Focus Financial to buy $1.3 billion Boston brokerage

NEW YORK Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:44pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Focus Financial Partners LLC plans to acquire a Boston-based brokerage firm with $1.3 billion in assets under management as the company expands its adviser network on the East Coast.

The Colony Group, a registered investment adviser, said on Tuesday it will be selling its 25-year-old practice to Focus Financial on October 1.

"We had been approached by several suitors over the years," Colony's chief executive Michael Nathanson said. "Partner collaborations is really the primary focus in wanting to do a deal with Focus."

Focus Financial's partners are composed of adviser teams, like Colony, in addition to secondary consultants who advise on things like institutional endowments and third-party administrators that process 401-K plans.

Nathanson said he expects to keep his group's more than 800 clients.

"It will be business as usual for the clients," he said.

The acquisition of Colony is the fourth transaction for Focus Financial this year, which will bring the company's total assets to $45 billion.

"Most transactions these days are really referrals from existing partners," Focus's founder Rudy Adolf said. He said he expects to expand his partner network over the next year, but would not provide any specific names.

Colony joins two other Focus partners in the Boston area -- advisory firm GW & Wade in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Dion Money Management in Williamstown.

While the bulk of Colony's adviser base is in Boston, Colony also has offices in Washington, D.C. and in two locations in Florida.

(Reporting by Ashley Lau; Editing by Walden Siew)

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