SageView Advisory Group announced that Lakeview Wealth Management of Deer Park, Ill., will join the growing firm. Overseeing $415 million in client assets, Lakeview Wealth Management offers retirement and financial planning services to a multigenerational client base, with a focus on helping educators through all stages of their career and retirement. 

The transaction, details of which were not disclosed, is expected to close by Dec. 1, 2022. 

The entire six-woman team will join SageView and adopt new branding. Judy VanArsdale and Lisa VanArsdale, the mother and daughter who lead the firm, will join as managing directors and continue in their financial advisor roles. Kristy Whitaker, Katie Krettler, Heidi VanArsdale Little and Brooke Little will also remain with the team, keeping the small family practice intact.

Judy VanArsdale founded the business as a second career after leaving the McKesson Corp. in the wake of 9/11 when air travel became untenable for a single mother of two small children.

“One of those small children is now my business partner,” she said. “And we have my sister, my nephew’s wife, and Lisa’s best friend since high school. It’s a great family environment. We started off with just a handful of clients and continue to grow. We now have two and three generation families in our client base, along with a greatly diverse community that we love.”

Working and retired education professionals, primarily in Illinois school districts, comprise around a third of their clientele, she estimated.

SageView has been actively working to add wealth management capabilities alongside its retirement business since it established a partnership with financial services and technology-focused private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partner in early 2021.

“This one happens to be a wealth opportunity for us,” said CEO Randy Long. “We’re very excited about Judy, Lisa and the team. It’s a women-led organization in the Midwest and they have a particular expertise in working with educators and helping them to plan for retirement. So, from that perspective, they’re a great fit.”

SageView already had a “strong” retirement presence in the Chicago area, he said, with three accomplished advisors. Going forward, the firm’s “very active” mergers and acquisitions strategy is targeting wealth and retirement practices in areas that are geographically strategic, where they can build out those services where they may not be as strong.

“We’re really looking to add wealth managers alongside our retirement offices around the country to further work with the participants that make up our retirement clients on the institutional side,” he said. “More and more, clients were asking us to help them with their participants preparing for retirement.”

The Pacific Northwest, Texas and the New York City tri-state area are all regions where SageView is focused on adding talent, said Long.

According to VanArsdale, client feedback is part of the reason her firm sought a new partner. “They wanted us to keep doing the planning and taking such good care of them, but they did say they would like to see a stronger engine, or chassis if you will, and maybe a little bit more technology.”

Younger clients, she said, were particularly interested in an app and texting options, as well as automated appointment scheduling. While some of those capabilities were available through LPL, the responses compelled the VanArsdales to look around at the landscape to “see what the rest of the world was doing.”

“The way that SageView has built their platform and the compliance and the research and all of the back-office support, which is amazing,” she said. “And the access to information from the client side was extremely appealing to us.”

“There was some pretty tough competition here,” said Long, “so we were thrilled to be able to bring this one home.”

The agreement with Lakeview Wealth Management is the seventh acquisition SageView has announced since July 2021. With more than 30 offices nationwide, the firm now oversees more than $150 billion in assets under advisement through its institutional retirement arm and a little less $4 billion in assets under management on the wealth side. In terms of revenue, Long said that its approximately 65% retirement and 35% wealth but he could see that shifting to 50/50 over the next two years as SageView looks to grow AUM on the wealth management side to $10 billion.

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