Independent wealth management firm Banyan Partners is nearly doubling its assets under management to $4 billion by acquiring two firms simultaneously.

The two firms are Rushmore Investment Advisors, in Dallas, and Holt-Smith Advisors, in Madison, Wis.; Banyan is based in in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“This gives us presence in the central part of the U.S., both north and south,” says Banyan founder and CEO Peter Raimondi. “With our goals of establishing and developing a national brand, we are really interested in ... having reps and people and partners in various locations.”

Raimondi did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.


The Rushmore and Holt-Smith deals are Banyan’s second and third this year, following the June addition of Silver Bridge Advisors, with offices in Boston and San Francisco. In total, Banyan has acquired seven firms in the last five years, Raimondi says.

“We were working on all three at the same time,” says Raimondi. After starting the year with $1.2 billion in AUM, he says Banyan expects to close the year about with $4 billion, growing from 38 employees to 85; he aims to expand to $10 billion in AUM in the next three to five years.

Overall, RIA dealmaking activity slowed in the first half of this year from the 2012 pace, , according to a study by Pershing Advisor Solutions. But transactions between advisory firm owners have accounted for 58% of all RIA deal activity -- up sharply from 37% of deals through all of 2012, the Pershing study found.

“There are definitely a lot of firms for sale,” according to Raimondi. “We are probably turning away five times as many deals" as Banyan is completing, he says.

Rushmore and Holt-Smith have services that are complementary to Banyan, Raimondi says. Both have institutional platforms and experienced portfolio managers.


Holt-Smith is owned by a female advisor, Marilyn Holt-Smith, and has proprietary equity strategies, including large-cap value and mid-cap growth, and diversified portfolio management services for individuals, institutions, pension plans, endowments and foundations, Raimondi says.

“In Rushmore’s case,” he added, “they have an independent international equity portfolio. … They also have a quant manager” -- a portfolio manager who does quantitative analysis.

Both deals have a succession-planning angle, but neither founder is departing imminently, Raimondi says. “John Vann, [CEO] of Rushmore, is 65,” he said. “He wants to go out in a box [and continue serving his clients], but he doesn’t want to run his firm for the next 20 years. Marilyn’s younger, but with a 25-year history. Her goal is ... to grow her firm.”

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