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Mariner moves into community bank asset management with $8.6 billion deal

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Less than two weeks after sealing a deal to expand into the breakaway broker arena, Mariner Wealth Advisors has tapped another wealth management channel with the acquisition of Heber Fuger Wendin Investment Advisors.

The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based firm, founded in 1934, is among the oldest registered investment advisers in the U.S. and has more than $8.6 billion under management.

HFW specializes in managing assets for community banks and credit unions that don’t have the internal resources to invest the asset side of their in-house balance sheets.

Marty Bicknell, president and chief executive of Overland Park, Kansas-based Mariner, said the addition of HFW opens up a niche focus on advising community banks and credit unions, and provides that new channel with the support of more than 1,000 advisers operating under the Mariner banner.

“In addition to being aligned with their business philosophy, we’re excited to work with them to grow their very valuable offering supporting community banks and credit unions,” he said. “This is a brand new area for us, and that’s part of the excitement.”

The HFW deal, which closed Sunday, represented Mariner’s fifth completed acquisition this year.

An deal announced earlier to purchase The Financial Services Network, a back-office platform serving 420 advisers who have $26 billion worth of assets under management and advisement, will close in September.

“We’ll do four to six more deals by the end of the year,” Bicknell said. “We’re trying to cover as many bases as possible.”

HFW assumed the Mariner Wealth Advisors name following the July 31 closing, and continues operations as before, with its team of 11 in place.

This is Mariner’s 75th location nationwide, its fourth office in Michigan, and its second in Bloomfield Hills. 

“Mariner Wealth Advisors fully understands and appreciates their status as a fiduciary who, like HFW, is inspired to act in the best interest of their clients and put the clients’ interests first,” HFW president and CEO Dave Barnes said in a statement.

“We’re eager to be progressing to this next stage in our development backed by the support and resources of the Mariner Wealth Advisors team,” Barnes added.