Connectus Wealth Advisers, a division of Focus Financial Partners, acquired three wealth management companies over the past week, one in the UK, one in Massachusetts and one in Australia.
Tune-up announced Monday as Trident Financial Planning Limited, a wealth management company located in Berkshire, England, would join Connectus. Trident, which is the second UK-based company to join Connectus’ shared services model, serves individuals and families across the UK
On Friday, the company announced the acquisition of New England Investment & Retirement Group (NEIRG), an RIA in North Andover, Mass. The company, which manages about $ 766 million in assets under management, according to its latest Form ADV, serves high net worth families and individuals, trusts, estates, endowments and pension plans. . NEIRG also offers proprietary alternative investments.
“This transaction is proof of Connectus’ continued strong momentum in the United States,” said Rajini Kodialam, co-founder and COO of Focus, in a statement. – state-of-the-art customer service capabilities, offering a unique balance of scale and expertise with an essential focus on customer relations.
Thusday, Connectus has announced its intention to acquire MISSO Wealth Management, a business based in Brisbane, Queensland. MISSO, founded in 2001 by Jason Misso, serves high net worth and high net worth clients across Australia.
The Trident deal has already been concluded, while the NEIRG and MISSO transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Since launching in the fourth quarter of 2020, Connectus has acquired 12 companies, eight of which took place in 2021.
Focus launched Connectus, its own in-house registered investment advisor, in December 2020, with the aim of building a group of RIA founders and teams who want to focus on client relationships, while benefiting from services and of shared operations. Connectus’ early acquisitions included RIA Horan Capital Management, based in Hunt Valley, Md., And three Australian companies: Brady & Associates, Link Financial Services and Westwood Group.
In February, Connectus launched a business development program for its partner companies. The Excelerate program, which can be customized for businesses in the UK and Australia, is also available to all of Focus’s partner businesses.
Brian R. Lauzon, Managing Director of InCap Group Inc., an investment bank serving wealth and asset managers, said Focus has long built its business through its traditional business model of acquiring partner companies. “Over time I think they felt the need to evolve into different affiliate models,” he said.
Unlike the traditional business model, companies don’t sell to Connectus to receive funding. Their assets are grouped together in the Connectus ADV.
“This is not a fundraising exercise,” he said. “It’s a real acquisition and sale to another RIA. It’s a business that just wants to get out of running a business. Whereas the traditional Focus offering pairs up with someone who is still very focused on growth and wants to run their own business, but just needs capital or to take some chips off the table for whatever reason.
But he pointed out that Connectus could now compete with Focus’s partner companies, which often turn to Focus to facilitate sub-acquisitions.
“Part of their value proposition to their top 70 partner companies or whatever the number is to help them research, finance and close acquisitions,” he said. “With Connectus, they have become a direct competitor of their partner companies for this type of transaction. If they hadn’t made a firm $ 100 million or $ 200 million deal, they now have a decision left to do: “Shall we show this to Connectus first?” Or do we show it to our partner company that is in this area? “