February 21, 2024

What began as a $1 billion registered investment advisory business at an accounting firm nearly 30 years ago joined Savant Wealth Management through an M&A transaction.

Addition of Domani Wealth, a firm with four central Pennsylvania offices where seven financial advisors and 16 other employees manage $1.53 billion in client assets, brings Savant to $19.5 billion in assets across 32 offices Four acquisitions to date 2023, The company said on May 10Domani partner Angie Stephenson and eight other members of RIA’s executive team received a stake in Savant as part of the deal, which closed a day before the announcement for an undisclosed purchase price.

Domani’s team conducted approximately 18 months of due diligence to find a partner company that could provide more resources to serve clients and run the business, while providing “a place for our team members to have career opportunities now and in the future, ’” Stephenson said in the interview. After about six months of talks, Savant beat the other two finalists in a unanimous decision between the partners.

“Having financial people who are very detailed and nuanced to all come to the same conclusion is a huge win,” Stephenson said. “It was a big win for us once we realized the economies of scale and the similarities Simple decision. We call ourselves ‘Plug and Play’ at Savant.”

Average client assets per M&A deal in wealth management are expected to grow 12% this year to $1.81 billion, According to Echelon PartnersThis is the first time the average deal volume has fallen in 2022 since the investment bank and advisory firm started tracking the data more than a decade ago.

Despite a 20% year-on-year decline in deal volume across the industry in the first three months of 2023, deal volume rose month-on-month for the first time since the last period of 2021, with the number of deals involving companies At least $1 billion in client assets Compared with the same period last year, it soared 94%.

“After a relative lull in 2022, financial acquirers are also ramping up activity, seeking select opportunities to deploy dry powder across the industry,” Echelon’s report said. “A number of strategic acquirers attracted investors in the first quarter.”

Rockford, IL-based Savant has secured a minority investment Private equity firm Kelso & Company and Cynosure Management, a family office, are part of the RIA network of consulting practices.

As in the case of Capital Directions, another RIAs have $3.3 billion in client assets Domani, which Savant acquired earlier this year, showcases its expertise in tax and wealth management, an example of how dealmakers like its new parent company can “be more focused on expanding their services” as they add partners. Scope,” said John Langston of the management firm Investment Banking Partner Republic Capital Group. Langston has worked on deals with Savant in the past, but was not involved in the Domani deal.

“Given their activity, they’ve got more people coming,” Langston said of Savant, noting that firms with roughly $10 billion to $30 billion in client assets are showing as much willingness to do deals as ever, even if deals The total is lower in the industry.

“It’s very situational,” Langston said. “The reality is that if people want to do an M&A, the window is wide open.”

When Savant takes Kelso’s minority investment in 2021, the company has $12 billion in client assets.The following year, a team led by CEO Brent Brodeski, who retained majority control of the RIA, unveiled a growth target three to five times by 2027.

Domani brought Savant to a second partner RIA in Pennsylvania, one of 11 states that currently has Savant offices. Companies of Domani’s size have noticed that they can add operational and service resources for clients and “grow faster” under a larger parent company, Brodeski said in an interview.

“They’ve invested heavily in branding, technology, service lines, estate planning, taxes and trusts,” Brodeski said of his firm and other “big RIAs” looking to add partners across the country. A few years ago, many companies were simply looking for a succession plan, monetizing their business into a good landing spot for teams and customers, and then “going to the beach,” he said.

“It’s a big trend we’re seeing,” Brodeski said. “It’s not like, ‘I want to retire, give me a salary and I’ll leave.'”

there tomorrow received investment 2015 from private equity firm Rosetta Capital Corporation, the year it launched as an independent RIA following Baker Tilly Virchow Krause’s split from accounting firm ParenteBeard buy that company. A representative for Domani did not respond to a follow-up email request after the interview asking how much equity Rosetta bought in 2015 and whether it retained any after its merger with Savant.

In addition to Stephenson, Domani’s other partners include Angela Berkowski, Michael Dinan, Kenneth Eshlerman, Jennifer Hill, Scott Michael, Christopher Stock and Thomas Williams. Domani Senior Portfolio Manager Matthew Gavel also received a stake in Savant in the transaction. In addition to its headquarters in Lancaster, Domani has offices in Hanover, York and Wyomissing.

“A lot of our size and smaller companies are really thinking about how to move forward,” Stephenson said. “You don’t want to be the last one to do something because you want to do the right thing for the customer.”