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  • Writer's pictureKevin Elvington

Stratos buys controlling stake in $4bn Mexican wealth manager

ByIan Wenik28 Feb, 2022

RIA giant Stratos Wealth Holdings has acquired a majority stake in NSC Asesores, a wealth manager headquartered in Mexico City which manages roughly $4bn in client assets.

Specific financial terms of the transaction, which closed on February 22, were not disclosed. Stratos will own 50.1% of the company. NSC’s management will own 30%, while Swiss bank Julius Baer — which sold the bulk of its stake to Stratos — will own 19.9%.

Julius Baer has backed NSC Asesores since 2015, when it took a 40% stake in the company. In 2019, it bought an additional 30%.

Stratos, which is headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, Ohio, oversees $22bn in client assets across a handful of corporate entities. The company is minority-backed by Emigrant Partners, a serial investor in RIAs.

‘The partnership that we have with Emigrant certainly gave us the confidence and support to examine something that’s this size and complexity and be comfortable moving forward,’ said Stratos chief executive Jeff Concepcion (pictured).

Stratos plans to allow NSC Asesores to retain its brand identity and operate autonomously as a standalone company. ‘There won’t be any integration,’ Concepcion said.

Though some RIAs have grown by targeting foreign clients or even through launching offices abroad, Stratos executives indicated the company will take a more circumspect approach to international expansion.

‘It was very much opportunistic,’ Stratos president Lou Camacho said. ‘We do not necessarily have any plans to expand in Mexico or Latin America. It’s certainly possible through NSC, but there are no plans for Stratos to directly invest in any additional shops outside of the US market.’

Stratos has four key holdings under its umbrella, its largest being hybrid RIA Stratos Wealth Partners, an affiliate of independent broker-dealer LPL Financial. Other companies include 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.

The NSC Asesores deal adds a fifth company: NSC US Holdings, a new US-based vehicle.

Emigrant Partners has backed Stratos since 2020. The Emigrant Bank affiliate helped Stratos finance the NSC Asesores transaction.

‘The new partnership between Stratos and NSC along with Emigrant Partners and Julius Baer is an exciting one that I expect will yield amazing results for all,’ said Emigrant Partners chief executive Karl Heckenberg.

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