Advisory M&A

Aristotle acquires $20B Pacific Asset Management; Beacon Pointe Advisors acquires $1B NY-based advisory; Cetera takes minority stake in $350M adviser; and more.

Aristotle Purchases $20B Pacific Asset Management

Aristotle Capital Management LLC has completed the acquisition of Pacific Asset Management LLC from Pacific Life Insurance Co., a deal initially announced in October 2022. Pacific Asset Management is now called Aristotle Pacific Capital LLC and currently manages more than $20 billion in assets. The newly named firm will continue to be led by CEO Dominic Nolan and maintain its current investment team, according to the announcement.

Aristotle Capital also announced the reorganization of Pacific Life’s publicly offered mutual fund complex, which will be part of Aristotle Funds following approval by Pacific Life shareholders. Newly formed Aristotle Investment Services LLC will serve as the adviser and administrator to the new Aristotle Funds.

The acquisition and reorganization efforts add more than 50 professionals and about $22 billion in new assets to the Aristotle organization, according to the Los-Angeles-based firm. Aristotle and its affiliates, including Aristotle Pacific, now have more than $77 billion in assets under management.

“The completion of this initiative is a significant step in Aristotle’s client-centric strategy, expanding our credit offerings and enabling us to offer a broader range of investment solutions to our clients,” Richard Hollander, chairman of Aristotle Capital, said in a statement.

Pacific Life will have a minority stake in Aristotle and continue to expand its strategic partnership with Aristotle Pacific and Aristotle Funds.

Beacon Pointe Advisors Takes On $1B YorkBridge Wealth Partners

Beacon Pointe Advisors has acquired YorkBridge Wealth Partners, a registered investment adviser overseeing more than $1 billion in assets and with offices in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York. The acquisition pushes Newport Beach, California-based Beacon Pointe’s assets under advisement to $26 billion, according to the announcement.

“We entered the Tri-State marketplace with our Heller Wealth partnership in 2019, and we are excited to expand the Beacon Pointe family of offices in New York,” Matt Cooper, president of Beacon Pointe, said in a statement. “The YorkBridge team is a force to be reckoned with and has developed strong roots in both the Hamptons and New York City, so we are excited to have them on board.”

Carrie Gallaway, a co-founder of YorkBridge, and colleague Andrew Stern will join Beacon Pointe as partners and managing directors, bringing three advisers and three professional staff members, according to the announcement.

“We have recognized an expansive and growing need for comprehensive wealth planning services in the greater New York area,” Gallaway said in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging Beacon Pointe’s deep well of resources.”

Cetera Makes Minority Investment in $350 Million AUA NetVEST

Cetera Financial Group has made a minority investment in NetVEST Financial LLC, an independent wealth and estate management firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, which oversees approximately $350 million in assets under administration. Los Angeles-based Cetera completed the investment through its Advisor Networks LLC on March 31.

NetVEST is owned and operated by founder and branch manager John Cartolano, who is affiliated with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. He has been working for 30 years providing tax-advantaged investment, financial, retirement and estate planning services. 

“The investment … provides the opportunity for local financial professionals to consider joining NetVEST as either employees or independent advisers seeking to maximize their practices by leveraging our proven growth strategies,” Cartolano said in a statement.

Cetera has made several investments in adviser practices in recent months in order to grow and to hedge the impact of market volatility and economic uncertainty for Cetera and its advisers, according to the firm’s announcement. The firm has a partner practice program that provides select advisers the option to have Cetera take a minority stake in their firm and offer proprietary growth solutions and technology.

OneDigital Announces Acquisition of Sequoyah Group

Atlanta-based OneDigital has acquired Knoxville, Tennessee-based Sequoyah Group Inc., an employee benefits solutions, compliance and HR administration provider.

Sequoyah was founded in 2022 by Tim Helton with a focus on the government sector. The acquisition will bring OneDigital’s presence to 30 offices in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.

“As part of OneDigital, we will have access to a wider array of services and solutions to meet the needs of our clients, and our employees will have greater growth opportunities,” Helton said in a statement.

Raymond James Adds $330M Financial Adviser in Salt Lake City

Raymond James Financial Inc. is adding financial adviser William “Bill” Anderson, owner of S.W. Anderson Financial in Salt Lake City, to Raymond James Financial Services, the firm’s independent adviser channel.

Anderson serves high-net-worth individuals and families, business owners, women investors and pre-retirees. Anderson was previously affiliated with Edward Jones, where he managed nearly $330 million in client assets.

“Through the due diligence process, I was drawn to Raymond James for its extensive suite of software applications, its deep support teams in every department, as well as its investment tools and solutions,” Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson began his career as a wealth manager and financial planner in 2002, following 21 years serving as a U.S. Army officer. 

WisdomTree Buys Securrency Transfers Inc.

WisdomTree Inc., an exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded sponsor and asset manager, has acquired Securrency Transfers Inc., the transfer agent for WisdomTree’s soon-to-launch digital funds via WisdomTree Prime. The new entity’s name is WisdomTree Transfers Inc

Securrency develops institutional-grade, compliance-aware tokenization, account management and decentralized finance technology based on blockchain.

“It made sense to both WisdomTree and Securrency for WisdomTree to bring this operational function in-house while continuing to license Securrency’s software,” Stuart Bell, chief operating officer, said in a statement. “This transaction is equally beneficial for both parties and allows us to acquire an operationally important function that WisdomTree has considered establishing in-house for some time.”

Lord Abbett Expands Relationship with PCS Retirement

Lord Abbett & Co. LLC has extended its partnership with PCS Retirement LLC’s Aspire platform by incorporating their entire suite of Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees IRAs (SIMPLE IRAs) and not-for-profit 403(b) retirement accounts. The February 2023 conversion totaled $500 million in assets, 3,000 plans and 14,275 participants in SIMPLE IRAs and 403(b) plans, according to an announcement.

The Aspire platform allows Jersey City, New Jersey-based Lord Abbett to extend its distribution to the full suite of workplace savings, the companies said. For Philadelphia-based PCS Retirement, it marks another stage for the firm in allowing mutual fund companies and other financial institutions to offer custom funds, fees and distribution across all plan types.

“We are excited about deepening our partnership with PCS Retirement, which will create greater opportunities for growth,” Stephen Dopp, Lord Abbett’s national director of retirement, said in a statement. “After a successful conversion of Prime Plan retirement plans in 2017, we are thrilled to now include all SIMPLE IRAs, 403(b)s, and other retirement programs on their platform.”