ON THE MOVE-Focus Financial adds adviser team with $500 mln in assets


Oct 11 (Reuters) - Focus Financial Partners LLC, a firm thathas expanded by acquiring independent adviser teams across theUnited States, said on Th ursday it added a Chicago-based groupwith more than $500 million in client assets.

Vestor Capital Partners LLC, an independent investmentadvisory firm founded by industry veteran Brian Baker, joinedFocus Financial on October 1. The acquisition of Vestor marksthe fifth transaction this year for Focus, which now has morethan $52 billion in assets.

Focus Financial's founder, Rudy Adolf, said in an interviewthat he has seen a lot more interest from independent advisoryfirms like Vestor Capital that come with an already establishedbook of business and want to expand.

"They are set up on a platform to both integrate smallerbrokers and also bring in smaller RIAs (registered investmentadvisory firms)," Adolf said, referring to the potential forteams to merge with or acquire other adviser groups.

Baker, a licensed attorney and certified public accountant,founded Vestor Capital in 1984. The group, which currentlyincludes seven advisers, has clients primarily based in theChicago area.

Those advisers provide wealth management services, includinginvestment management, a range of financial planning andbusiness succession services to high-net-worth clients.

Focus Financial now has 24 partner firms and affiliates. Inaddition to acquiring independent adviser teams, the firm hasalso benefited from the movement of experienced brokers goinginto business for themselves.

"We expect to see an acceleration of the current trend,"Adolf said. "2012 probably will be, or have a good chance to be,the most successful year of assets moving."

(Reporting by Ashley Lau; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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