Robertson, Griege & Thoele (RGT) has strengthened its position as one of the leading wealth management firms in Dallas, merging with another local firm, SCM Advisors.

The merger gives the firm about $3 billion in assets under management, making it the second-largest independent RIA in the booming Texas city, behind Tolleson Private Wealth Management, which has $3.8 billion in AUM.

Succession planning was the driving force behind the merger, according to principals for both firms.

RGT, founded in 1985, wanted to broaden its ownership group and provide more opportunities for younger advisors in the firm, says Mark Griege, the founding partner of RGT.

SCM, founded in 1991, wanted to provide a succession plan for both clients and staff, John (Pete) Bricker, Jr. said in a statement. Bricker will continue to serve his original clients and be a partner and managing director at RGT, as well as sit on the firm’s investment committee.

'PRICING POWER'

The addition of approximately $600,000,000 in assets from SCM was also critical to the deal, according to Griege.

"Every level of growth we've experienced has been beneficial to our clients," he explains. "The scale we achieve helps clients with pricing power, and we re-invest the profits of the firm in hiring the best available people."

RGT's immediate goals will be to integrate the investment platforms and client service models of the two firms, Griege says.

But RGT, which also has an office in Irvine, Calif., will also consider opening additional offices in Texas and southern California in the future, he adds. "We're in two terrific markets that have recovered from the financial crisis and are centers of wealth creation," Griege says.

Further expansion would come from a combination of a "cluster of clients and a unique opportunity," he says.

RGT targets business owners, corporate executives, professional athletes and wealthy families seeking family office services, according to Griege. Clients must have a minimum of $3 million in investable assets.

RGT was ranked as the 52nd largest RIA in the country in the most recent issue of Financial Planning's annual list of RIA Leaders.

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