Carson Group plans to buy stake in $577m Florida RIA

citywire articles

The Carson Group plans to purchase a to-be-determined equity stake in Florida-based RIA Ruggie Wealth Management and has put the firm on its investment platform, the RIA roll-up said Tuesday.

Ruggie Wealth Management has about $577 million in assets under management and operates offices in Tavares, Winter Park and The Villages – a master-planned senior community with over 124,000 people, the largest in the country.

Ruggie Wealth Management will affiliate with the Carson Group through its subsidiary, Carson Group Partners, which buys or affiliates with RIAs around the country. The Carson Group said Tuesday it added nine firms to its partnership network in the second quarter, adding $613 million in assets to its platform. Carson Group Partners now has $6.1 billion in assets under management.

‘We are excited to be joining a group of growth-minded professionals and innovators who have a deep understanding of the industry, a vast network of specialized services, proven investment strategies and an abiding passion for serving clients,’ Ruggie Wealth Management founder Thomas Ruggie said in a statement. ‘We are committed to helping our clients pursue their long-term goals and, through this partnership, we’ll gain enhanced operational functions and access to leading-edge technology that enables us to spend more on what matters most: our clients.’

‘The key value for him and his clients is that now they will have access to all of our whole client experience,’ Carson Group executive vice president Aaron Schaben said of Ruggie in an interview. ‘The evolution of tools and investments that we are continuing to make will all be available to his clients.’

Carson Group CEO Ron Carson told Citywire in June the firm had already exceeded its 2018 M&A target of $2.4 billion and was in talks with 12 prospective acquisition targets. His company said Tuesday it expects to add $3.6 billion in assets to its platform before the end of 2018, pushing the firm’s total AUM figure over $9 billion.

‘Our growth trajectory is exploding,” Carson said in a statement. ‘We’re seeing increasingly larger firms open to this new level of partnership in adopting the Carson Wealth brand because they recognize the clear value they receive. There’s no shortage of advisors seeking better options; that reaffirms the decisions we’re making and the direction we’re pursuing for the second half of 2018.’

The firm also said Tuesday it had acquired boutique investment manager QBI Financial, which is based in Charlotte, N.C. QBI’s 17 investment strategies will be tacked onto the Carson Group’s existing investment platform, which contains a mixture of in-house and third party strategies, as well as 15 exclusive collaborations between the Carson Group and external strategists at firms like BlackRock and Dorsey Wright.

QBI’s investment thesis focuses on minimizing volatility and builds on what the Carson Group calls ‘purely passive ETF strategies.’

‘They were active in beta investing and factor investing before it was ever even cool,’ Schaben said. ‘That’s just a huge value-add to our clients and the advisors that we serve.’


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