Focus Financial Partners announced an agreement to merge two advisor firms in its network: Wellesley, Mass.-base GW & Wade and the Colony Group, which is one of Focus Financial's biggest partner firms. Many expect Focus to continue to look for ways to streamline its numerous partners fto achieve greater efficiencies, in all likelihood through more mergers.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter, is Focus's second intra-partnership merger and will combine GW & Wade’s $10.4 billion AUM with Colony’s $21.1 billion AUM, the release said. GW & Wade will operate as GW & Wade at The Colony Group when the deal closes, Focus Financial said.

In January, Focus named Colony Group CEO Michael Nathanson as president of Focus and another of its network leaders, Mitch Kovitz, principal, founder and co-chief investment officer at Chicago-based Kovitz, as vice chairman. The moves signaled “a new era of strategic and financial growth,” Focus said at the time, noting that both Kovitz and Nathanson will continue in their current positions at their respective firms.

GW & Wade, which joined Focus in 2007, is led by principals Roger Wade and Tim Pinch. The firm focuses on tax planning, financial planning, asset management, and retirement and estate planning, the release said.

“We strive to have a positive impact on the lives of our clients and to help them achieve their financial goals, and we pride ourselves on developing long-lasting relationships built on trust,” Wade said in a statement.

Added Pinch, “We know [Colony Group CEO] Michael Nathanson and the Colony team share these values, which is one of several reasons we are excited to join forces with another industry leader in wealth management."

Nathanson said it’s important for Focus to continue to enhance its teams and services for clients. “Over the years, Focus has become home to many outstanding wealth management firms, and it is exciting to see two of them joining forces," he said. "We expect that, through opportunistic mergers such as this one, Focus will continue to facilitate the accelerated evolution of firms that choose such a path."

Focus, in August 2023, closed a deal in which it was sold to private equity firms Clayton, Dubilier and Rice and Stone Point Capital for more than $7 billion in cash, a deal which took the firm private.

All three of the firm’s founders, former CEO Rudy Adolf, former COO Rajini Kodialam and former head of M&A Lenny Chang, have since left.