HUB’s $1.1B CSi Acquisition Highlights Ongoing Consolidation

Given CSi’s more than 50 years in practice and integrated third-party administration business, its acquisition by HUB International shows how even the most well-established retirement advisory shops see good reasons to consolidate.

This week, HUB International announced its acquisition of CSi Advisory Services, a firm that advises on more than $1.1 billion in collective client assets across its retirement, wealth and third-party administration businesses.

The full financial terms were not disclosed, but by the simple metric of client assets under advisement, the deal represents one of the larger merger and acquisition transactions of the past several years. It comes at a time when the overall pace of M&A activity in the advisory industry has slackened—if only slightly—and questions are being raised about how the current economic environment may impact deal volumes.

Based on announced M&A transactions through the end of April 2022, deal levels are down compared to early 2021, according to data provided by Wise Rhino Group, which advised CSi during the transaction process. According to the team at WRG, it is too early to project downward trends, especially as a few of the leading aggregator firms, after a very active M&A year in 2021, may be more focused on the task of integrating their newly acquired advisory firms. According to WRG, many firms have noted the continued commitment of resources toward the development of centralized platforms and processes, as well as the search for talent to support their business, as a reason for a slower M&A pace this year.  

Indeed, via the CSi acquisition, HUB is bringing on board Kristi Baker, managing partner of CSi Advisory Services, and Kelli Davis, vice president of retirement plan consulting. Additionally, the CSi Advisory Services team will join Hub Midwest East.

“Kristi, Kelli and the CSi team bring a shared vision of helping clients fulfill their dream of a successful retirement,” says Joe DeNoyior, president of Hub Retirement and Private Wealth. “We are proud to welcome them to HUB.”

CSi has been a recipient of multiple recognitions by PLANADVISER, and both Davis and Baker have earned the 2022 Top Retirement Plan Advisers designation.

“When we started consulting work with the firm in 2019, we couldn’t help but be impressed with what was already a successful, multigenerational business spanning nearly 50 years of service,” comments Peter Campagna, Wise Rhino Group managing partner. “The past few years, though, they built their business into a powerhouse through integrated TPA, retirement plan services and wealth management businesses. HUB has found a gem with Kristi, Kelli and their talented team, who are poised to grow exponentially in the near future.”