Carson Group Eyes an Acquisition Spree


Backed by private equity, top advisor Ron Carson and his firm are poised to go on an acquisition tear, Financial Planning reports.

Carson says his hybrid firm, Carson Group Holdings, will have $1 billion available for acquisitions starting in the fall. The company is backed by PE firm Long Ridge Equity Partners, which purchased 29% of Carson Group last year.

“We will have plenty of financial resources to be an aggressive buyer,” Carson tells Financial Planning. “We expect to have a $250 million firm signed in January and plan to be very active in the M&A market next year.”

Carson’s long-term goal is to be one of the 10 or 15 independent “super-firms” that will take shape over the coming decade. So far, Carson Institutional Alliance hasn’t been a huge acquirer; it’s only bought three smallish firms.

Carson Group, based in Omaha, Neb., has 10,502 clients, 110 advisors and 52 offices in 28 states, according to Barron’s advisor ranking data.

As independent advisors position themselves for a consolidation wave that could create a handful of super-firms, PE money has been flowing into the industry. Long Ridge’s deal last year “was part of a major industry trend of private equity firms, including KKR, Stone Point Capital and Genstar Capital, investing heavily in the independent advisory space over the past two years,” writes Financial Planning.