J.W. Cole Financial, a Tampa, Fla., based independent broker-dealer, announced Monday that it plans to acquire Financial Advisers of America. 

Financial Advisers of America is an independent broker-dealer headquartered in San Dieg with offices throughout the Southwestern United States and Hawaii. When the deal is completed, J.W. Cole will have over 400 independent advisors nationally with headquarters in Tampa and San Diego.

“Our business model revolves around a personal relationship with our advisors and their businesses,” said John Carlson, a founding principal at J.W. Cole. “While we have enjoyed great success, growth has always been secondary to maintaining a culture of individualized support and attention for our advisors.   When you have an opportunity to simultaneously achieve both of those objectives, however, you need to pull the trigger." 

The acquisition is expected to J.W. Cole and its advisors with greater economies of scale.

“While this transaction will enable J.W. Cole to add scale and resources, the most compelling factor that attracted us to pursue this opportunity was the culture and people that FAA has associated with its firm.,” said R.J. Wood, a founding principal at J.W. Cole. “J.W. Cole is very aware of how dependent we are on our advisors and that we succeed when they succeed.  FAA shares this culture and J.W. Cole advisors have welcomed the news of this transaction because they realize an increase in our financial and regional strength makes us all better partners.”

Jodi Johnston, the chief executive officer of Financial Advisers of America, said his firm has known J.W. Cole for some time “and in a sense they have been our East Coast mirror image in terms of corporate values and culture.”

 “The value of our organization could not be realized if we had chosen to partner with a mega-firm or private equity rollup option, because our rep segment of the marketplace wants to feel relevant, a part of the partnership, and not just a number to be packaged and sold,” Johnston said.

J.W. Cole and Financial Advisers of America both clear brokerage transactions through National Financial Services.