Bronfman acquisitions to push firm to $5 billion

Maryland advisory firm plucks another $300 million in assets out of Virginia RIA

May 10, 2017 @ 2:38 pm

By Liz Skinner

Bronfman E.L. Rothschild has added more than $500 million in client assets so far this year through three separate deals that will push the Maryland-based advisory firm to about $5 billion in total assets.

In the largest acquisition, expected to deliver more than $300 million in client assets, the firm acquired a team of five people out of Capital Fiduciary Advisors, including its CEO, John H. Wolff.

He will become a principal and managing director of Bronfman E.L. Rothschild, according to the terms of the deal announced Wednesday.

Financial details were not released.

Neal Simon, CEO of Bronfman E.L. Rothchild, said the 85-employee firm will open an office for these new employees in Reston, Va., where Capital Fiduciary Advisors is based. It will be the firm's 10th office, all of which are located in the Midwest or on the East Coast.

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The Rockville, Md.-based firm also picked up neighboring advisory firm TriCapital Advisors, with about $185 million in assets, in January, and brought over a New York adviser from Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Partners in March.

"These three deals will grow our firm 10% to 15% right there, and we have more things in the works," Mr. Simon said. "A lot of companies talk about doing these transactions. Few are getting them done at this pace."

These moves are among the latest from registered investment advisers seeking to gain the benefits of scale in an industry that has grown increasingly competitive. The level of consolidation hit a record during the first quarter of 2017, according to DeVoe & Co.

Many RIAs are giving up some control of their businesses to be part of a larger company.

Mr. Wolff said joining Bronfman E.I. Rothschild would benefit his clients because the larger firm has better technology and can offer cheaper prices.

"I get to go to my clients and say your interest rates on margin loans are lowered by 25 basis points," he said.

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Bronfman E.I. Rothchild was formed in 2013 when the family offices of Matthew Bronfman and E.L. Rothschild partnered together and purchased Baker Tilly Investment Advisors. In 2015, Bronfman acquired Lake Country Wealth Management and Highline Wealth Management, a Maryland firm that Mr. Simon launched in 2007.

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