Envestnet to acquire Placemark Holdings

The acquisition is aimed at bolstering the firm's market presence in unified managed account services

Jul 1, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

By Alessandra Malito

Envestnet, a provider of technology and services to investment advisers, is aiming to ramp up its market presence in the unified managed accounts market with the acquisition of Placemark Holdings.

Envestnet sealed the deal to buy Placemark — which develops such accounts as well as other portfolio management outsourcing options for banks, RIA firms and full-service broker-dealers — for $66 million in cash. Placemark Holdings, with about $14 billion in unified managed account assets, will bring Envestnet to the fifth spot on the list of top UMA providers, according to research firm Cerulli Associates, for a total of $24.7 billion in assets.

“We have been very prominent or worked with many of the independent broker-dealers in the marketplace, and with our acquisition of Placemark, it also puts us very much in the regional broker-dealer or full-service broker-dealer space,” Envestnet President Bill Crager said.

Mr. Crager said Placemark Holdings, with both wealth management and broker-dealer services, will work well with the services Envestnet offers.

“Placemark really offers leading UMA and overlay capabilities to its clients and those services will absolutely complement what we're doing with PMC,” Mr. Crager said, referring to the firm's Portfolio Management Consultants group, which provides research and other services.

The relationship between Envestnet and Placemark Holdings isn't new. Envestnet was once a client of Placemark Holdings, and at another point they were competitors, Placemark Holdings CEO Lee Chertavian said.

“We've known them for a long time; they're very good people,” Mr. Chertavian said.

Envestnet will start by operating Placemark's web-based UMA platform technology, like portfolio overlay and tax optimization services, along with its platform. A full integration and consolidation of the firm is expected in 2016.

“I think the most important part for us is it gives our clients a much broader base of capabilities,” Mr. Chertavian said.

The deal is slated to close in the second half of this year.

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