Birmingham, Ala.-based WA Asset Management, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm with a focus on attracting credentialed advisors, announced it has acquired BT Wealth Management, an Atlanta-based RIA with approximately $1 billion in assets under management.
Led by Managing Partner Scott Craig, BTWM was founded in 2008 as the wealth management division of accounting firm Bennett Thrasher. The entire 14-person team will join WAAM, where Craig will become regional director. Partner and Chief Investment Officer Clay McDaniel will be private markets CIO and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer Justin Snell will step into the role of COO at WAAM.
Founded in 1999, WAAM managed $4.3 billion in assets as of May 31, 2022. With a team of 45, many of whom hold professional certifications, and five offices across the Southeast, WAAM offers investment, tax, estate and financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals and families, corporate retirement plans, trusts, endowments and institutions.
“We were incredibly thoughtful and strategic in partnering with WAAM,” Craig said in a statement. “We quickly found that our cultures closely align and our skillsets are complementary to a degree that is rare in this industry. We realized we could accomplish so much more together. WAAM and BTWM share a very similar heritage, both coming from respected CPA firms. By pooling our resources, we can build new career opportunities for our team and take our client experience to the next level.”
That cultural alignment extends to each firm’s professional values and philosophy, said WAAM CEO Josh Reidinger, who added that the acquisition “lays the groundwork for further growth in the Southeast and beyond.”
That growth will not be under the current WA Asset Management branding, however. WAAM has also announced that it has plans to rename and rebrand itself in the coming months.
“WAAM is in a period of rapid growth and we are being thoughtful about how our firm’s mission, values and goals are reflected in our marketplace positioning,” said WAAM President Justin Russell. “Our goal is to honor our heritage and the valuable partnerships we’ve fostered throughout our history, while simultaneously showcasing our forward-looking momentum.”
Following the acquisition of Clark Financial Advisors in WAAM’s hometown in April, this latest deal is only the second since the firm saw an influx of capital last December from middle-market private equity firms Wealth Partners Capital Group (which took a majority stake) and HGGC (through its Aspire Holdings platform). The BTWM acquisition provides strategic locations in Georgia, according to the announcement, and “will foster relationships that support the firm’s ongoing organic and M&A-focused growth initiatives, particularly related to wealth management firms with a CPA-orientation.”
“WAAM’s partnership approach allows RIAs with CPA affiliations to pursue their growth aspirations and enhanced client offerings while continuing to leverage their CPA relationships,” said Wealth Partners Principal Mac Selverian. “This acquisition further validates the strength of WAAM’s unique growth strategy and propels the collective team toward an exciting brand evolution.”
The transaction closed on June 30, 2022. Financial and legal terms of the deal will not be disclosed.