OneDigital Investment Advisors, a subsidiary of employee benefits and insurance provider OneDigital, has added the $500 million Florida Pension Group to its growing network of wealth managers with ties to workplace retirement plans.
The acquisition of St. Johns, Florida-based FPG is OneDigital’s seventh retirement-and-wealth partnership in the past 12 months and the firm’s 17th office in Florida, OneDigital’s advisory arm announced on Monday. FPG provides retirement plan services to more than 100 businesses and wealth management to more than 270 households. The firm’s president and founder, Troy Tummond, will join OneDigital and its team of advisers, including Steve Carter, John Hudson, John Pomroy and Landon Strickland, according to the announcement.
“The acquisition continues a strategy that OneDigital began in 2022, focusing on adding firms with a strong focus on wealth management, according to Andrew Jefferys, OneDigital’s recently named national vice president of wealth management solutions. That’s a shift from the firm’s prior strategy of seeking businesses with strong retirement focus and some wealth management.”
“Beginning in 2022, we took a stronger rotation into wealth management, identifying and acquiring hybrid firms that understand the retirement-to-wealth bridge but ‘major’ in wealth management,” Jefferys said in comments last week, referring to OneDigital’s overall strategy, not specifically to the FPG acquisition.
Jefferys noted that the Overland Park, Kansas-based OneDigital will continue this strategy in 2023, aligning with owners who see value in connecting to OneDigital’s platform of more than 100,000 employer clients.
“OneDigital is the right partner for our firm because of its proven track record of growth and unique ability to bridge the gap between retirement and wealth management, giving our team the platform to deliver even more for our clients and help them achieve their vision,” FPG’s Tummond said in a statement.
Owning the Process
OneDigital’s Jefferys, who joined the firm in late 2021 through an acquisition of Gouldin & McCarthy LLC, says the key to providing holistic retirement saving and wealth management is by giving the plan participant, and clients, “ownership in the planning process.”
“As an industry-leading retirement plan advisory firm, we are acutely aware of the needs and corresponding pitfalls plan participants face when taking advice from financial advisers,” he says. “Our best client relationships center around an independent and holistic financial planning experience, not a simple investment recommendation.”
By developing a financial planning platform that can serve both plan participants and high-net-worth individuals, OneDigital can meet client needs such as investment management, insurance services, tax and estate planning and business consulting, Jefferys says.
“When the client’s financial plan is in direct or indirect conflict with our own business interest, the best and only way forward is full transparency for the client,” he says. “This means transparency of fees, services for those fees and alternatives the client has [for solutions].”
Rapidly Changing Landscape
After the FPG acquisition, OneDigital’s assets under management have risen to about $108.9 billion, representing more than 1 million participants and 41,000 individual accounts.
Jefferys says that before his previous firm became part of OneDigital’s network, it was actually in the market to be an acquirer.
“With the rapidly changing landscape of fintech offerings, integration partners and regulatory complexities, our analysis showed the economies of scale needed to compete for the next decade in this business required a much larger team than a boutique advisor firm could provide,” he recalls.
Gouldin & McCarthy eventually agreed to the OneDigital acquisition, as it was “the only firm offering us the ability to honestly say a partnership was good for us as business owners and great for our clients,” Jefferys says.
Another part of OneDigital’s strategy, Jefferys says, is partnerships with minority-owned and minority-operated firms to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in “an industry that needs it.” In January, OneDigital acquired minority-owned insurance brokerage Bradley & Bradley Associates Inc., expanding the aggregators presence with 28 offices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.