The plan is expected to position the combined entity for continued growth and success by enabling it to offer advisors and their clients expanded resources, broader scale and an enhanced range of holistic financial planning capabilities, while providing a seamless succession roadmap for U.S. Wealth Management Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Napolitano. The two firms currently manage approximately $2bn in combined brokerage and advisory assets.
Effective immediately, IHT Founder and President Steven Dudash has joined the U.S. Wealth Management leadership team as Executive Vice President, Recruiting and Strategic Development. In this role, Mr Dudash will share best practices on advisor recruiting and practice acquisitions, and will focus on solutions tailored to help advisory firms build strong succession strategies. IHT expects to benefit from access to U.S. Wealth Management’s extensive business development and practice management platform, along with subject matter expertise in financial planning, estate planning and tax matters, among other areas.
Over the course of the process, IHT Wealth Management will purchase the equity of U.S. Wealth Management in stages, allowing both firms’ advisors and their clients to smoothly and seamlessly transition to the combined company structure. IHT currently has 28 advisors in its network, while the US Wealth Management network consists of 30 advisors. No other changes were announced regarding the management teams of the respective firms, their headquarters locations or other operational issues.
IHT Wealth Management Founder and President Steven Dudash, said: “The next several years will be a time of profound change for independent financial advisors. Evolving client expectations, industry consolidation and regulatory shifts such as the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule – among other factors – are expected to converge to create a difficult environment for firms that lack a critical mass of resources or the broad capabilities to serve the full range of clients’ needs. By combining our scale and expertise in helping advisors achieve their business and succession goals, our combined firm will offer the resources, flexibility and management insight to meet the challenges that lie ahead for independent advisors and their clients.”
U.S. Wealth Management Chairman and CEO John Napolitano,said: “While our firms currently manage over $2 billion in client assets, we are very much aware that the key factor that will differentiate firms in the years ahead will not be assets, but the ability to provide customized, thoughtful and comprehensive advice to meet the full spectrum of clients’ needs. The partnership and transitional plan we have announced today is evidence that we practice what we preach. This combination puts a stake in the ground stating that the USWM / IHT partnership is poised to help advisors elevate the service they provide to clients, and to offer business development and succession strategies that work.”
Mr Napolitano continued: “Looking further down the road, I could not have found a better successor to take the reins at U.S. Wealth Management when the time comes than Steven Dudash. Steve is 20 years younger than I am, and has built a team that demonstrates a unique gift for understanding the specific needs of each advisor and developing solutions to help them thrive. The IHT W-2 model – sometimes referred to as a ‘wirehouse lite’ model – is very appealing to advisors looking for more of an employment situation with benefits, and who don’t want the aggravation of opening their own office in order to be completely independent. We intend to implement that model immediately in selected U.S. Wealth Management locations. I am very excited for the future of our two combined firms.”
Mr Dudash concluded: “I am honored to have entered into this partnership with U.S. Wealth Management, and to be entrusted with a key role in the future of both of these exceptional firms. We are confident that the decades of management experience that John’s team brings, in addition to USWM’s robust resources, will enable us to offer the scale and broad combined capabilities that any firm needs to grow and prosper in this new age of wealth management.”