Aquiline Capital Partners announced early Tuesday that it has made a strategic private equity investment in SageView Advisory Group, with a minority stake being being retained internally by management.
The deal highlights all the same pressures and opportunities that have been reshaping the retirement plan adviser industry for years, and in some respects, it resembles what happened at CAPTRUST in 2020. That firm has also taken on significant private equity backing—though only minority ownership in that case—with the stated goal of using the outside investment to supercharge growth.
Following the close of this new deal, Randy Long, founder and chief executive officer of SageView, will continue in his leadership role and will collaborate with Aquiline’s talent to continue to grow the business. In addition to the growth capital that SageView can immediately put to work, the firm gains access to expertise and insight from within Aquiline. According to a press release shared by SageView, a “large number” of its employees will become equity holders as part of this partnership.
Jeff Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Aquiline Capital Partners, says he welcomes the opportunity to partner with SageView’s staff and leadership.
“We see a substantial opportunity for SageView to serve its clients as wealth management and retirement services converge, and to expand its financial wellness offering,” he says.
By way of background, the SageView Advisory Group won the PLANSPONSOR Multioffice Team Adviser of the Year award in 2014 while boasting an impressive 25 offices across the country, with its headquarters in Irvine, California. Since that time, the firm has nearly doubled its footprint and has expanded to 45 offices across the U.S.
Long has attributed this growth to more retirement plan advisory practices recognizing the successful model SageView offers as one of the leading aggregators in the country. It is likely that SageView could soon announce further acquisitions of its own.
“Advisers are actively looking to join us,” Long told PLANADVISER late last year. “That has been part of our strategy.”
From SageView’s perspective, with the addition of each advisory practice, the company has been able to expand its areas of expertise, Long said. That includes such areas as serving 403(b) plans run by higher education institutions and advising 457 plans run by local governments. The practice’s focus continues to be in the middle market, which SageView defines as plans with $60 million to $250 million in assets.
As this deal suggests, it is likely that there will be continued interest and activity in terms of bringing together retirement plan advice and individual wealth management capabilities during 2021. This rationale has already underscored various deals, and all signs suggest the same will be true moving forward.