Focus Financial Partners started the year with a bang, firming up its position as one of the biggest RIA aggregators in the country.

Crestwood Advisors, a Boston-based advisory firm with $1.3 billion in assets under management, joined Focus at the beginning of the year, a move that Crestwood said would help to expand the firm’s footprint in the Northeast region. The firm, which becomes Focus's 43rd partner, currently manages 1,596 accounts according to the firm’s Form ADV.

Michael Eckton, co-founder of Crestwood Advisors, says Focus Financial helps to expand the firm’s footprint in the Northeast region.

Maintaining independence was the main reason Crestwood joined Focus, says Michael Eckton, who co-founded the firm in 2003 with John Morris.

Focus will provide resources and options without forcing the firm to sacrificing autonomy, Eckton says. “Focus doesn’t force anyone to do anything out of their expertise, which was how the industry used to be,” he adds. “It gives us a solution to maintain our permanent independence.”

New York-based Focus, founded in 2006 by Rudy Adolf, concluded seven domestic transactions last year, according to the company.

HNW targets

Crestwood targets high and ultra-high-net worth clients with between $2 million and $25 million in investable assets, averaging about $4.5 million. Its clients are mainly first-generation wealth creators and entrepreneurs, Eckton says.

“The firm’s culture — client-focused, open-minded and entrepreneurial — forms a solid foundation for its future development and growth. This makes Crestwood a natural addition to the Focus partnership and we are delighted to have them,” Adolf said in a statement.

Although Focus reportedly confidentially filed an initial public offering last August, the long-awaited IPO still has not materialized. But Eckton says he is not concerned.

“Honestly I have no insight to Focus’ IPO plan," he says. "It does not affect our clients.”

Colchester Partners, a Boston-based M&A advisory firm advised Crestwood on the transaction.