Fresh off the wire this morning (4/11/18), Orion Advisor Services’ parent company Northstar Financial has announced the pending acquisition of FTJ Funchoice, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor with over $10B in AUM, which according to their website, is a “leading provider of investment, reporting and service solutions.” Their offerings for advisors include customized proposals, flexible trading, online access & reporting and personalized billing. Their Portfolio Target offering provides advisors white label digital & automated portfolio management solutions, enabling them to compete with the online robo-advisor segment.
We have seen a number of high profile acquisitions in the wealthtech space in this past year, including acquisitions by SS&C, AdvisorEngine and others, and are sure this is a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, Northstar has evolved into a very interesting and forward-thinking leader in institutional finance. They now own both asset management and servicing businesses that cover a wide swath of the institutional space including Orion Advisor Services, Gemini Hedge Fund Services & Alternatives Funds, CLS Investment Services, Northern Lights Disributors & Compliance Services, and now FTJ Fundchoice.
FTJ has been a longtime technology partner with Orion – the new integration should only deepen their shared product offering to advisors moving forward. Smart move.
“OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NorthStar Financial Services Group, LLC—the parent company of Orion Advisor Services, LLC, CLS Investments, LLC, and other leading financial services firms—announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FTJ FundChoice, LLC, a national turnkey asset management firm with approximately $10 billion in assets under administration. NorthStar, a portfolio company of TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, will acquire FTJ FundChoice from Seaport Capital, a middle market private equity firm. This acquisition highlights both companies’ shared mission to help financial advisors enhance their service to clients, increase their operational efficiencies, and expand their businesses with freedom and flexibility.
With the addition of FTJ FundChoice’s platform to its list of existing capabilities, NorthStar will be able to accelerate the development of complementary solutions for the thousands of financial firms and advisors it supports today. Among those first to benefit will be advisors using Orion, through an integration enabling access to FTJ FundChoice’s Managed Account capabilities directly within the Orion Communities platform.
“We’re thrilled to welcome FTJ FundChoice and its clients into the NorthStar family,” said Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion. “Orion has been FTJ FundChoice’s technology partner for the past decade, and we look forward to expanding our relationship to further help the advisors, firms, and enterprises FTJ FundChoice supports.”
FTJ FundChoice will continue to operate within the same structure that earned its success to date; proceed on the accelerated growth trajectory that enabled the firm to realize more than 35 percent compounded annual growth in assets under administration over the past two years; and remain focused on serving a wide range of investment advisors, while reaping the benefits of increased access to technology. In addition, Dean Cook will continue to lead FTJ FundChoice as President and CEO.
“Our affiliation with NorthStar, and its commitment to delivering best in class technology and services to its customers, only supports FTJ FundChoice’s plans for aggressive growth and innovation,” said Cook. “We have a long track record with many of NorthStar’s thousands of clients and hope to extend our growth within that user-base, while also deepening and expanding our many relationships beyond the NorthStar footprint.”
“Sophisticated financial advisors have high expectations of their technology partners,” said M. Roy Burns, a Managing Director of TA Associates. “We think the acquisition of FTJ FundChoice will accelerate NorthStar’s ability to serve advisors’ needs with a complete, fully-integrated solution, while also enhancing each firm’s efforts to grow independently. TA is pleased to support NorthStar in this acquisition.”
Seaport Capital Partner Bob Tamashunas added, “FTJ FundChoice’s incredible growth in recent years is in many ways due to not only the investment in new products, but also the attentive and responsive service organization that has resonated with the company’s customer base and market. We want to thank Dean and the entire FTJ FundChoice team and wish them the greatest success in the next exciting chapter for them and the company.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Additional terms were not disclosed.”