Marty Bicknell and Steve Lockshin Join Forces as Leonard Green & Partners Invests in Mariner Wealth Advisors

July 20, 2021

Leading independent advisory firms Mariner Wealth Advisors and AdvicePeriod announce strategic merger to build a dominant client-centric, technology-enabled, fiduciary service provider of the future. 

Overland Park, Kan.– July 20, 2021 — Mariner Wealth Advisors and AdvicePeriod, two of the country’s leading independent advisory firms, are joining forces to build a dominant fiduciary advisory firm of the future, in a deal concurrent with an investment from private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners (LGP). 

Overland Park, Kansas-based Mariner Wealth Advisors signed a deal to acquire AdvicePeriod, which is based in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 30. Lockshin and the other AdvicePeriod equity holders will be exchanging their interests in AdvicePeriod for interests in the combined entity. The deal unites two innovative, forward-looking and client-centric fiduciary firms in the independent RIA space. The strategic merger will better enable the firms to serve clients of all sizes and facilitate: 

  • The development of innovative financial services technology 
  • The broadening of services to clients and advisors of all types  
  • Expansion and modernization of the firms’ trust-company services, including a specialized focus on private trust companies
  • Increased access to tax services and business management (bill payment, bookkeeping, financial statements and other financial services)
  • Launching of a law firm to better serve clients’ estate planning needs by transforming an antiquated business model with technology and improved processes

“Steve and I have collaborated frequently over the years and together we expect to create the integrated financial services firm of the future,” said Bicknell. “Our two companies each have a unique value proposition and when combined, we will strive to deliver exceptional value to our clients across the board.”

Under the deal, AdvicePeriod will retain its brand and Lockshin, Jonathan Straub and Marc Russell will remain AdvicePeriod’s principals. AdvicePeriod’s clients, advisors and team members should expect only positive changes, and in the coming months and years will enjoy improvements in technology and breadth of available financial expertise and services. 

“This is the ideal opportunity to paint on a bigger canvas and with more resources,” said Lockshin. “The united firm will continue to transform the industry by delivering solutions, transparency and technology that raise the bar for our clients and our peers.”

In addition to a more robust reach of capabilities, the acquisition of AdvicePeriod brings more choices to independent advisors looking to partner with a wealth advisory firm to help manage their business. Under Mariner Wealth Advisors’ Mariner Platform Solutions, advisors can assume a 1099 employment status with the firm, maintaining their own brand and business while getting support on the backend from a dependable partner. Additionally, AdvicePeriod for Advisors complements this feature, bringing advisors on as W2 employees under the AdvicePeriod brand while giving them the mobility to synthetically own and run their business under a trusted industry name. With this addition, Mariner Wealth Advisors now has two solutions for advisors who want to own and control their business.

The merger is the culmination of years of collaboration between Bicknell and Lockshin. The two industry innovators have co-invested in disruptive financial technology including account aggregation pioneer Quovo, (sold to Plaid in 2019), financial-planning innovator Advizr (sold to Orion in 2019), digital investment platform Betterment, direct-indexing firm Just Invest (sold to Vanguard), custodial platform Altruist and estate planning platform Vanilla. The acquisition is set to close on Aug. 31, 2021.

Fueled by the investment from LGP, Mariner Wealth Advisors is approaching 2021 as a year of growth with the goal of creating one of the largest national advisory firms in the United States. On July 8, the firm announced the addition of approximately $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) with the acquisition of Allegiant Private Advisors, a firm in Sarasota, Fla. AdvicePeriod is Mariner Wealth Advisors’ 25th acquisition.

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