DiMeo Schneider & Associates LLC and Fiduciary Investment Advisors LLC (FIA) are combining to make one registered investment adviser (RIA), with approximately $180 billion in assets under advisement.
Of the assets under advisement, approximately $140 billion is defined contribution (DC) assets, of which approximately one-quarter—more than 100 clients—is 403(b) plans.
Speaking to PLANADVISER, Michael Goss, managing partner at FIA, said that each of the two firms had grown in their own region and the combination will allow for a single organization to gain a national presence. The firm will have offices in seven locations (Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Hartford, Connecticut; Los Angeles; Portland, Maine and Washington, D.C.) and serve more than 500 clients, including retirement plans, endowments/foundations and private clients. The combined firm will have a presence in 47 states.
In a statement to their clients, it was noted that Bob DiMeo, managing partner of DiMeo Schneider, and Mark Wetzel, president of FIA, have known each other for decades as friends and business confidants.
Besides the relationship between DiMeo and Wetzel, Goss said that the two firms have had a history of partnership in collaborating on business and client initiatives for many years, including sharing the same fiduciary governance calendar and 401(k) fee benchmarking data set. This transaction was “a natural progression” of the work the firms had been sharing, he said.
“We felt that as the firms’ continued their growth and both firm’s strategic vision was to continue to grow and expand throughout the country, that we could do that more effectively as a combined entity and quickly achieve our strategic visions,” Goss noted.
In the combined organization, DiMeo will serve as CEO, Wetzel as president, and a core group of managing partners from both firms will serve on the executive committee. There will be 30 equity partners in the combined organization. Goss noted that this is a growth story not a cost-cutting story, and adds that no layoffs are initiated as part of this transaction.
Once the deal closes, which is expected during the second quarter of 2020, the organization will operate under the name DiMeo Schneider & Associates L.L.C.
This news comes after a record-breaking 2019 in terms of RIA merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. The year also saw a record number of independent broker/dealer transactions, and M&A experts foresee many more deals to come in 2020.