Focus Financial Buys $3.5 Billion RIA in Atlanta
Focus Financial Partners, a newly public company that buys stakes in small advisory firms, has purchased Edge Capital Partners, an Atlanta firm that manages $3.5 billion of customer assets, according to regulatory filings.
Focus, which last week raised $535 million in an initial public offering, bought 100% of the registered investment advisory firm that was founded in 2006 by bankers who had formerly worked at Goldman, Sachs, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Morgan Stanley.
The previously unreported acquisition was documented in a June 26 ADV filing with the Securities and Exchange Commision from Edge, which was formerly known as Edge Advisors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the filing, and officials at Focus and at Edge did not return calls for comment.
Focus, which was incorporated in 2004 by former American Express brokerage executive Ruediger Adolf, typically purchases a portion of an RIAs’ cashflow rather than all of its equity. It owned stakes in 56 firms, excluding Edge, according to its IPO filing papers in July.
Edge’s founding partners include Bill Maner, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, Henry Jones, a former broker at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and its successor Credit Suisse Securities, and Bert Amis Rayle, who was a Texas-based broker at Goldman, Sachs from 1982 through 2007.
Edge has 10 advisors in six offices in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, according to its website. It typically requires customers to invest at least $3 million through the firm, according to its June 26 ADV filing.
In the run-up to its IPO, which presumably allows it to offer shares to partner firms, Focus has acquired pieces of several other RIAs this year. They include the $4-billion asset under management Bartlett Wealth Management in Cincinnati in April, the $800-million AUM Asset Advisors Investment Management in Augusta, Ga. last month, and, in February, the $224-million AUM Fortem Financial, a Palm Desert, Calif. firm that was founded by former HighTower Advisors and Merrill Lynch broker Brian Amidei.
In May, three former Merrill Lynch brokers in Pasadena, Calif., who were overseeing about $800 million of customer assets, affiliated their new RIA, Pasadena Private Wealth, with Focus.
Focus, which prior to the IPO was controlled by private equity firms, went public on July 26 at $35 a share. The stock price around noon-time on Wednesday, Aug. 1, on Nasdaq was $41.80.