Verdence Capital Advisors LLC has big growth plans, and the registered investment advisor took a step in that direction with today’s announcement that it has received a minority investment from Emigrant Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Verdence Capital, a Hunt Valley, Md.-based private wealth advisory and multifamily office firm with roughly $3 billion in assets under management, serves high-net-worth families, business owners, executives, and professional athletes and entertainers. The firm was created in 2012 as Kelly Wealth Management and five years later became Verdence Capital Advisors after it left Hightower Advisors.

“Verdence” is of Latin derivation and denotes the concept of “true independence,” explained company CEO Leo Kelly.

Emigrant Partners is a subsidiary of New York Private Bank & Trust, which is led by billionaire Howard Milstein. Its operating bank, Emigrant Bank, is billed as one of the nation’s largest privately held, family owned and operated banks.

In previous interviews with Financial Advisor, Karl Heckenberg, CEO of Emigrant Partners, said Emigrant seeks to become a minority-capital partner at profitable RIA firms with proven track records of organic growth not fueled by market gains. In those interviews, he noted that his firm offers a dual value proposition to RIAs. One is the financial backing provided by parent company New York Private Bank & Trust. The other is its advisory business that can help firms on best practices and technology.

Kelly said Verdence plans to use Emigrant’s capital to build out its existing platform by hiring staff and expanding its technology, investment and planning capabilities, along with its Verdence Family family office service. The firm currently has 32 employees, including an office in Alexandria, Va., and a client relationship manager in Los Angeles who’s focused on clients in the sports and entertainment fields.

In addition, Verdence plans to leverage its partnership with Emigrant to establish a national footprint in the advisory space. “We’ve created a scalable platform, and now we want to expand through the M&A market and use the infrastructure we’ve built to grow other teams around the country,” Kelly said.

Expansion Plans
Kelly noted that Verdence’s expansion goals aren’t about growth for growth’s sake. For starters, they look for people who mesh with his firm's culture.

"We'll try to find individuals or organizations that have a growth mentality and want to align themselves with a hyper-collaborative culture so they can grow beyond their current capability,” he explained.

“What we love to hear from folks is, ‘I’ve taken this as far as I can, now I need help.’ When we find those type of opportunities and put them into our platform and collaborate with them, we feel like we can organically grow those organizations through the proven method that we’ve grown with,” he added.

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