Advisory M&A

OneDigital acquires third property-and-casualty business in past two months; Ubiquity and DriveWealth bring fractional share trading to small business 401(k)s; Merrill Lynch wealth manager and team joins First Republic; and more.

OneDigital Expands Property and Casualty Business With Philadelphia-Based Insurer

OneDigital has bought Philadelphia-based insurance brokerage Bradley & Bradley Associates Inc., furthering OneDigital’s investments in property-and-casualty businesses.

The insurance, financial services and human resources aggregator acquired the African American-owned firm to enhance its presence in Pennsylvania, according to the announcement. Bradley & Bradley, founded by Steven Scott Bradley in 2001, is a risk management company specializing in property-and-casualty products to more than 100 clients across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, including nonprofit organizations and both government and non-government entities.

Being acquired by OneDigital will increase Bradley & Bradley’s access to national property-and-casualty resources, as well as adding HR, financial services and employee benefit solutions, according to the announcement.

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The acquisition is Atlanta-based OneDigital’s third purchase of a property-and-casualty business since December 2022, when it announced deals for Fremont, Ohio-based Sprouse Insurance and Canton, Connecticut-based Irongate Insurance Counselors.

Ubiquity Partners With DriveWealth to Bring Fractional Share Trading to Small Business 401(k)s

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings has partnered with DriveWealth LLC, a financial firm that offers fractional stock trading, to provide additional investing capabilities for small business 401(k) providers, San Francisco-based Ubiquity announced.

“Through this partnership with DriveWealth, we are able to provide small business owners and their employees with investment options that will democratize investing and allow more freedom and choice in a user-friendly way that has never before been seen in a 401(k) plan,” Chad Parks, founder and CEO of Ubiquity, said in a statement.

The fractional share trading option will add to 30,000 mutual funds and exchange traded funds Ubiquity offers small business clients for their 401(k) plans, according to the announcement.

“This Ubiquity and DriveWealth partnership is redefining how people can consume and engage within their 401(k) account,” Stan Smith, managing director of Jersey City, New Jersey-based DriveWealth, said in a statement. “Making available real-time instruments with fractional share trading within a fully disclosed account is a unique differentiator for advisers, employers and participants alike.”

Merrill Lynch Wealth Manager and Team Join First Republic

First Republic Bank, the private bank and wealth management company, announced that a 12-person team led by Derek Mohamed and Justin Merola has joined First Republic Investment Management Inc.

Mohamed and Merola were each named managing director and wealth manager, and Stephen Greene, Brian Kelleher and Leland Mindnich will be vice presidents and wealth managers, according to the announcement. The team will be based in the Boston area and provide portfolio management, retirement planning, investment consulting and other wealth management services to individuals, families and nonprofits.

Before joining First Republic, Mohamed was a managing director and wealth management adviser at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Prior to that, he worked at UBS and Morgan Stanley.

Rockefeller Capital Expands in Texas With Austin-Based Advisory

Rockefeller Capital Management announced the addition of Ladage, Smith, Garcia Wealth Partners, the New York-based firm’s first private adviser team to be headquartered in Austin, Texas, to its Rockefeller Global Family Office.

The five-person team had been affiliated with UBS and is led by Alex Ladage and Landon Smith, both managing directors, and Jorge Garcia, senior vice president. The team, which also includes Carl Pavlich and Monica Vallejo, reports to Rockefeller’s Michael Armondo, central division director.

“As we’ve expanded the reach of Rockefeller across the United States, we see significant opportunity to deliver premium and differentiated wealth management services to clients and prospects in Greater Austin and beyond,” Christopher Dupuy, co-president of Rockefeller Global Family Office, said in a statement.

Lido Advisors to Partner With Colorado Financial Management

Wealth management firm Lido Advisors LLC announced an agreement to partner with Colorado Financial Management to expand Lido’s presence in the Mountain West, as well as its family office capabilities. The companies noted that the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, but did not disclose financial terms.

Los Angeles-based Lido will add CFM’s 26 employees and $2 billion in client assets, including high-net-worth individuals, families and institutions. Lido currently oversees $12 billion in assets under management and has 28 offices. CFM is a fee-only financial adviser with offices in Denver, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado.

“At Lido, we’re always looking for entrepreneurial and culturally aligned partners who can help us continue to build a preeminent wealth management firm,” Jason Ozur, Lido’s CEO, said in a release. “We seek firms that want to be true partners with a voice and the opportunity to be additive to Lido’s evolution. CFM’s growth-focused, tenured, and highly credentialed team is exactly that type of firm.”

Fiori Financial Group Launches as Independent After Exodus From Raymond James

Fiori Financial Group announced its launch as an independent registered investment advisory, with Goldman Sachs Adviser Solutions as its custody service provider.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based firm, officially FFG Partners LLC, is led by partners Margaux Fiori and Scott Verlangieri and services high-net-worth clients. The advisers had previously been operating as affiliates of Raymond James Financial Services and will transition all client assets from Raymond James to Goldman Sachs’ custody platform, according to the announcement.

Fiori Financial Group provides individual wealth management services, asset preservation, tax advantage strategies, 401(k) and customized retirement plans, risk management and estate planning services to high-net-worth individuals.

Kudu Investment Takes Minority Stake in Fund Manager Variant

Kudu Investment Management LLC, which provides capital solutions to independent asset and wealth managers, has made a minority investment in Variant Investments LLC, an alternative credit specialist and interval fund manager. Financial terms were not disclosed.

New York-based Kudu has invested in 23 asset and wealth managers headquartered in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia, with about $66 billion invested on behalf of individual and institutional investors in traditional and alternative strategies and market segments.

Portland, Oregon
-based Variant manages more than $2.3 billion, mostly for registered investment adviser clients, as it seeks to invest in income-generating assets in niche private markets and offers its strategies to investors through institutional closed-end interval funds.

“In Kudu, we have a partner with a keen understanding of founder-led firms that provide investors with differentiated strategies,” J.B. Hayes, co-founder and partner of Variant, said in a statement. “We are excited to leverage Kudu’s extensive network as we diversify our capital base.”

Wealth Manager FNZ to Buy Fixed Income Portfolio Manager YieldX

Wealth management platform FNZ Group has agreed to acquire YieldX Inc., a provider of fixed income portfolio management technology and direct indexing tools for the wealth management industry.

With the purchase, FNZ’s wealth management platform will incorporate YieldX’s technology to allow clients to consider fixed-income opportunities and identify the outcomes they want based on their risk appetite, according to the announcement.

Miami-based YieldX serves top-tier wealth and asset managers to business-to-consumer financial services and technology providers. Following the acquisition, YieldX co-founder and CEO Adam Green will join FNZ as CEO of asset management, and co-founder Steve Gross will join FNZ as Head of asset management strategy. They will support the broader expansion efforts for asset management products, solutions and technology across North America, according to the companies.

London-based FNZ administers more than $1.5 trillion in client assets, representing more than 20 million investors worldwide, according to the company. The firm partners with more than 650 large financial institutions and 8,000 wealth management firms in 21 countries.