Dorsey, Wright & Associates LLC, an independent registered advisory firm in Richmond, Va., will be acquired by Nasdaq, a smart beta index provider, during the first quarter of this year, Nasdaq announced Monday.

DWA, a provider of data analytics, passive indexing and smart-beta strategies, will add to Nasdaq’s index portfolio, bringing model-based strategies and analysis to support the financial advisor community, Nasdaq says.

DWA will increase Nasdaq’s capacity for growth in the index business across asset classes and geographies, bringing together DWA’s 17 ETFs and Nasdaq’s 69 licensed smart-beta ETFs focused primarily on dividend and income strategies, Nasdaq says. Nasdaq will then have nearly $45 billion in assets benchmarked to its family of smart-beta indexes and more than $105 billion benchmarked to all Nasdaq indexes.

"Our index business has been a strong growth area for Nasdaq over the last decade, and the acquisition of Dorsey Wright & Associates will further cement our position as a major player and industry innovator," says Adena Friedman, Nasdaq president.

Nasdaq will acquire DWA for $225 million funded through a mix of debt and cash on hand. Nasdaq intends to fuel DWA’s growth strategy by accelerating product development, raising awareness of the DWA indexes and increasing the base of potential market participants through its global distribution network.

"Smart beta represents one of the fastest-growing sectors within the ETF market," said Tom Dorsey, president of DWA. “This deal will allow us to grow significantly.”