MAI Capital’s latest deal adds insurance to services arsenal

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MAI Capital Management, already known for its expertise in working with professional athletes, is adding insurance to its services arsenal.

In its third deal this year, the RIA which is partially backed by Wealth Partners Capital Group, bought John D. Dovich & Associates, acquiring nearly $600 million in assets as well as Dovich’s insurance business.

Dovich’s insurance speciality was a big reason MAI made the deal, says managing Partner Rick Buoncore.

“To get bigger and bigger, we need as many verticals as possible to be that one-stop shop,” Buoncore explains. “If someone is doing something better than what we’re already doing, we’re going to adopt that.”

MAI also wants to be a "national player over time,” he adds.

With its latest acquisition, Cleveland-based MAI opens its first location in Cincinnati. Both the firm and WPCG, which holds a minority stake, have been looking at markets in the Midwest to cement their presence and attract more advisors in the area.

MAI acquired two other firms this year: Virginia-based MTX Wealth Management in June and the wealth management division of Akron-based CCI Financial Group in April. Last year, MAI bought Calfee Financial Advisors in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

MAI now has seven offices in Ohio, California, Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Acquisitions have added under a billion dollars of assets to the RIA, according to Buoncore, and the firm’s AUM has grown to a total of $5.4 billion.

“There’s more coming. We’re seeing more traction with this strategy,” Buoncore says.

John Dovich, founder of his eponymous RIA, says he received several inquiries from firms over the past five years, but most of them weren’t fiduciaries. Some didn’t have an affluent or ultrahigh-net-worth client base like his firm does. Other would-be suitors weren’t open to insurance as a client solution, while MAI was.

The timing was also perfect, Dovich says. “I think the regulatory environment is getting more and more stringent for advisors. From a compliance perspective, small and midsize firms are required to do what a large firm does,” he explains.

When MAI first approached him a year ago, he made it clear that he wouldn’t consider partnering if the firm didn’t upload back office functions such as HR, payroll, accounting and more.

Dovich, who is now the regional managing director of MAI’s Cincinnati office and national head of MAI Insurance Solutions, says he’s “absolutely thrilled” with his new partner.

Financial and legal terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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