ON THE MOVE-Focus Financial adds Seattle team with $1.5 bln assets

Mon Jan 7, 2013 8:59am EST

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Jan 7 (Reuters) - Focus Financial Partners LLC, a firm that has expanded by acquiring independent adviser teams across the United States, said on Monday it added a Seattle-based team that manages more than $1.5 billion in client assets.

Independent advisory firm Merriman LLC joined Focus Financial on Dec. 31. The team, which includes nine financial advisers, has more than 2,000 clients across the United States, the majority of which are based in the Pacific Northwest.

"Merriman is our big bet here in the greater Seattle market," Focus founder Rudy Adolf said in an interview, noting that the acquisition was one of the largest deals for the firm last year.

New York-based Focus Financial with the addition of Merriman now has nearly $60 billion in client assets managed by its 25 partnering firms and affiliates.

Focus works with independent advisers to provide services like business start-up support and legal advice. A part of Focus' role will be to help Merriman expand its business.

"We're certainly looking at opportunities to enhance growth," said Merriman Chief Executive Colleen Lindstrom. He said that would be either by adding individual advisers or by acquiring another investment advisory firm.

Merriman is a fee-only wealth management firm, founded in 1983 by veteran adviser Paul Merriman. The firm focuses on investment management and financial planning, including retirement, insurance, estate and wealth transfer, income tax and charitable giving strategies.

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