Alera Group, an insurance firm, is doubling down on wealth management through the acquisition of a registered investment advisory with more than $3.5 billion in assets.
The purchase of Wharton Business Group nearly quadruples client assets at Alera’s wealth management business, known as Alera Group Wealth Services, which previously had $1.2 billion in assets. The deal closed last week.
Alera Group CEO Alan Levitz said in a statement that the acquisition of Wharton will enable the company to “bolster our existing wealth management services and national presence.”
Deerfield, Ill.-based Alera Group offers employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, retirement-plan services, and wealth services solutions. The company’s wealth management unit uses Fidelity as its custodian but is adding Charles Schwab as a second custodian after the acquisition.
Wharton Business Group, which is not affiliated with the Wharton business school, was founded in 1992. The Malvern, Pa.-based firm offers clients investment advisory services, estate planning, and business continuity services
Wharton Business Group “represents the kind of firm we want to partner with,” said Tina Hohman, executive vice president and wealth services practice leader, in a statement. “Its experienced team has specialized expertise that complement our offerings and they can leverage our strengths to continue to grow both regionally and across the Alera Group platform.”
DeVoe & Company served as the sole financial advisor, and Alston & Bird served as the sole legal counsel to Wharton Business Group, according to Alera, which did not disclose deal terms.
Acquisitions of RIAs hit a record high last year, topping 230 deals, according to a report by DeVoe, which does not track acquisitions of firms with less than $100 million in assets.