Genworth Financial Wealth Management will soon have new owners -- and a new name.

The firm's CEO says that while it hasn’t chosen a new name yet, the company plans to do so by September, following its $412.5 million sale earlier this month to two private equity firms.

“We’ve now spun out Genworth out into a more independent structure with private equity backing,” Genworth Financial Wealth Management chief Gurinder Ahluwalia says.

PRIVATE EQUITY DEAL

Private equity firms Aquiline Capital Partners of New York and Genstar Capital of San Francisco bought the firm from its publicly traded parent, Genworth Financial. They plan to provide it with strategic guidance to help the firm grow to greater scale.

The private equity investors “see our business model and are excited about it,” Ahluwalia says. “The market is very large and growing every day.”

The purchase is only one in a number of private equity deals that are infusing the financial services industry with new resources. Just recently, Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, announced its intention to buy National Financial Partners for $1.3 billion. Lightyear Capital-backed Cetera Financial Group also recently bought stakes in MetLife broker-dealers Tower Square Securities and Walnut Street Securities.

The name change for Genworth Financial Wealth Management will mark the new direction the firm is now taking with its well-capitalized investors, Ahluwalia says.

DUAL SERVICES

Genworth Financial Wealth Management offers both a wealth management platform -- with third-party investment management products and alternatives through its subsidiary, Altegris -- and practice management support, with consulting services to help advisors grow their practices.

“We have the largest footprint of any firm out in the market,” Ahluwahlia says, adding that this was an important factor in attracting private equity investment. Genworth has more than $22 billion in AUM and works with more than 6,000 advisors nationwide, he adds, with 42 regional consultants nationwide and four practice management consultants.

Through its practice management offerings, Genworth advises planners on a wide array of strategic issues ranging from succession planning to building different career tracks and setting salary levels within a firm.

“It’s going in and truly rolling up our sleeves and helping advisors with their practice,” Ahluwalia says.

The firm’s clients include both RIAs and broker-dealers, he says.

“The neat part about what we do is we work nationally,” Ahluwalia says, “and we are not tied to one firm -- so we are getting the best practices from advisors around the country, regardless of their firm.”

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