicholas's career in the financial industry began in 2012 with Edward Jones, and he has also been associated with notable firms such as JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, and SWBC Investment Advisory Services. He had two tenures with Edward Jones, first from 2012 to 2013 and then from 2020 until his recent move to Avantax. Heidi Irwin started her career in the financial sector in 2014 with Edward Jones, marking her entry into the industry. 

Acquisitions & RIAs:

The AmeriFlex Group, an Osaic-affiliated hybrid RIA firm based in Las Vegas, has acquired Colorado-based ERSI Wealth Management. The team manages approximately $400 million in assets and consists of Stephen Brubaker, Jim Brubaker, Brian Brubaker, Gary Sidder, and Jenny Kast, serving individuals, families, and business owners. ERSI traces its roots back to the 1980s when Jim Brubaker founded several companies specializing in executive benefits and business owner exit strategies. Over time, these businesses evolved into Exit and Retirement Strategies, Inc., which later became known by the acronym ERSI. Stephen Brubake initiated his career in the financial services industry in 2008 with NFP Advisor Services and moved to Kestra in 2007. He also holds CFP, AIF, and CLU designations. Jim Brubaker has been a part of the industry since 1982 and joined Kestra in 2005. He holds CLU and ChFC designations. Brian Brubaker's entire professional experience has been with Kestra since 2019. Brain holds an AIF designation.

RFS Financial Securities has joined LPL Financial, bringing $140 million in assets. They were previously with Lincoln Financial Advisors. The team is based in Lubbock, Texas and led by David Miller and Mike Ivey. Before joining LPL, RFS operated as a life insurance company, but after the transition, it transformed into a comprehensive wealth management enterprise. With over thirty years in financial advisory, Miller reshaped his business to prioritize client support. His colleague and partner, Mike Ivey, brings close to two decades of expertise, emphasizing comprehensive planning and financial literacy. 

MAI Capital Management has acquired LWS Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm with $562 million in assets, located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The acquisition was finalized on March 1, but the financial details of the deal were not disclosed. LWS specializes in providing asset management, family office services, and financial planning to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. As part of the acquisition, LWS will integrate into MAI's brand identity and operation structure. Lance Lipset, the founder and managing principal of LWS, will take on the role of regional president within MAI. He is supported by Senior Wealth Advisors, Gregg Cohen and Valeria Downs, and Client Service Specialist, Carla Mazzarino. This partnership will enhance LWS ability to offer tailored client services and expand into new areas like alternative investments. The acquisition marks the fourth deal this year for MAI, which also caters to the high net worth market segment.

Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Seattle-based MDK Private Wealth Management, which oversees more than $2.5 billion in assets. The firm was founded in 2020 by Paul Meyer, Jaimi Dennehy, and Chris Kalafatis. Meyer began his career in the financial industry in 1985 with New England Securities and later worked at firms like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities before co-founding MDK Private Wealth Management in 2020. His co-founders, Jaimi Dennehy and Chris Kalafatis, entered the industry somewhat later, in 2010 and 2012 respectively, both starting their careers at J.P. Morgan Securities. Together, they established MDK, focusing on providing specialized financial services to ultra-high-net-worth clients. This diverse experience from notable financial institutions laid the groundwork for the expertise and services offered by MDK. This acquisition expands Mercer’s presence in the Pacific Northwest. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. 

Beacon Pointe Advisors has acquired Keeney Financial Group, a Maryland-based registered investment advisor firm with $560 million in assets. This marks its first acquisition of the year. John Keeney, the founder of Keeney Financial Group, has been in the financial industry since 1990 and has worked with several firms before establishing his own in 2015. John holds numerous financial planning designations, including the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA), Certified Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), and the Certified Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS). Through the acquisition, Keeney and his team of ten employees will adopt the Beacon Pointe brand name. Financial specifics of the transaction were not disclosed.

Perigon Wealth Management LLC has acquired Blue Water Capital Management LLC and Lumin Financial LLC. Together, Blue Water and Lumin Financial bring an additional $375 million Perigon. Blue Water, based in Syracuse, New York, and founded in 2007, specializes in portfolio management for financial advisors, retirement plan solutions for employers, and financial planning for individual investors, boasting around $200 million in assets. They have a 4-person advisory team. Lumin Financial, established in 2000 and located in Southfield, Michigan, focuses on investment advisory services for employer-sponsored ERISA retirement plans, 401(k) plan participants, and high-net-worth individuals. They manage approximately $175 million in assets. Lumin is led by Advisor Duo Victor Hicks and Sandra Kerr, who both have CFP and AIF designations. The integration of Blue Water and Lumin Financial's services and client base is expected to enhance Perigon's portfolio management, retirement planning, and financial advisory services. 

Bluespring Wealth Partners facilitated the merger of two of its partner firms, Retirement Wealth Specialists (RWS) and Security Financial Management (SFM), to form a significant wealth management hub in Florida. The merged entity will retain the SFM brand and will oversee approximately $1.4 billion in assets. SFM will operate across five locations within the state of Florida. The merger was driven by the geographical proximity of RWS and SFM, making it a strategic fit for both firms. Both RWS and SFM have been part of the Bluespring network for several years, benefiting from its support and resources. Bluespring's role in the merger shows its commitment to fostering growth and creating lasting value within its network of partner firms.

Merit Financial Advisors has acquired Viren and Associates, based in Spokane, Washington. The firm oversees approximately $542 million in assets. Viren and Associates was founded by Paul Viren and Beth Viren, specializing in financial planning, retirement plans, and insurance services including life and disability insurance, as well as group employee benefits. Alongside the Virens, two additional financial planners and client support professionals will join Merit as part of the acquisition. This acquisition marks Merit's 25th, indicating a strategic growth path through mergers and acquisitions. The integration of Viren and Associates enhances Merit's service offerings and ability to reach a wider market. 

Caprock has acquired Grey Street Capital, a boutique advisory firm based in Chicago with $2.2 billion in client assets. This marks Caprock's first acquisition while increasing its assets under advisement to over $11 billion. Grey Street Capital will now operate under the Caprock brand and bring additional locations in Scottsdale, Arizona; Winter Park, Florida; and Morris County, New Jersey. Jay Page, Co-Founder and CEO of Grey Street, is an industry vet with over 20 years of experience and stints at notable firms such as Goldman Sachs and Schroder Capital. The acquisition allows for an expanded market presence and opportunities to scale their services. The financial terms of the agreement between Caprock and Grey Street Capital were not disclosed.

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Written By: John Washington, Data Research Analyst

John Washington is the Data Research Analyst at Dakota.