Akron, Ohio-based Sequoia Financial Group is beefing up its Midwest footprint with the acquisition of Wealthstone Advisors, a $1.4 billion Columbus, Ohio-based advisory firm.
The cash and stock deal, which is expected to close by the end of June, will push Sequoia’s assets under management over the $7 billion mark and position the business closer to some of the nation’s largest registered investment advisers.
Wealthstone is Sequoia’s sixth and largest deal and follows Sequoia’s July 2020 capital infusion from Kudu Investment Management, which acquired a 33% ownership stake in the RIA.
“The merger signifies the continuation of a strong wealth management in Ohio, a state boasting over 25 Fortune 500 headquarters and a bountiful pasture for wealth managers,” said Barnaby Audsley, vice president at Echelon Partners.
According to Echelon’s deal database, Ohio has become the fourth most active state, with 29 transactions announced since 2019.
“This deal comes on the back of Sequoia’s financial partner Kudu Investment Management raising a $300 million debt facility which should provide further support for inorganic growth,” Audsley added.
Tom Haught, Sequoia’s president and chief executive, confirmed, “We’re in the growth mode, but it’s important to grow organically and inorganically.”
Sequoia, which has 110 employees, including 18 from Wealthstone, has offices in Michigan, Ohio and Florida.
Haught said the Wealthstone deal was about the fact that the “people and our cultures are similarly aligned,” but added that Wealthstone also brings specializations in succession planning, tax management and working with private business owners.
“We’re delighted to join forces, adding talent, resources and investment expertise to our combined client base,” he said.
David DeVoe, managing partner at DeVoe & Co., described Sequoia as “one of the leading wealth management firms in the Midwest.
“The company not only has strong leadership and industrial-grade operations, but it has also demonstrated a deft hand at M&A,” DeVoe said. “They have methodically increased the size of the acquisitions, to ensure they intelligently build on the successful integrations of previous firms.”
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