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Amid rapid growth phase, Woodbury adds 2 practices with $132M in AUM

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Woodbury Financial Services has grabbed two practices with four advisors and $132 in assets under management, adding to growth it’s already experienced from advisors’ expanding books of business and an earlier acquisition.

The independent broker-dealer, which is a subsidiary of Lightyear Capital-backed Advisor Group, acquired Capital One Investing’s in-branch brokerage unit last month, which led to more than 50 bank-based advisors going independent with Woodbury.

The firm is already seeing success in its acquisition as well as its pre-existing advisor revenues, says Rick Fergesen, CEO of Oakdale, Minnesota-based Woodbury. Year-to-date revenue has grown by more than 20% in comparison to 2017, he says, and $34.9 million in new revenue is from new advisor hires.

The two newest firms to join Woodbury are both located in Colorado. LifeWealth Principles is located in Golden and joined the IBD in part for its expanded platform and technology, the firm said in a statement. LifeWealth Principles oversees $77 million in client assets and emphasizes tax planning, retirement income planning and family wealth planning. Overall, it services $312 million in AUA, according to Woodbury.
National Financial Advisors is located in Denver and oversees approximately $66 million in AUA, with $55 million of that in advisory assets. The firm specializes in executive benefits planning, income distribution planning, portfolio management and business succession planning, Woodbury said.

Neither LifeWealth Principles nor National Financial Advisors responded to a request for comment on their decision to join Woodbury.

"As we identified potential partners, it became evident that Woodbury positions advisors like us to prioritize clients' best interests. It was also refreshing to see their keen desire to work for us — not the other way around," Mitch Moore, president of LifeWealth Principles, said in a statement. Moore, along with advisors Ed Twele and Matthew Lancaster, are coming from NEXT Financial Group, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

NEXT Financial Group did not respond to a request for comment on the team’s departure.

Thomas Niver is the sole advisor at National Financial Advisors. Prior to joining Woodbury, Niver was most recently at Kestra Financial, where he spent the last 16 years, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

“We wish Thomas Niver and his business great success. We greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve his business,” Mark Schoenbeck, executive vice president and national sales director at Kestra, said in an email in regards to Niver’s departure.

Advisors choose Woodbury for its user-friendly platform, high levels of support and Midwestern culture, Fergesen says (he describes it as unpretentious and friendly). It’s also good for those looking to grow because of Advisor Group, he says.

“You get sort of the high-touch feel of a smaller firm, but the resources and scale of a bigger firm,” Fergesen says.

Woodbury wants to grow with its advisors and is focusing on three efforts: advisor retention, advisor growth and advisor recruiting.

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