D.A. Davidson has agreed to merge with Los Angeles-based Crowell Weedon in a deal that will create one of the largest regional brokerage firms on the West Coast.

The merger, which was announced to advisors at both firms Wednesday morning, will add some 147 advisors and 14 offices from Crowell Weedon to the existing 320 financial consultants at D.A. Davidson. Combined assets under management will total $43.5 billion. The firms, which are both privately held, did not disclose the price of the deal.

“This transaction marks D.A. Davidson’s largest partnership to date, and is a great fit given the individual investor focus and complementary geographies and cultures of our businesses,” Bill Johnstone, chairman and CEO of Davidson Companies, said in a statement. “Aligning Davidson with such a well-respected firm allows us to build on the strengths and reputations of both companies and makes sense for clients, shareholders and employees.”

For Great Falls, Mont.-based D.A. Davidson, the deal marks the firm’s first foray into the investment advice market in Southern California. Crowell Weedon, which will retain its name, will operate as D.A. Davidson’s fifth regional hub in Los Angeles in addition to Great Falls, Denver, Portland, and Seattle.

Andrew Crowell, the president and CEO of Crowell Weedon, will take on the title of president and regional head and will report to the president of Davidson Companies, Jim Kerr. The 50 partners at Crowell Weedon will take on equity interest in Davidson.

“We refer to it as a combination because of what Crowell is bringing to the table and what we are bringing to the table,” Kerr said in an interview. “They’ve got a fine reputation and a great name and it wouldn’t make any sense for us to change it.”

According to Kerr, the two firms had been seriously considering the deal for over a year. Crowell Weedon’s board unanimously signed off on the deal on Tuesday night after agreeing that the two firms were a cultural and strategic match. Both firms, which were founded three years apart in the mid-1930s, still have close family ties, similar management styles and provide complimentary services, he said.  

“Standing still is not an option,” Kerr said. “Andrew and I both believe that the more we found out about each other, the more you could see that we fill potential gaps for each other, and that is what led us down this path.”

In addition to providing a substantial entrance into the California market, D.A. Davidson was interested in the research capabilities at Crowell Weeden and said the merger was a “next step in the strategic growth of Davidson Companies in California” following Davidson’s acquisition of the investment banking firm McGladrey Capital Markets in 2012.

“We bring to both Davidson and to Crowell clients a bolstered balance sheet,” Kerr said. “That’s going to give additional comfort to all of the clients.”

According to Andrew Crowell, the merger will provide Crowell Weedon with an opportunity to access D.A. Davidson’s capital markets division and a greater offering of investment products and services. It will also give them the scale to remain competitive as regulatory costs impact operations, he said.

 “We love this business and we want to ensure its longevity,” he said. “We’re a partnership. We understand what it’s like to bring on a partner, join forces and move forward. Our advisors are delighted by our new partner and they’re looking forward to learning from them.”

Crowell Weedon’s clients will continue to access their accounts through the same platform, while advisors will be introduced to D.A. Davidson’s products and services in the coming weeks, Kerr said.

The deal is expected to close by July 1, subject to regulatory approvals and conditions. 

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