January 26, 2010 / 2:39 AM / 9 years ago

Evercore Wealth to buy Morse, Williams & Co

* Morse, Williams has $190 mln in assets under management

* Evercore aiming for $5 bln under management in 5 yrs

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Evercore Wealth Management on Monday said it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Morse, Williams and Co Inc as it builds toward $5 billion under management in five years.

New York-based Evercore Wealth Management, a subsidiary of boutique investment bank Evercore Partners Inc (EVR.N), hopes to have $5 billion under management in five years, partner and wealth advisor Christopher Zander said in an interview with Reuters.

He said the growth will come from adding clients as well as through acquisitions.

“We feel that we can build a very sizable firm . . . we’ve said that we expect to be at $5 billion within five years,” he said.

“We have $1.5 billion after one year so we expect that through organic growth and some very carefully selective partnerships or acquisitions we will get there.”

Evercore Wealth was founded in 2008. As of Dec. 31, it had about $1.5 billion under management.

Morse, Williams & Co, which is also based in New York, manages approximately $190 million.

Both companies declined to give the terms of the deal or say when such details might be available.

Zander said Evercore is open to additional acquisitions and will look closely at potential acquisitions in the U.S. where Evercore already has offices.

He said Evercore won’t look exclusively at such acquisitions, but they would be attractive because they would be quicker to integrate.

Zander said the Morse acquisition would deepen Evercore’s equity investment team.

Most of Evercore’s clients have assets between $5 million and $75 million; Evercore’s minimum client size is $5 million. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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