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With acquisition of $494.5M firm, LPL-affiliated RIA is on an M&A roll

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After nearly doubling its assets over two years, Wealth Enhancement Group is furthering its expansion with the acquisition of a firm managing $494.5 million, the LPL Financial hybrid RIA said Wednesday.

Minneapolis-based Wealth Enhancement Group is adding one advisor, Vince Cimino, and four associates to its ranks.

“Given our strong client base in Wisconsin, we felt it was high time to establish a physical presence there as well,” said Jeff Dekko, CEO of Wealth Enhancement Group, in a statement.

Wealth Enhancement, founded in 1997 and backed by Lightyear Capital, is comprised of 61 advisors overseeing approximately $8.4 billion in assets, according to the firm.

It has been growing in the past couple of years through acquisitions. Since 2016, it has accumulated 22 new advisors, expanding in Connecticut, Texas, Illinois and Florida

Wealth Enhancement Group originally reached out to Cimino Wealth Advisors about a year ago, Cimino said in an email. The deal closed May 1, which is when he started notifying his clients.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The response from clients has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Cimino said, adding that they have been entrusting more of their assets with him than before the deal closed. His team has been happy with the transition, he said. They were tired of the business of running a business: including dealing with managing operations, technology, accounting and human resources.

“We believe this will allow us to maintain our focus on what we love most — working directly with our clients — as we move forward and grow.”

Cimino Wealth Advisors was already affiliated with LPL Financial prior to the acquisition. LPL Financial’s relationship with both Wealth Enhancement Group and Cimino Wealth would not be affected as a result of the acquisition, said Jeremy Holly, senior vice president of corporate development and strategic business solutions at LPL Financial. He added that LPL would benefit from the deal.

A spokesperson for Wealth Enhancement declined to comment on specific geographic expansion goals, but added the firm’s current strategy is to target inorganic growth via acquisitions.

“We are looking for individuals who have an outstanding work ethic and a drive to deliver the best possible results for their clients,” said the spokesperson in an email.

Lightyear is part owner of the Advisor Group network, and experts have mentioned both LPL and the PE firm as possible bidders for Cetera Financial Group. The rival IBD network has launched a review of its capital structure, with a sale as one potential result.

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