Advisory M&A

Cetera Financial Group broke adviser recruiting record in 2022; Advisor Group added 1,800 advisers representing $84.2B in client assets in 2022; Wealth Enhancement Group expands in East Coast with acquisition representing $371M in client assets; and more.

Cetera’s Record Year of Recruiting Lands $13 Billion in Client Assets

Cetera Financial Group, a network of financial professionals including Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists, reported that adviser recruiting efforts in 2022 led to the addition of more than $13 billion in client assets.

The results were the highest ever for Cetera’s business development team, outpacing last year’s $10 billion, according to the Los Angeles-based advisory group. Cetera also reported adding to its business development team with several key hires and made strategic investments in its onboarding and integration program, Accesslink.

“While 2022 was not without its challenges, we are energized and inspired by our results and optimistic about an even better 2023,” John Pierce, head of business development at Cetera, said in a statement. “We are setting our sights even higher in 2023, doubling down on last year’s successes with a laser focus on attracting high-quality financial professionals who value a sense of community and industry-best solutions, resources and support.” 

Among the firm’s additions were The Patriot Financial Group LLC, an independent registered investment adviser managing more than $2.5 billion; Burrows Capital Advisors, led by 30-year industry veteran and adviser Don Burrows and more than $3 billion in assets under advisement; and the $1 billion Harvest Wealth team from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Cetera is made up of 8,000 financial professionals overseeing $322 billion in assets under administration and $115 billion in assets under management.

Advisor Group Adds $84.2B in Client Assets and 1,800 Advisers in 2022

Advisor Group, a network of independent wealth management firms, continued its acquisition run in 2022 with purchases of Gallagher’s retirement plan consulting practice, American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. and Infinex Financial Holdings Inc.

Between acquisitions and recruiting, Advisor Group added $84.2 billion in total client assets and more than 1,800 financial professionals in 2022, according to the Phoenix-based firm.

Jamie Price, president and CEO of Advisor Group, said in the announcement: “Our commitment to generating the right type of growth that delivers value to all of the advisers in our network is at the forefront of all we do, and we look forward to continuing to participate in shaping the evolving independent wealth management space.”

The acquisition of New York-based American Portfolios Financial Services, which was completed in November 2022, added approximately $33 billion in assets to the network. In May 2022, Advisor Group announced the acquisition of Infinex Financial Holdings and its more than 750 financial professionals, who oversee approximately $30 billion in client assets. Infinex supports more than 230 community-based bank and credit-union programs across the U.S. and expands Advisor Group’s multi-channel capabilities, according to the firm.

In addition to the acquisitions, Advisor Group recruited advisers and practices across the network, with nearly $21 billion in client assets added to the firm through these efforts. The largest included Gallagher’s retirement practice (with more than $6 billion in assets), The Private Wealth Management Group (more than $1 billion)  and Ironbridge Wealth Counsel (more than $800 million).

Wealth Enhancement Group Adds Hybrid RIA With More Than $371M in Assets

Wealth Enhancement Group LLC, a wealth management group that includes retirement planning practices, has continued acquiring East Coast-based registered investment advisories with the purchase of Legacy Financial Planning, a hybrid RIA with offices in Rochester, New York; Oswego, New York; and Naples, Florida.

Legacy Financial Planning oversees more than $371 million in client assets and includes three advisers and four support staff, led by Tammy Mogilski, CEO and co-founder, and Brian Bedford, president and co-founder. Legacy offers comprehensive financial planning, investment management, retirement income planning, estate planning and life insurance planning to those who are nearing or in retirement.

Minneapolis-based Wealth Enhancement Group serves more than 50,000 households out of 85 offices, according to the firm.

GenXFinancial Adds 16 Advisers With $950M to OSJ Innovative Financial

The GenXFinancial family of companies added 16 financial advisers in 2022 with a combined annual revenue of $7.5 million and client assets of more than $950 million to the group’s office of supervisory jurisdiction, Innovative Financial Group.

GenX, which specializes in continuity, succession planning and growing next-generation financial professionals, announced that eight of the advisers joined to launch their own firms, and two joined with firms they plan to sell to other affiliated IFG advisers.

GenX’s core business, IFG, was founded by Brian Heapps and Robert Mitchell in 2017 and now oversees more than $9 billion in client assets, supervises 190 financial professionals and is the largest super-OSJ within Advisor Groupsubsidiary Royal Alliance Associates Inc., according to Nashville-based GenX.

“The super-OSJ business model has evolved into the ideal destination for independent financial advisors who want to own their own firms, while also looking for back-office support to run their businesses and scale their firms quickly,” Heapps said in a statement.

IFG offers advisers payouts, with access to resources such as payroll and benefits services for their staff, acquisition opportunities to grow and a firm-backed continuity plan to protect the value of their business, Heapps said.

“We saw two trends in 2022: NextGen advisers looking to break away from their existing firm to launch their own firms and older advisers approaching retirement without a succession plan looking for a NextGen adviser to partner with,” Malcolm Thomas, GenX head of business development, said in a statement.

The firm uses a platform called SellMyFinancialPractice to pair advisers approaching retirement with an IFG-affiliated next-generation adviser and create succession plans to transition the business, according to Thomas.