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

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

Vestor Capital Partners LLC, an independent investment advisory firm founded by industry veteran Brian Baker, joined Focus Financial on October 1. The acquisition of Vestor marks the fifth transaction this year for Focus, which now has more than $52 billion in assets.

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

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

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

Those advisers provide wealth management services, including investment management, a range of financial planning and business succession services to high-net-worth clients.

Focus Financial now has 24 partner firms and affiliates. In addition to acquiring independent adviser teams, the firm has also benefited from the movement of experienced brokers going into 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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