SMS Capital Management, Inc. Latest Mariner Wealth Advisors Acquisition

June 11, 2019

Purchase of SMS adds another Mariner Wealth Advisors’ team in the Houston metropolitan area

Overland Park, Kan. – June 11, 2019 – Mariner Wealth Advisors, the wealth advisory firm nationally ranked by Barron’s as a top three RIA Firm in 2018, 2017 and 20161, today announced it has entered into a binding agreement to make its seventh acquisition of the year, and the second in the Houston area.

SMS Capital Management, Inc. (SMS) was established in 2004 and is located in the Houston metropolitan area. The firm has more than $110 million assets under management as of their most recent ADV filing. SMS is led by its founder and principal Steven M. Sheldon. 

“We are incredibly excited to have made a second acquisition in the Houston area,” said Marty Bicknell, CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors. “Steven and his associate are the perfect complement to the team we already have in Houston. This was a natural fit, given we share the same philosophy of putting clients first by providing comprehensive wealth management to help them reach their unique goals.”

This is Mariner Wealth Advisors’ second foray into the Houston market. At the end of 2018, they announced the acquisition of Patriot Wealth Management. That deal closed on Jan. 1, 2019. 

According to Sheldon, “Mariner Wealth Advisors and SMS were founded with similar principles. I’m confident this partnership will provide us with more resources and time to concentrate on helping our clients reach their goals today and in the future.”

In 2018, Marty Bicknell announced the firm’s national expansion plans, with a goal of acquiring several leading firms each year and green-fielding new office locations in targeted markets. As a result, the firm has acquired:

  • Patriot Wealth Management (Houston, Texas, joined Jan. 1, 2019)
  • Martin Financial Group (New Albany, Ind., joined Feb. 1, 2019)
  • RTB Consulting, LLC (Cincinnati, Ohio, joined Feb. 11, 2019)
  • Foundations Wealth Management (Sioux Falls, S.D., joined March 11, 2019)
  • Authent Advisors (Corte Madera, Calif., joined April 1, 2019)
  • Singer Xenos Schechter Sosler (Coral Gables, Fla., joined May 31, 2019)

Bicknell says they could complete up to five more acquisitions by the end of the year. 

Barron’s awarded the 2019 #4 and 2018 #3 Top RIA Firms rankings to Mariner Wealth Advisors based on data compiled for Mariner Wealth Advisors and the 2017 #2 and 2016 #1 rankings to Mariner Holdings based upon data compiled for Mariner Holdings’ registered investment adviser subsidiaries. The number of firms included in the rankings were: 20 (2016), 30 (2017), 40 (2018) and 50 (2019).  Barron’s publishes rankings based upon a number of criteria and the firms’ filings with the SEC were used to cross-check the data provided. The listing includes numbers of clients, employees, advisors, offices and state locations. The award is not indicative of future performance and there is no guarantee of future investment success. For additional information visit

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