Equitable, a subsidiary of the publicly traded financial services company Equitable Holdings, announced this week that it has acquired Penn Investment Advisors, a registered investment advisor and subsidiary of Penn Community Bank.
Headquartered in Bucks County, Pa., Penn Investment Advisors has $600 million in assets under administration across 950 clients. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, were not disclosed.
Alongside Equitable Holdings’ franchise AllianceBernstein, which provides asset management, investment products and related services, Equitable offers financial advice, insurance and retirement services. The acquisition is part of Equitable’s strategy to grow its wealth management business, Equitable Advisors, which oversees $70.8 billion in assets through its broker/dealer and registered investment advisor. Penn will join the corporate RIA, bringing its total share of AUA to around $28.5 billion.
“The areas where we would be interested [in growing though mergers and acquisitions] would, of course, be on wealth management,” Equitable Holdings CEO Mark Pearson said during the company’s quarterly earnings call on Aug. 4. “That’s an area which supports our low capital-intense strategy and something where we have a very solid unit to date.”
As part of the transaction, Penn’s team of financial advisors will join Equitable and continue to provide wealth management and advisory services to existing Penn and Penn Community Bank clients.
“Navigating a complicated, ever-changing investment landscape gets much easier when you have the right financial partner on your side,” said Penn President Christian Wagner. “It was critical for us to partner with a wealth management firm with a client-first culture that could provide a seamless transition for our clients and advisors at Penn Investment Advisors.”
“Equitable’s value proposition for RIAs and wealth management firms resonates loudly in the marketplace,” said Equitable Chairman David Karr. “We will continue to focus on growing organically and through strategic acquisitions as part of our robust growth strategy.”
David Fleisher, co-head of Equitable Advisors’ Philadelphia market, will oversee the new venture. The long-term relationship with Penn Community Bank represents Equitable’s second exclusive banking relationship in the Philadelphia market. The first was with Firstrust Financial Resources, which joined the firm in 2016.