Retirement Consultant Gallagher Buys f3’s ‘Turnkey’ Wealth Management Platform

Gallagher says the deal adds a financial asset management platform to meet plan sponsor demand for holistic retirement plan participant needs.

Insurance brokerage and retirement consulting firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. said Monday it acquired the f3 Companies for its “turnkey” technology and asset management platform providing retirement planning and financial advisory services to individuals, individual advisors and registered investment advisory firms.

The deal will equip Gallagher with financial planning services for employees adjacent to their retirement plan sponsor services, says Jeff Leonard, North American Business Line Leader for Gallagher’s Financial and Retirement Services.

“This is our first foray into individual financial planning,” Leonard says. “Our clients, who are typically plan sponsors, have been asking us how we can help with their employees’ retirement plans. Things are changing a lot, and they’re asking us how we can help their employees manage their finances.”

Leonard says that after considering a number of firms, f3’s asset management platform, combined with its talent, expertise, and culture, made the company a clear fit.

“They had the engine, and we needed the engine,” Leonard says. “Their people are also a really good and fit with our culture. We learned a lot about them the past six to nine months. They’re already great part of our team – they click in.”

The acquisition continues a trend of M&A in the asset management space that does not appear to be slowing despite higher borrowing costs and market volatility. Much of the activity has been driven by the desire for turnkey wealth management platforms, according to a recent report by investment bank and management consultancy Echelon Partners.

Gallagher, which manages and consults on the design of retirement plans including defined contribution and defined benefit, launched a personalized wellness coaching service in September last year. The service, called Gallagher Money Coaching, is a customizable solution focused on areas ranging from budgeting to retirement education to student loan management.

f3, which stands for Fiduciary Focus First, will add the personal finance capabilities that clients have been clamoring for, says John Jurik, Gallagher’s Retirement Practice Leader.

“When we look at the firms that are part of F3 … their approach all starts with financial planning,” Jurik says. “This is not a transactional business for them.”

The deal brings with it f3’s $1 billion in assets under advisement (AUA). Gallagher oversees more than $100 billion in retirement and financial assets, Leonard says.

The Rolling Meadows, Illinois-based Gallagher said in a release that the f3 Companies it acquired include:
  • Burnsville, Minnesota-based f3Logic, LLC, f3Investment Management, LLC, and Kusske Financial Asset Management, Inc.
  • Richmond, Virginia-based Financial Consultants of America, Inc., and
  • Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Compass Point Retirement Planning, Inc.
The companies will remain in their current location and report to Gallagher’s Leonard, the statement said. The firms did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

Gallagher is a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm operating in 130 countries through both owned operations and a partner network of brokers and consultants.