In an effort to add assets – and potentially to attract teams of advisors that are leaving large wirehouses – Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management LLP has joined Focus Financial Partners LLC, a New York-based partnership of independent wealth management companies.
Ron Rubin, a founder and principal at Bridgewater, said in an interview Tuesday that by partnering with Focus, the Bethesda, Md., based wealth manager will be able to offer additional services to its existing array of customers. He said this broader cadre of services also makes Bridgewater more attractive to advisors that are considering making the leap from a wirehouse to an independent firm.
Last year, Focus' partner firms conducted nine sub-acquisitions.
“There are some great dislocations in the wirehouses and there are teams of brokers that are looking to make the move to the independent world,” Rubin said. “With this affiliation, we have the resources now to identify and execute on that growth pattern.”
Bridgewater has not added teams of advisors from wirehouses in the past, but Focus has, Rubin said. “We want to leverage that experience,” he said.
For New York-based Focus, the partnership adds another independent wealth management firm to its portfolio and extends its presence in the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to Bridgewater, Focus has 18 partner firms, including eight along the East Coast. Rubin said Focus has affiliates in Richmond and northern Virginia.
Bridgewater, which had $200 million in assets under management as of Dec. 31, is a registered investment advisor with a CPA practice. It provides wealth management, tax planning and preparation and multifamily offices services to high-net-worth clients. It services a client base nationally comprising of entrepreneurs, business executives and professionals, as well as athletes, media and entertainment industry professionals.
Rubin said the affiliation with Focus makes Bridgewater a “much more substantial and diversified organization” that can cross-sell its services to other Focus affiliates and vice versa.
“We think that there are opportunities for significant growth with this partnership,” he said.
Focus’ partner firms, which have over $33 billion in assets under management and over 600 employees, provide wealth management, benefit and investment consulting services to individuals, families, employers and institutions.