Focus Financial Partners LLC, which in less than a year has expanded into one of the ten largest independent wealth management firms in the nation, has just gotten bigger.
   The New York City-based firm announced that it has acquired the wealth management firms of HoyleCohen Inc. of San Diego and Resnick Investment Advisors LLC of Westport, Conn.
   The addition of the two firms brings Focus Financial Partners' assets under management to $4.5 billion just six months after the company was founded by CEO Rudy Adolf.
   Adolf has set out to give the new firm a swift national presence through a series of acquisitions. Backing him in the plan has been       Summit Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm that provided Focus Financial with $35 million in financing at its founding.
Summit Partners, which has $9 billion under management, is the firm's lead investor.
   "We're not number one yet but we're getting there," Adolf said in a recent interview. "Our aspiration is crystal clear: Within a very short time frame we will be the leading independent fiduciary wealth management firm in the country."
   HoyleCohen was founded in 2002 through the merger of wealth management firms owned by Kevin Hoyle and Joseph Cohen. "We joined Focus for its unique model that maximizes the benefits of autonomy while benefiting from the resources, scale and best practices of a large national firm," Hoyle said.
   Martin Resnick, partner and managing director of Resnick Investment Advisors, said, "Through Focus we will be gaining access to the ideas and expertise of a network of highly respected wealth management firms across the country, which we believe will benefit our clients."
   In previous interviews, Adolf has said that each partner, or member firm, becomes a subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, sharing a portion of Focus Financial's profits while retaining control over its own client services and local business operations. Focus typically acquires 40% to 60% of a selling firm's ongoing economic interest in exchange for cash and an ownership position.
   Among the criteria Focus Financial uses in selecting acquisitions is that potential partners must act as fiduciaries, putting their clients' interests first, use a systematic and professional process for advice and planning, and provide services under a fee-based structure.
   The company's current plan is to target 30 to 50 acquisitions over the next three to five years.
   "There is a group of firms that has reached a level of scale, of professionalism in terms of client impact where, ultimately, our model can be very helpful in enabling these firms to reach their goals," said Adolf, a former partner at McKinsey and Company in New York and most recently senior vice president and general manager of the American Express Global Brokerage Banking Division.