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Mariner Wealth Acquires LPL Affiliate

Business Growth Strategies

Expanding the firm’s advisor network and broadening its platform offerings, Mariner Wealth Advisors announced July 19 that it is acquiring The Financial Services Network and its $26 billion in AUA.   

Founded in 1984 and based in Sacramento, CA, “The Network” has evolved over the years as an OSJ, RIA firm, providing a range of administrative, consulting, compliance and operational services. Led by Daxs Stadjuhar, Christopher Mercado and Jeremy Olen, The Network currently has more than 400 independent financial advisors in 20 states. 

The acquisition will expand the reach of Mariner Platform Solutions, an affiliate of Mariner Wealth Advisors that offers a suite of resources to independent financial advisors who seek to scale their businesses and focus on serving their clients. 

The organization will also continue its strategic relationship with independent broker dealer and RIA custodian LPL Financial, which supports nearly 20,000 financial advisors and approximately 800 institution-based investment programs and 500 independent RIA firms nationwide.

“We launched Mariner Platform Solutions in 2020 to free independent advisors from back-office responsibilities and return them to what they do best: providing world-class financial guidance to their clients,” Marty Bicknell, CEO and President of Mariner Wealth Advisors, said in a statement. “Today is a win for advisors who seek to spend more time advising their clients and growing their business, and less time managing the day-to-day operations.” 

After the deal closes, The Network will rebrand as Mariner Advisor Network with a focus on bolstering the firm’s core offerings of fintech, portfolio consulting, compliance and operations, virtual administration services, and mergers and acquisitions support. 

The Network’s executive leadership team will remain in place and has been asked to lead the combined business offering, continuing the integration of resources and strategically expanding capabilities, the announcement explains.  

“From the day we met the Mariner team, it was clear that we shared the same advisor-centric mission and passion for helping advisors excel as business owners,” stated Mercado. “The complementary nature of our expertise, solutions and advisor-centric philosophy will accelerate the expansion of our network, broaden the scope of how we work with advisors, and help advisors overcome the traditional impediments to growth.”

Since its inception in 2020, Mariner Platform Solutions has partnered with 33 firms with AUM totaling $2.6 billion and has over 66 advisors and 22 brands leveraging its resources. The acquisition of The Network will add more than 400 advisors and more than 50 associates. Founded in 2006 with $300 million in AUA, Mariner Wealth Advisors and its affiliates now advise on over $60 billion.  

“It’s exciting when you get the chance to align your organization with a firm that shares the same vision and principles for taking care of advisors so they can take better care of their clients,” said Matthew Enyedi, Managing Director of LPL Financial. “Through our partnership with The Network and our new relationship with Mariner Wealth Advisors, we are helping advisors choose the business model, services and technology that empower them to run a highly efficient and scalable practice.”

After closing 14 acquisitions in 2021, Mariner Wealth so far in 2022 has announced deals with Corbenic Partners; Taylor Wealth Management Partners; Emerson Wealth, LLC; and Arbor Wealth Management.