Brouwer & Janachowski, Seton Smoke to merge

Sep 11, 2008 @ 9:58 am

By Jeff Benjamin

San Francisco area financial advisory firms Brouwer & Janachowski LLC and Seton Smoke Capital Management have agreed to merge operations to create a single Tiburon, Calif.-based firm with nearly $1 billion under advisement.

The deal, the details of which were not disclosed, was brokered and financed by Fiduciary Network LLC, the same Dallas-based firm that helped Brouwer & Janachowski of Tiburon set up an internal business ownership transition strategy in January.

Seton Smoke, based in Greenbrae, Calif., which has $300 million under advisement, is located about seven miles from the Brouwer & Janachowski offices.

The new firm will take the name of Brouwer & Janachowski, bringing $680 million under advisement to the merger.

“We’re taking two good firms and making one great firm,” said Kurt Brouwer, who will become chairman of the new company.

Steve Janachowski, who co-founded the firm along with Mr. Brouwer 21 years ago, will remain as president.

Bob Smoke, the current president of Seton Smoke, will become the vice chairman of the new firm.

Mr. Smoke, 62, will be under contract to stay for at least five years after the merger.

The plan is to retain all employees, including seven from Seton Smoke and the 11 with Brouwer & Janachowski.

“I’ve probably had a dozen people approach me with merger ideas, but none were a good fit or the deal didn’t make sense,” Mr. Smoke said. “This is a good fit, and the deal makes sense because we need larger scale.”

The offices of both firms will remain open after the merger, which is expected to be completed within 60 days.

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