After being on the block for years, Next Financial Group Inc., an independent broker-dealer with close to 540 reps and advisers, said Tuesday it had agreed to be acquired by Atria Wealth Solutions, a hard-charging, private-equity-backed buyer of midsize broker-dealers.
Next Financial's advisers have close to $13 billion in assets under administration, according to a statement from both companies announcing the acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Next Financial will be the fourth broker-dealer Atria has purchased since 2017. Last April, Cadaret Grant & Co. agreed to be acquired by Atria. In the summer of 2017, Atria said it was buying San Diego-based sister broker-dealers Cuso Financial Services, which is focused on the credit union channel, and Sorrento Pacific Financial, in the bank channel.
Next Financial is a rep- and management-owned firm. Atria will acquire 100% of Next Financial and its related companies. Barry Knight will remain president of Next Financial and will be a member of Atria's executive leadership team.
After the transaction closes, Atria, through its subsidiaries, will serve nearly 2,000 advisers with approximately $65 billion in assets under administration.
"In our intense effort to provide advisers with the most competitive set of capabilities that will enable them to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving industry and shifting client demands, we need the right partners to join us on this journey," said Doug Ketterer, CEO of Atria. Next Financial "is the ideal partner to join us in this industry transformation."
Atria, which is majority-owned by Lee Equity Partners, was founded in late 2016 by Morgan Stanley alums Mr. Ketterer and Eugene Elias Jr., along with Kevin Beard, a former executive vice president of recruiting and acquisition strategy at AIG Advisor Group.