Savant sells minority stake in private equity firm Kelso

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    Savant Wealth Management by Brent Brodeski, a registered employee-owned investment advisor with nearly $ 12 billion in client assets, has announced its second private equity investment. The RIA announced on Thursday that the medium-sized private equity firm Kelso & Company will take a minority stake in the company. Brodeski, Founder and CEO, will retain full control of the company and the RIA’s current management team will continue to lead the company.

    Savant’s other investors, including private equity firm The Cynosure Group, a Salt Lake City-based firm affiliated with the Eccles family in Utah; Nonami Investments, an Atlanta-based company owned by the Cousins ​​family; and the Vlasic Group, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, will retain their positions with the company. As part of the transaction, 16 additional employees will be involved in Savant.

    As of June 2021, 70% of the company was owned by employees. Savant says it continues to be 100% employee controlled.

    “With over 90 employees, we have consolidated the Savant team to maintain long-term continuity for our customers,” said Brodeski. “Employee participation attracts important employees, binds and promotes incentives. In addition, external investors provide Savant with both capital and know-how. support our growth and keep us independent. ”

    Savant says this transaction is different from other private equity deals in the RIA space.

    “While most RIAs owned PE are heavily in debt, sold every two to five years and controlled or effectively controlled by their PE sponsor, Savant remains 100% employee controlled and has very limited debt,” said the company in a statement. “This gives employee owners, including acquired partners, the opportunity to benefit from regular dividends, increase their stake in the long term, and allow Savant to invest in the people, processes, technology and other skills that traditional PE-controlled companies often cannot justify given their shorter time horizon. “

    The capital structure is also designed so that the company can never be forced to sell itself or buy out outside investors. In addition, new partner firms can invest a significant portion of their equity in Savant’s, another differentiator from traditional private equity-backed firms.

    The Kelso deal will provide Savant with more growth capital and help expand its capabilities.

    Savant also announced this week that it has received an expanded credit facility from Truist Bank to fund future mergers and acquisitions.

    Earlier this summer, Savant announced its first acquisition in nearly a year and a half, and Brodeski said at the time that the company was preparing for more deals. In August, the company announced the acquisition of Treybourne Wealth Planners, an Indiana-based RIA with approximately $ 321 million in client assets.

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