Advisory M&A News – 11/20/23

Wealth Enhancement adds two New York-based RIA firms; Bitcoin IRA acquires; UBS snags Merrill wealth advisory.

Wealth Enhancement Acquisitions Builds Northeast Presence

Wealth Enhancement Group has acquired two New York-based advisories to expand its presence in New York to 11 offices as it targets an increased presence in the East Coast, according to separate announcements from the Minneapolis-based firm.

Wealth Enhancement Group will bring on an additional $272 million in client assets with the acquisition of registered investment adviser Adirondack Retirement Specialists Inc., based in Queensbury, New York.

From Adirondack Retirement Specialists, a staff of five, including Founder and President Sean Berger, will come over in the deal. The group provides services including retirement income planning, financial planning and tax planning for retirement plan withdrawals.

Separately, Wealth Enhancement acquired RIA Wealth Management Group LLC, based in Rochester, New York, which oversees $117 million in client assets. The advisory, founded in 1998, offers financial planning, wealth management and asset management to pre-retirees and retirees, according to the announcement.

As our firm has grown over the years, this is a natural next step to enhance our clients’’ services,” Adam Mark, president of the Wealth Management Group, said in a statement. “Over the long term, we’re looking forward to the additional resources and support our clients and team will receive by partnering with Wealth Enhancement Group.”

Wise Rhino Group, an M&A advisory firm, served as an adviser to the partners of both Wealth Management Group and Adirondack Retirement Specialists.

The deals bring Wealth Enhancement’s client, advisory, trust and brokerage assets to more than $68.6 billion, according to the announcements.

Bitcoin IRA Buys Crypto Investing Platform to Further Target Retirement Savers

Bitcoin IRA announced the acquisition of, a cryptocurrency portfolio management platform, to enhance its retirement planning and investment offering to savers. founders, including Michael McCarty, will join Bitcoin IRA in the deal, according to the announcement. The company had $1 billion in assets under management “at its peak” and will provide Bitcoin IRA with cryptocurrency investing and management technology.

Bitcoin IRA announced that, with the acquisition, it will begin rolling out new offerings, including:

  • Portfolio rebalancing: automated asset reallocation to align client portfolios with retirement objectives;
  • Dollar-cost averaging: access to investment tactics reimagined for the digital investment landscape;
  • Conditional orders and stop-loss orders designed to shield investments from market downturns; and
  • Trade history downloads and advanced reporting: investment insights with analytics and reporting.

“Our acquisition of marks an inflection point in the sophistication of the alternative and digital retirement space, right at the time where more experienced investors are warming up,” Camilo Concha, Bitcoin IRA’s co-founder, said in a statement.

Bitcoin IRA, legally Alternative IRA Services, was founded in 2016 and has more than 170,000 account holders.

$700M Adviser Team Joins UBS From Merrill Lynch

UBS Wealth Management USA, a division of UBS Group AG, has added the Keating Group, which oversees $700 million in client assets for high-net-worth individuals and families.

The Keating Group joined after leaving Merrill, a Bank of America company, with Maureen Keating, Michael DeCorleto and Matthew Marques all joining UBS in the transaction.

The group will be part of UBS’s greater New England market division and will be based in Hartford, Connecticut.

“We believe we have the strongest platform for financial advisers, and with our suite of high-net-worth capabilities, advisors like Maureen, Matt, and Mike will be able to deliver the full power of the firm to their clients,” William Cholawa, greater New England market executive for UBS Wealth Management USA, said in a statement.

Maureen’s father, Ed Keating, started the Keating Group more than 60 years ago as a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch, according to the announcement.