The deal follows a string of investments in large RIAs by prominent private equity firms over the past 15 months, including Genstar Capitals stake in Mercer Advisors and Lightyear Capitals stake in Wealth Enhancement Group. Long Ridge has previously invested approximately $400 million in other financial service companies.
Private equity firms are increasingly viewing financial advisory firms as investment vehicles with high growth potential, and have given the green light for firms they invest in to go out and buy other larger companies. Mercer recently bought the Houston-based firm Kanaly Trust and in March Wealth Enhancement Group purchased HHG amp; Co., a Connecticut-based RIA with over $1 billion in assets.
Indeed, the just released Nuveen/DeVoe amp; Co. RIA Deal Book notes that RIAs funded by PE firms were among the biggest buyers of wealth management companies with over $1 billion in assets under management in the first quarter of this year.
As part of the deal, Carson Wealth Management Group and Peak Advisor Alliance, a coaching and resource company for advisers, have been reorganized under a new parent holding company, Carson Group Holdings. Jim Brown and Kevin Bhatt of Long Ridge Equity Partners will join the Carson Board of Directors.