ON THE MOVE-Focus Financial lands $2.2 bln team in Michigan
Aug 11 (Reuters) - Focus Financial Partners LLC, a firm that has grown by acquiring independent advisers and teams across the United States, said Sunday it landed a team in Michigan that manages over $2.2 billion in client assets.
Telemus Capital Partners LLC, an independent investment adviser with offices in Southfield and Ann Arbor, Michigan, joined New York-based Focus on Thursday, Aug. 1.
"We invested in the market leader in the area," Focus' Chief Executive Officer Rudy Adolf told Reuters.
Telemus is a 10-adviser firm that offers investment management, financial planning, retirement and estate planning, life insurance and tax consulting to nearly 600 clients nationwide.
It was founded in 2005 by Gary Ran, Robert Stone and Lyle Wolberg, who have been a team for over two decades and previously worked together at UBS Financial Services, part of UBS AG, and Merrill Lynch, which is now a part of Bank of America Corp..
Wolberg said the Focus partnership provides his firm with the ability to retain control while having access to partnerships with other advisers who can share ideas on investments and technology.
Focus provides services such as technology support and legal advice to independent adviser teams that join as partnering firms.
While a part of the broader Focus network, individual teams that join Focus maintain their autonomy and choose their own third-party custodian for clients' securities.
The Telemus acquisition was one of two large deals New York-based Focus closed in Michigan on Aug. 1. Grand Rapids-based LaFleur & Godfrey Inc, an independent investment adviser with about $400 million in client assets, also joined Focus that day.
"It was a coincidence - although it was part of our broader strategy of increasing our presence in the Midwest," Adolf said.
Focus, which Adolf founded in 2006, started out mainly on the East and West coasts but has since expanded significantly in the Midwest.
The Telemus deal was the largest of the five transactions Focus has made in 2013, Adolf said.
He declined to say the total amount of client assets Focus has brought in so far this year, but it currently has about $66 billion under management. It added $14 billion in client assets in 2012.
One key source of growth for Focus is helping its partners acquire smaller firms, a type of deal known in industry parlance as a tuck in. Adolf said that Focus has done over 30 of these types of deals, and he expects Telemus will help add to that tally.
"We believe this deal will be a magnet for like-minded groups," he said.
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