Focus Financial adds $600M RIA from Louisiana

Summit Financial deal is ninth transaction of the year for Focus

Apr 2, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

By Mason Braswell

Focus Financial Partners has continued to build on recruiting momentum from the first quarter with the addition of an independent advisory firm with $600 million in client assets.

Summit Financial, an independent firm founded in 2003 in Lafayette, La., by two former Legg Mason advisers, joined Focus Financial Partners on Tuesday after having been affiliated with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network for the past eight years.

The acquisition of veteran advisers David Daniel, Tom Lambert, Michael Pharr and Fred Werner is the ninth deal so far this year for Focus Financial Partners and one of the largest deals for the firm in 2014.

(See also: Southwest Securities sold as part of merger)

In January, the firm picked up a wirehouse team that previously managed $1 billion in assets at UBS.

Summit Financial's joining the partnership will help Focus Financial Partners expand its reach farther into the Southeast, according to Focus founder and chief executive Ruediger “Rudy” Adolf.

Mr. Daniel said he had been in talks with Focus Financial Partners for more than three years and decided to finally make the move in order to get the capital and backing to help Summit Financial acquire other practices in the area.

“They've already come up with a list of some potential acquisitions,” he said. “We haven't been as successful in the past and wanted to bring them in for deal structure and obviously for the use of funding.”

“Focus has successfully supported more than 40 mergers for our partner firms, and we plan to do the same for Summit as they look to acquire new talent to further establish a regional presence in the Southeast,” Mr. Adolph said.

Focus Financial Partners, one of the largest aggregators of wealth management firms, has about $70 billion in client assets, up from about $60 billion a year ago.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but firms generally join Focus Financial Partners in return for equity in the partnership and capital investment.

“Time will tell how successful it becomes, but we're optimistic,” Mr. Daniel said.

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