WPCG and HGGC-backed RIA enters M&A market with Birmingham purchase

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WA Asset Management in Birmingham, Alabama has acquired Clark Financial Advisors. The deal is WA Asset Management’s first since winning majority backing from Wealth Partners Capital Group and HGGC in November.

Clark Financial Advisors, also based in Birmingham, employs two advisors and a client service representative who collectively manage approximately $270 million in client assets. The deal was completed on March 31; Financial terms were not disclosed.

WA Asset Management (WAAM) was formerly known as Warren Averett Asset Management. The company began using the “WA” acronym in its marketing materials when its former majority owner, accounting firm Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors, sold its majority stake to Wealth Partners Capital Group and HGGC last winter. Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors retains a minority stake in the firm, which oversees approximately $4.3 billion in assets, according to its most recent Form ADV filed in late March.

WAAM chief executive Josh Reidinger (pictured) told Citywire he had known Clark Financial Advisors founder Marion Clark for “six or eight years” and had developed a “great friendship and camaraderie with him”.

“We spend an awful lot of time studying the culture,” he said of the company’s approach to trading. “There are a lot of people trying to do deals just for volume. We try to find the right partnership and make sure there is a strong cultural fit first.

Reidinger said Clark and WAAM share several service specialties, including expertise in helping customers manage business transactions as well as a focus on serving healthcare professionals.

“Birmingham has quite a large medical community. We had a significant number of physician clients, which naturally suited us as well,” he said.

Clark Financial Advisors also announces a planning practice for professional athletes. The three Clark employees will join WAAM’s headquarters in the affluent Birmingham suburb of Homewood, Ala.

The Clark deal is WAAM’s first acquisition since 2017. The company has made it clear that it will use the war chest of WPCG and HGGC to fund an inorganic growth spurt focused on acquisitions in the southeastern United States. .

Reidinger reiterated that his company’s M&A strategy going forward will largely focus on consultancies with similar CPA histories, although Clark is no such firm.

“We understand the unique situations in which advisors who are part of CPA firms find themselves,” he said. “They don’t want their customers to feel like they’re being sold. They also want someone who truly and deeply understands all of the tax implications that their corporate clients face. There’s a really interesting audience for us right now.

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