Steward Partners forays into M&A with deal for $3.4B wealth business

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Steward Partners is branching from recruiting into M&A with its deal to acquire the wealth management unit of Umpqua Bank.

Umpqua Investments, comprising 23 advisors and $3.4 billion in assets, generated $15 million in revenue, according to the two firms, which announced the deal Sept. 28.

Steward Partners CEO Jim Gold said the deal is an “important step” in the firm’s strategy for further its expansion beyond its East Coast roots. "Building out our presence on the West Coast has always been key to our growth plans and our goal of a national presence," Gold said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Terms were not disclosed.

Washington, D.C.-based Steward Partners was founded by ex-wirehouse managers in 2013. The firm, which is associated with Raymond James, initially focused on growing in the Northeast, staffing offices with advisors primarily recruited from the wirehouses. It has since expanded into Florida, Texas and other states.

The firm has kept up its recruiting efforts this year despite the turmoil caused by the coronavirus. In August, Steward Partners announced it had hired five advisors managing close to half-a-billion dollars in client assets from three firms: Edward Jones, Janney Montgomery Scott and Wells Fargo.

Under terms of the Umpqua deal, Steward Partners will also serve as the primary investment partner for customers of Umpqua Bank, according to the companies.

Steward Partners was represented by the Goodwin Procter law firm for the deal. Umpqua Bank was advised by Raymond James’ asset and wealth management investment banking team and Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff served as its legal counsel, according to the announcement.

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M&A RIAs Steward Partners Raymond James Financial