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  • Writer's pictureKevin Elvington

How Stratos can become an M&A player

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

The $16bn firm's chief executive, Jeff Concepcion, explains how its recent investment from Emigrant Partners gives it acquisition firepower.

Roughly five months after its deal with Emigrant Partners, Stratos Wealth

Holdings’ deal making business has never been busier.

‘On the M&A front, we have more offer letters out now than we’ve ever had —

and they’re with bigger firms,’ said Jeff Concepcion (pictured), Stratos’ chief

executive. ‘We’re as active as we’ve ever been there in part because the pipeline

was great — we’re literally receiving inbound calls occasionally —and then

we’re probably a teeny bit bolder to be willing to do more because of Emigrant

coming on as a partner.’

Emigrant, a serial minority investor in RIAs, took a stake of undisclosed size in

Stratos on April 1. Stratos oversees roughly $16bn in assets through all of its

business lines, which includes several different affiliation options.

Stratos’ largest operation is Stratos Wealth Partners, an LPL-affiliated hybrid

RIA. The firm also maintains Stratos Wealth Advisors, a traditional RIA for fee-

only advisors who want to custody their assets with a firm like Fidelity or

Charles Schwab; Stratos Wealth Enterprises, an RIA acquisition vehicle, and

Fundamentum, an in-house asset manager.

Emigrant plans to help fund Stratos’ future acquisitions. Emigrant’s backing

gives Stratos the latitude to go after more prominent transactions, Concepcion


‘Had we not [taken the investment], the recruiting would be what it is, the M&A

efforts would be what they are, but we probably would have to be more selective

and walk away from some good deals because we might be hesitant to transact

too much without knowing we have those resources behind us,’ he said.

Stratos’ traditional advisor recruiting arm, which lifts out advisors from

brokerage firms and hybrid RIAs, has also been busy in recent months. In

August, the firm added a $375m team from Wells Fargo’s FiNet in Scottsdale,

Ariz. Stratos has also added $209m ex-JP Morgan advisor Samer Hilal and

$47m ex-Raymond James advisor Rob Apple to its ranks, among others.

‘I don’t think it’s unrealistic for us to have a couple billion in new assets joining

the platform separate and apart from any investments or acquisitions that we

make,’ Concepcion said

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