Urge to merge: Two RIAs plan to combine

Argent Financial, Highland Capital will have combined $4.3 billion in assets

By Andrew Osterland

Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:16 pm (Updated 4:22 pm) EST

Registered investment advisers Argent Financial Group Inc. and Highland Capital Management LLC have agreed to merge.

The two firms — the first based in Ruston, La., and the second in Memphis Tenn., manage more than $4.3 billion in assets between them. Argent, the larger of the two, did not disclose terms of the deal.

Highland, which will retain its name, manages equity and fixed-income portfolios for individuals, businesses and institutions. The firm's president, Steve Wishnia, will join Argent's board of directors.

Argent plans to move its portfolio managers over to Highland and designate the expanded Highland team — currently six people — to handle portfolio management for the combined firm.

“Combining resources with Steve Wishnia and the team at Highland Capital offers our growing client base access to additional portfolio management expertise,” Kyle McDonald, founder and chief executive of Argent, said in a statement.

Argent, originally named the Trust Co. of Louisiana, was formed as a subsidiary of Heritage Financial Corp. in 1990. It provides a wide range of wealth management services to individuals and businesses in the mid-South.

“Highland will now have access to a much broader geographic presence to deliver portfolio management services,” Mr. Wishnia said in the same statement.