Private equity investor Merchant Investment Management has taken a minority ownership stake in Axiom Financial Strategies Group, a $450 million advisory firm based in New Albany, New York.
The deal, described as supporting Axiom’s continued “efforts to improve the client experience and financial planning process to meet the changing needs of the businesses and families they serve,” represents a move down-market for the private equity space.
Private equity has been pouring millions into the wealth management space over the past several years, primarily by buying stakes in large consolidators that fuel acquisitions.
According to the joint announcement, “this collaboration puts Axiom in a stronger position to attract team members who are poised for growth, adding new talent to its current roster of experienced advisors,” which implies inorganic growth.
“Axiom has a clear vision of its future and understands that change and growth go hand in hand,” Tim Bello, managing partner at Merchant, said in the release. “This injection of durable capital will preserve Axiom’s independence and allow its innovative and unique solutions to take root.”
“We sought a true partner who could work alongside us as we take our client experience to the next level, and Merchant does just that,” Vaughan Scott, CEO of Axiom, said in the release. “Their industry expertise and growing network of partner firms give us access to an incredibly robust environment. The Merchant community and capital set the stage for our future growth.”
Axiom’s partnership with Merchant comes on the heels of its decision to choose First Clearing for custodial services, making it part of a 12-firm cohort in First Clearing’s effort to extend their service offering to independent registered investment advisers.
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