Summit Financial has reached $10 billion in assets after adding affiliates in December and January representing a combined $725 million.
Garrett, Perkins & Horton Advisory Partners and Brad Werner & Company joined the registered investment advisory platform under Summit Growth Partners, an acquisitive model offering cash, equity and partnership perks in return for a minority piece of independently run firms seeking growth capital or succession.
In Birmingham, Ala., GPH made the leap from Ameriprise Financial last month. The 11-person team led by founding partners Stephen Garrett Sr., Mark Perkins and Brandon Horton oversaw $530 million in assets, providing tax and estate planning, insurance advice and philanthropic support alongside financial planning and asset management.
Citing the platform’s “comprehensive suite of tools” and culture of collaboration,” Garrett said in a statement Monday that the partnership “transforms” the level of services the firm is able to offer.
At the end of last year, Summit added Werner—a husband and wife team with offices in northern Indiana and southwest Florida. Previously with Securities America, Brad and Carmen Werner oversee about $195 million in assets, with Brad serving up the advice and Carmen overseeing operations.
Both military veterans, the pair has a niche practice serving credit unions and their members.
Introduced a little more than three years ago in collaboration with Merchant Investment Management, firms that join under the SGP model are added to Summit’s ADV and gain access to an integrated technology platform and a menu of resources that includes exclusive services such as certain alternative investments, tax attorneys, an in-house planning department and growth capital.
Firms retain full management of their businesses and qualified advisors may become partners in SGP.
Summit Financial Holdings comprises five distinct businesses, its RIA and investment management divisions, along with financial planning, insurance and technology, and an advisor services arm that handles things like marketing, practice management and retirement plans for partner firms. Brokerage is provided via a partnership with Purshe Kaplan Sterling and represents a little less than a third of total assets.
The firm has grown by 500% since 2017. CEO Stan Gregor attributes this to an alternative investments platform he believes is “second-to-none,” an “extremely broad” product catalog, and teams of in-house experts committed solely to helping Summit advisors grow wallet share. About half of the approximately 30 Summit partners moved from the wirehouse channel, while the other half already owned their practice or came from another RIA platform.
Gregor and Ed Friedman, director of business development and growth, have said the firm’s prospect pipeline in 2024 is unrivaled in its history. After doing nine deals last year, Gregor told WealthManagment.com last month that “a handful” are expected to close by the end of March, including at least one full acquisition.
“We’re now at approximately $10 billion in AUA,” said Friedman. “And growing.”
In the second quarter, Gregor expects to formally announce the addition of Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions as custodian alongside Fidelity, Schwab and Pershing.
“That’s moving along very nicely,” he said. “We already have a number of teams committed to using Goldman.”