The acquisition of WIS is touted to be a strategic move for Atria Wealth Solutions in the fast-changing wealth management space

Atria Wealth

Image: Atria Wealth Solutions to acquire California-based wealth management firm. Photo: Courtesy of rawpixel/Pixabay

Atria Wealth Solutions, a New York-headquartered multi-channel wealth management company, has agreed to acquire Western International Securities (WIS), an independent broker-dealer, for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 1995 in Pasadena, California, Western International Securities is claimed to be serving more than 400 independent financial advisors and has $13bn in assets under administration.

The acquisition of WIS for Atria represents a strategic move towards delivering an industry-leading offering in a fast-changing independent wealth management space.

WIS offers a wide range of investment solutions such as stocks, bonds, asset management services, retirement accounts, alternative investments, unit investment trusts, cash management and insurance services.

WIS’ clearing partnerships could expand Atria’s solution for financial advisors

WIS also serves independent financial advisors in a variety of models, including affiliation through a turnkey branch solution offering professional office space, integrated technology and dedicated support staff. Furthermore, the clearing partnerships of WIS are expected to expand Atria’s solution set for financial advisors.

Atria Wealth Solutions CEO and founding partner Doug Ketterer said: “We are very excited to announce our agreement to acquire WIS. This is an incredibly strategic acquisition for our firm. The amount of change impacting our industry today is unprecedented and driven externally by the end-client and internally by financial advisors. It is clear that each constituent wants optionality.

“We are seeing a greater number of advisors who want independence, but, at the same time, they don’t want to spend time on the array of decisions that come with this choice like finding an office, selecting technology and hiring support staff. Our new partnership with WIS will allow us to meet this growing demand.”

Western International Securities CEO Don Bizub said: “WIS has always been about providing a differentiated advisor experience. Our sole purpose is to delight our financial advisors. Atria’s unique and innovative team shares those values.

“By partnering with Atria, we’re able to take full advantage of their advanced technology, robust product partner lineup and vast operational support network to greatly accelerate the evolution of our offering much faster than we could ever do on our own. Because our industry is changing so rapidly, I’m thrilled to be partnering with such an innovative team who can move quickly, unencumbered by legacy platforms.”

WIS is the fifth broker-dealer to be acquired by Atria since 2017. This June, the company acquired NEXT Financial Group, a wealth management firm based in Houston, Texas. The firm has $13bn in assets under management through 500 independent advisors.