Focus Financial adds 5th firm in 2011

Mon Oct 3, 2011 11:39am EDT

* Focus does 22nd adviser deal in five yrs, fifth in 2011

* Focus now manages $45 bln in client assets

* Hufford has $900 mln of client assets

Oct 3 (Reuters) - Focus Financial Partners LLC ("Focus"), a firm that is amalgamating independent advisers across the United States, said on Monday it acquired Hufford Financial Advisors, an Indianapolis firm that manages $900 million for dentists and other professionals.

Founder Brian Hufford, a 35-year veteran in the business, leads a firm with 15 accounting and planning professionals and two advisers. Hufford Financial has more than 700 clients spread across all 50 states.

Hufford's practice specializes in advising dentists and has a partnership with the Academy of General Dentistry, North America's second-largest dental association with 37,000 members.

Focus Financial was a pioneer in the strategy of acquiring investment advisers across the United States, with a goal of building a firm where the sum held greater value than the value of its individual parts. Since it inception in 2006, Focus has acquired 22 teams and amassed more than $45 billion in client assets.

For the private-equity investors who back Focus, and the advisers who exchange their practices for a stake in the firm, the goal ultimately is to realize gains by taking Focus public. The Hufford transaction, completed on Sept. 30, was the fifth this year. (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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