Wealth Enhancement Group acquires Vivid Financial Management, a hybrid RIA based in central California with $ 674 million in client assets under management, the company said. The acquisition will bring WEG’s assets under management to above $ 55 billion.

WEG CEO Jeff Dekko said the group is excited to work with the six-advisor practice ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ in the years to come, adding that Vivid has built a solid track record in customer service focused on planning that has brandished its reputation as a top-quality enterprise. In an interview with WealthManagement.comDekko also said the deal was indicative of WEG’s broader approach to acquisitions and that the company was not looking to buy companies everywhere just for reasons of scale.

“The national scale is clearly important, but we also think that the local scale is important, as it creates a number of opportunities to create more team activities at the local level and allows us to provide business development. and resources in that context, ”he said.

Vivid was founded in 2015 and has three locations in Orcutt, Lompoc, and Arroyo Grande, California. The practice was founded by Julie Darrah, Brad Boulton, Todd Woodland and Tim Miller, and its clientele includes executives, families and clients ranging from physicians to dentists, educators and farmers. It offers a range of financial planning services, including tax, estate and insurance planning, as well as asset management and retirement planning support services.

With the addition of the three Vivid offices, WEG, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will now have seven outposts in California. According to Dekko, WEG began to strengthen its presence in California in early June and July with acquisitions in the Los Angeles area (although the acquired companies have satellite offices in San Francisco). Examining how to expand their reach from Golden State, Dekko said they intend to mirror their approach to areas like the Northeast, where they have settled in metropolitan centers and branched out into the region as spokes on a wheel. Vivid has become a central part of their California expansion, Dekko said.

“These people came to us and they were so good that we were ready to start this process of ‘talking’,” he said.

WEG’s negotiations have been prolific this year, with 16 in 2021 alone. At the end of September, the company announced its biggest addition to date, acquiring QCI asset management, a 46-year-old independent RIA based in western New York, with $ 5.2 billion in total client assets (this was also WEG’s first acquisition in the region). The most important previous agreement had been finalized at the beginning of the same month, when WEG added RIA Carroll Financial Associates, based in Charlotte, North Carolina., with assets of approximately $ 4.7 billion. In August, the company announced that it was getting an investment from a private equity firm Onex Corp., who became equal capital partners in WEG with TA Associates.

Dekko said WEG will likely announce further west coast-based acquisitions soon and will continue to focus on the south-east as well. Helping run the business for the long haul was their belief that the number of deals occurring among companies with an asset range of $ 500 million to $ 3 billion was likely to continue, but he expected this to happen. that at some point in the race for consolidation, aggregators would start to consolidate.

“I think the same is yet to come for us,” he said. “I think you will start to see it in 2022, and maybe in 2023 you will start to see a little bit, maybe.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the deal will be concluded on December 31, with Darrah, Boulton and Miller on board as senior vice presidents and financial advisers at WEG.


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