NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / November 9, 2020 / Focus Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:FOCS) ("Focus"), a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which preeminent wealth advisor Debra Brede will join Focus partner firm GW & Wade, LLC ("GW & Wade"), headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Debra Brede started her own business in 1990 to provide comprehensive investment and wealth management services to high net worth individuals and families as well as a range of institutional clients. Since then, she has become one of the most recognized advisors in the industry as a recipient of multiple awards, including Barron's 2020 List of America's Best Independent Advisors, Forbes' 2020 America's Top Wealth Advisors, Barron's 2019 Advisor Hall of Fame, 2020 Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers, Barron's 2020 Top Women Financial Advisors and Forbes' 2020 Top Women Wealth Advisors. Through this transaction, GW & Wade will increase its presence in Massachusetts and will benefit from Debra's strong brand in the Greater Boston area. Debra and her entire nine-person team, who are expected to join her at GW & Wade, will complement GW & Wade's talented advisors.
"We look forward to welcoming such a distinguished and reputable team to GW & Wade," said Roger Wade, Principal and Co-Founder of GW & Wade. "Debra and her team have created a sophisticated client offering that aligns with our own commitment to providing independent advice and highly tailored client services." Tim Pinch, Principal of GW & Wade, said, "We could not have found a better strategic fit to help us expand our presence in the Greater Boston area."
"I started in this business to ensure that the individual needs of each of my clients would always come first," said Debra. "Joining GW & Wade, one of the top wealth management firms in the area, allows me to continue serving my clients while also preserving the legacy and reputation that I have built over my 35-year career. My team and I will be able to leverage GW & Wade's platform for managing assets for successful individuals, as well as the firm's deep expertise, particularly in building sophisticated tax, financial, retirement and estate plans, and the breadth of its high-caliber team, thereby enhancing the services we offer to our clients."
"We are thrilled that Debra and her team will be joining GW & Wade," said Rudy Adolf, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Focus. "This transaction will expand GW & Wade's deep bench of talent. It will also further increase GW & Wade's scale and expand its footprint in the Northeast, which is a sophisticated and growing wealth management market.
"Talent acquisition is a central component of the value-add that we provide to our partner firms, particularly finding highly experienced advisors and teams who have a long track record of success in serving ultra-high and high net worth clients. This transaction is also an example of how the diversity of our partnership enables us to find the right match for founders seeking to transition their businesses. Focus' extensive network of industry relationships, combined with our successful track record in helping our partners build scale and accelerate their growth, are large competitive advantages."
About Focus Financial Partners
Focus Financial Partners Inc. is a leading partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms. Focus provides access to best practices, resources and continuity planning for its partner firms who serve individuals, families, employers and institutions with comprehensive wealth management services. Focus partner firms maintain their operational independence, while they benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices offered by Focus to achieve their business objectives. For more information about Focus, please visit focusfinancialpartners.com.
About GW & Wade, LLC
GW & Wade, LLC is an independently managed financial advisory firm headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with additional offices in Palo Alto, California and Reston, Virginia. Since 1986, GW & Wade has served successful individuals and their families, providing extensive expertise in tax planning, financial planning, asset management, retirement and estate planning. GW & Wade also provides equity compensation and tax planning services and seminars for the executive management teams of public and private companies. For more information about GW & Wade, please visit https://www.gwwade.com.
The Barron's rankings are based on data compiled from a 100-question survey applied to their formula. The formula features three major categories based on their 2Q numbers, including (1) assets, (2) revenue, and (3) quality of practice. To be considered for the rankings, firms must be SEC-registered and have a minimum AUM of $300 million.
The Forbes ranking of America's Top Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews and quantitative data. For those advisors that are considered have a minimum of seven years' experience, the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings.
About the Barron's 2019 Advisor Hall of Fame
Advisors appearing in Barron's Hall of Fame rankings have answered 100-plus questions about their practices in Barron's annual survey. The questionnaire addresses a wide range of data points, including the assets the advisors oversee, the revenue they collect on those assets, the industry designations they possess, their regulatory records, the length of time they've been in the industry, their charitable and philanthropic work, the investment vehicles they use to allocate assets, the sizes and shapes of their teams, and more.
The rankings specifically do not factor in investment performance, as returns are tied inextricably to the risk tolerances of individual clients; to reward outsize returns would be to encourage advisors to chase them. Instead, we use assets and revenue as our primary quantitative measures, as clients tend to express their satisfaction by voting with their assets and their fees.
The Financial Times and Ignites Research, the FT's sister company, (collectively, the "FT"), contacted the largest US brokerages in autumn 2019 to obtain practice information and data for their top advisers across the US. The FT asked for information on advisers with more than 10 years' experience and that had $300m or more in assets under management. The FT then invited qualifying advisers out of this group to complete a short questionnaire that gave the FT more information about their practices. The FT added that information to its own research on the candidates, including data from regulatory filings.
The formula the FT used to grade advisers was based on six broad factors and calculated a numeric score for each adviser. These factors were (1) assets under management, (2) assets under management growth rate, (3) years of experience, (4) compliance record, (5) industry certifications, and (6) online accessibility. Among the top factors in the FT's scoring, assets under management accounted for an average of 70% of each adviser's score. AUM growth rate (examined over a three-year period to June 30 2019) accounted for an average of 18%. The FT also places a cap on the number of advisers from any one state that corresponds to the distribution of millionaires across the US. The FT presents the FT 400 as an elite group, not a competitive ranking. The research was conducted for the Financial Times by Ignites Research, a sister publication.
Advisors who wish to be ranked complete a comprehensive application about their practice. Barron's verifies that data and applies its formula to generate a ranking based on assets, revenue, and quality of practice. Barron's intends these rankings to be a starting point for clients looking for an advisor a first-pass vetting that can help investors narrow a search.
The Forbes ranking of America's Top Women Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of: qualitative data, such as telephone and in-person interviews, a review of best practices, service and investing models, and compliance records; as well as quantitative data, like revenue trends and assets under management. All advisors have a minimum of seven years' experience. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings.
Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect Focus' current views with respect to certain current and future events. These forward-looking statements are and will be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to Focus' operations and business environment, including, without limitation, uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may cause future events to be materially different from these forward-looking statements or anything implied therein. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Focus on the date of this release. Focus does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any statements expressed or implied therein will not be realized. Additional information on risk factors that could affect Focus may be found in Focus' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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SOURCE: Focus Financial Partners Inc.