RIA Roundup: Carson Group Acquires $500M The Shobe Financial Group

In a slower week for dealmaking among RIAs, Carson Group made its first full acquisition of the year and Buckingham Strategic Wealth announced its third.  

In earlier news, a young Merrill Lynch prodigy broke away to launch his own firm.

Carson Wealth Adds $500M Baton Rouge RIA: The Shobe Financial Group 

Carson Group on Thursday announced the acquisition of The Shobe Financial Group, a $500 million registered investment advisory firm based in Baton Rouge, La.

The deal represents the seventh full acquisition that Carson Wealth, one of three Carson Group subsidiaries, has made in its history. It is also among the largest.

Led by founder and Chairman Ed Shobe and President Jason Windham, both partners at the firm, the entire 16-person team will join Carson and keep operating under the Shobe name—under the Carson Wealth brand.

Shobe identified the need for a succession plan as a key reason for the move, combined with a desire to facilitate growth.

“We see Carson Group as a long-term partner that will allow us to grow and serve our clients for generations to come,” he said in a statement. “This alignment strengthens our offerings and is an important step in our 100-year plan.”

“We prefer to refer to them as mergers if the team is staying intact,” said Jamie Hopkins, managing partner of wealth solutions for Carson Wealth. “Shobe has seven CFPs, which is something that we prioritize, and does a really great job at financial planning. There are things they do really well that we’re just kind of merging in with Carson Wealth, while allowing them to continue to operate their way—even though that wasn’t how we pushed things in the past.”

Carson provides technology, investment and financial planning “stacks,” he said, but has relaxed requirements that acquired and partnering firms adopt those wholesale.

“We have some approved technology that’s not part of the tech stack that firms can have and leverage,” Hopkins said. “We’re really trying to be more flexible and meet advisors and firms where they are versus our offering as it stood before.”

“We didn’t take this decision lightly—it’s been more than a year in the making,” said Windham. “As a Carson Wealth office we will have access to expanded resources and can focus on what we do best.”

The Baton Rouge location is the seventh wholly owned Carson Wealth office in the United States.

Based in Omaha, Neb., Carson Group was founded in 1983 by Ron Carson and serves financial advisors and investors through its three businesses – Carson Wealth, its retail wealth management arm; Carson Partners, an RIA partnership platform; and Carson Coaching, an advisor coaching service. Carson Group currently manages $21 billion in assets across all three, serving more than 45,000 families through a network of more than 460 advisors in 37 states.

Buckingham Strategic Wealth Announces 3rd Acquisition of 2023

Focus Financial Partners announced Friday it struck a deal to join Hausman Advisors, a registered investment adviser based in Hood River, Ore., with Focus partner firm Buckingham Strategic Wealth.

Founded in 2008 by Jason Smith and Karen Hausman Smith, Hausman primarily serves clients working in technical and scientific fields. The firm has been associated with Buckingham since 2012 through its partnership with Buckingham Strategic Partners, Buckingham’s affiliated turnkey asset management platform.

“Karen and I spent our early careers in the scientific arena,” Smith said in a statement. “We firmly believe this background enables us to provide differentiated perspectives to our clients, and tailor the life and financial planning that we do to their individual circumstances. We share Buckingham’s evidence-based investment philosophy and unwavering commitment to client service. That’s how we knew they would be an ideal fit for our firm.”

“We have had the pleasure of working with the Hausman team for the past decade and have a very strong relationship with them,” said Buckingham CEO Adam Birenbaum. “Both of our firms share a deep commitment to client service and evidence-based advice. For all of these reasons, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them join our advisory team. Their backgrounds add a unique element to their ability to serve their clients and we look forward to helping them grow their footprint in Northern Oregon.”

Founded in 1994, Buckingham Strategic Wealth currently manages more than $20 billion in assets, according to it’s latest Form ADV, across more than 40,000 client accounts. The St. Louis, Mo.-based firm has 50 offices nationwide.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

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