Whitnell is Rockefeller’s second family office acquisition, following the addition of Silicon Valley-based Financial Clarity in 2019. Rockefeller Capital Management has continued to expand its presence in the Midwest, opening its first Chicago-based Private Wealth Management office in October 2020.
Mark Bruno, managing director at Echelon Partners, said the Whitnell deal is in line with Rockefeller’s more aggressive recruiting and growth efforts recently.
“A balanced inorganic growth strategy that relies on both recruiting and M&A is an ideal way to build a thoughtful, selective presence in key markets,” he said. “The acquisition of Whitnell provides an anchor in the Midwest to complement its established businesses on the East and West Coasts and sets up Rockefeller, one of the largest wealth managers in the industry, to have a true national reach.”
Through a strategic partnership between Rockefeller & Co. and Associated Banc-Corp, Whitnell will become a division of the Rockefeller Family Office and Associated Bank, NA will become a mortgage lending referral partner in the Midwest.
The entire Whitnell team, approximately 25 professionals, including three adviser teams and three senior client advisors, will be joining Rockefeller.
“Associated looks forward to complementing Rockefeller’s mission to provide sophisticated and customized services to their clients by being a preferred provider of mortgage lending and trust services for their clients,” said John Thayer, chief executive officer at Whitnell.
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