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Wescott Financial Advisory Group Acquires Merck-focused Asset Planning Services (APS), Marking Strategic Advancement of Independent RIAs

·6 min read

Combination Sparks the Rise of the Co-Operative Independents and Positions Wescott for Next-Generation Success

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wescott Financial Advisory Group ("Wescott"), a leading independent registered investment advisory (RIA) and wealth management firm, today announced it has agreed to acquire Asset Planning Services ("APS"), a fee-only, multi-faceted wealth management firm with a unique service offering. With the majority of their client base comprised of current and retired Merck* executives and other pharmaceutical executives and their families, APS offers these clients a specialized planning solution where they, and their financial goals, directly benefit from the team's intrinsic knowledge of Merck's complex compensation packages, as they have been since 1987. APS currently manages $800 million in assets, bringing Wescott's total AUM to $3.5 billion following the completion of the transaction.

Together, Wescott and APS will continue to create and develop innovative services for their clients and team. With their individual legacies of superior client service, dedication to advancing the wealth management profession and commitment to bettering their communities, both firms will carry forth the shared values and vision that has led to 30+ years of respective success.

"APS joining our strategic enterprise brings to the forefront the growing importance of options for firms as they search for a platform company that offers attractive alternatives to some of the larger acquirers," said Grant Rawdin, Wescott Founder and CEO. "While the RIA industry has experienced significant consolidation over the past few years, firms like APS are looking for a partner who will offer them the scale, infrastructure, professional management, technology, institutional knowledge and benefits they need, while also giving them the opportunity to remain an influential voice within a combined firm. Wescott was able to offer APS a combination of liquidity and continued participation in the growth of our entrepreneurial enterprise."

"We're proud to be joining with APS, sparking the rise of co-operative independents, and look forward to collaborating on new initiatives and visionary offerings to remain on the forefront of wealth management," Rawdin continued.

Since its founding in 1987, Wescott's core values of compassion, empathy and equity have played an influential role in every aspect of the firm's success: an exceptional team with NextGen talent that provide high-touch services, a sophisticated client base, a customized digital and financial planning platform (myWescottVault®, Entrada®, PerfectScore®; Wescott Trust Services) and a deep-rooted philanthropic commitment. Recognized as a Certified B Corp, Philadelphia Business Journal's Best Places to Work #1 Small Company, B Corp's Best for the World: Workers Category, along with many industry and national professional accolades, these values and achievements are key elements as to why APS chose Wescott to be their platform firm.

"We are incredibly excited for this next chapter in our company's journey. As we began our search for a firm to unite with to ensure long-term success and stability for our clients and staff, our leadership group considered a spectrum of models. My greatest concern was that our identity and voice would disappear, and we would simply be additional AUM on their ADV. It wasn't about the big guys and what they have to offer," said Rick Volpe, Founder and President of APS. "When we met with Wescott, there was an immediate feeling of camaraderie and mutual respect. I welcomed the idea of merging with such a highly respected independent firm where I, and my APS team, could continue to make a direct contribution to future successes. Here, our voices and expertise will matter."

"This combination will strengthen the high-quality services and support we provide our team and clients. We look forward to merging our complementary offerings, innovating together and leveraging shared successes to deliver wealth management solutions for all our clients," continued Volpe.

APS Founder and President, Rick Volpe, will lead the Charitable and Estate Planning division of Wescott, remain in charge of the Harleysville office and join Wescott leadership. Sean Roberts will become Chief Investment Strategist, with other members of the APS team assuming similar roles and responsibilities at Wescott. APS' rich legacy of specialized planning expertise and customized resources supporting Merck* clients and their families will remain an important component and solution in the combined firm.

For this transaction, Duane Morris LLP served as legal counsel to Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC, while Morgan Lewis LLP served as legal counsel to Asset Planning Services LTD. (APS). FP Transitions also represented the seller. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. For more information, please visit www.wescott.com.

*The use of Merck's name is neither a testimonial nor endorsement of APS, or APS' wealth management services, by Merck & Co., Inc. ("Merck"), or any current or former employee of Merck. Additionally, Merck does not recommend, employ, or contract with APS to provide these services to Merck, or any of its employees. Merck's name is strictly used to identify APS' selective client niche, as determined solely by APS. APS also works with clients employed at other firms besides Merck, our primary focus is building relationships and sharing our more concentrated knowledge exclusively about, and for, Merck executives/retirees and their families, when selected to do so by those individuals.

About Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC
Wescott Financial Advisory Group has a 34-year track record as one of the top wealth management firms in the nation. Wescott is one of Barron's Top 5 advisory firms in Pennsylvania (2021), for the eighth consecutive year, and one of Barron's Top 40 Independent Financial Advisory firms in the U.S. (2021). In 2019, Wescott was inducted into Barron's Hall of Fame, a recognition given to those who have appeared on their Top 100 Advisor lists for ten, or more, consecutive years. The firm has also been recognized by Forbes as their #3 Private Wealth firm in Pennsylvania on their 2021 Best-in-State list, along with being the Philadelphia Business Journal's #1 Small Company (2021 Best Places to Work). A Certified B Corp, the firm was named a 2021 Best for the World Company: Workers category. Wescott's team of experts hold some of the industry's top designations, including certified financial planners, CPAs, CFAs, MBAs, JDs, and Ph.D.s, and have substantive backgrounds in investments, financial planning, law, family counseling, staff psychology and taxation. Along with Wescott's unique Life-Minded Wealth® approach, this expertise helps our team develop strategic plans for clients' wealth, focusing on the financial and emotional needs in the decision-making process. Founded in 1987, Wescott has offices in Philadelphia, Fort Washington and Miami. For more information, visit www.wescott.com and follow them on LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Asset Planning Services, LTD.
Asset Planning Services is a fee-only, multi-faceted wealth management firm that provides clients with practical guidance for the accumulation, preservation, and distribution of wealth. Founded in 1987 and based in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, APS has a family office and team-based approach to wealth management. APS offers the dedicated attention and direct accountability of a group of experienced professionals rather than the narrower viewpoint of a single advisor. By taking a fully integrated approach to wealth management, APS seeks to improve financial security and peace of mind beyond mere investment performance. The objective of this approach is to provide broader perspectives to help empower clients to make prudent life decisions based on customized plans. For more information, visit www.assetplanningservices.com/.


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SOURCE Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC