Focus Financial’s Connectus acquires 3 companies in 3 days

Connectus Wealth Advisers, a division of Focus Financial Partners, acquired three wealth management companies last week – one in the UK, one in Massachusetts and one in Australia.

Focus announced Monday that Trident Financial Planning Limited, a Berkshire, England wealth management company, would join Connectus. Trident, the second UK-based company to join Connectus’ shared services model, serves individuals and families across the UK

On Friday the company announced Acquisition of the New England Investment & Retirement Group (NEIRG), an RIA in North Andover, Massachusetts. The company, which has approximately $ 766 million in assets under its latest Form ADV, serves wealthy families and individuals, trusts, estates, foundations and retirement plans. NEIRG also offers its own alternative investments.

“This transaction is testament to Connectus’ continued strong momentum in the United States,” said Rajini Kodialam, co-founder and chief operating officer of Focus, in a statement. “Connectus’ ability to provide consultants through access to extensive government resources and” of-the-art customer service skills, offers a unique balance of scope and expertise with a crucial focus on customer relationships.

On Thursday, Connectus announced plans to acquire MISSO Wealth Management, a Brisbane, Queensland based company. Founded in 2001 by Jason Misso, MISSO serves high net worth and very high net worth clients across Australia.

The Trident deal has already been closed, while the NEIRG and MISSO deals are expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Since launching in the fourth quarter of 2020, Connectus has acquired 12 companies, eight of which were transactions in 2021.

Focus founded Connectus, its own registered in-house investment advisor, in December 2020 with the aim of building a group of RIA founders and teams focused on client relationships while taking advantage of shared services and operations. Connectus’ early acquisitions included RIA Horan Capital Management, based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and three Australian firms: Brady & Associates, Link Financial Services, and Westwood Group.

In February Connectus launched a business development program for its partner companies. The Excelerate program, which can be customized for companies in the UK and Australia, is also available to all Focus partner companies.

Brian R. Lauzon, managing director of InCap Group Inc., an investment bank for wealth and asset managers, said Focus has long built its business through its traditional partner acquisition business model. “I think over time they felt the need to evolve into other models of membership,” he said.

Unlike the traditional business model, companies don’t sell to Connectus for funding. Your assets are summarized in Connectus’ ADV.

“It’s not a funding exercise,” he said. “It’s a real buy and sell to another RIA. It’s a company that just wants to get out of business to run a company. While the traditional Focus offering works with someone who is still very growth minded and wants to run their own business, but for whatever reason just needs some capital or takes a few chips off the table. “

He pointed out, however, that Connectus could now compete with Focus partner companies, who often turn to Focus to facilitate sub-acquisitions.

“Part of their value proposition to their first 70 partner firms, or however many, is to help them source, finance and close acquisitions,” he said. “With Connectus, they have made themselves a direct competitor to their partner companies for this type of business. If they don’t bring a $ 100 or $ 200 million deal to the surface, now is the time to make a decision: “Shall we show this to Connectus first? Or do we show it to our partner company in this area? ‘”

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