Kestra Financial, a financial services firm based in Austin, Texas, is aggressively seeking RIAs to acquire and has created a subsidiary firm to help it accomplish that goal.

Bluespring Wealth Partners has been formed to assist Kestra in identifying RIAs to acquire and assisting those firms with succession planning, said Stuart Silverman, Bluespring’s president.

“We have lofty plans to grow quickly,” Silverman said. “There is a lot of activity for buying and selling firms, and we think we have built out a value proposition that can attract high-end wealth management firms.” Kestra is looking for firms with at least $1 million in earnings in which it can acquire stakes of 51% or higher. Some of the acquired firms will become hubs for Kestra. No goal has been set for the number of acquisitions, Silverman added.

“We’ve studied the space. A lot of financial business owners are in their mid-50s or 60s, and they have built their business a little at a time, but many have not found successors,” he said.

Bluespring provides flexibility for the second-generation owners and will help the founders make sure both employees and clients are provided for, he added.

Silverman, who has developed and sold four businesses himself, will work with John Vanderheyden, Bluespring’s COO, in acquisition activity. Vanderheyden was executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Kestra Financial and previously served as senior vice president of the project management office at Fidelity Investments. Silverman founded Fusion Advisor Network, a wealth management organization that supported more than 200 independent advisors and $10 billion in assets under administration; that firm was acquired by Kestra in 2012. Since then, he has served as chairman emeritus at Kestra Financial.

Bluespring will work with its acquired firms to identify, train and develop future talent and successors through its Successor Academy. The academy is designed to provide successors with the coaching and preparation to take on the responsibility of managing a wealth management firm and ensure a smooth transition for founders, clients and staff, Bluespring said.

In addition, Bluespring will provide capital and industry expertise to help fully acquired or partially acquired firms grow through sub-acquisitions. It also will analyze the acquired businesses to identify potential cost savings in areas such as technology, operations and marketing to enhance a firm’s value so the founder can maximize the value of the buyout.

“With a culture rich in independence and entrepreneurship, it’s only natural for Kestra Financial to establish a separate business concentrated on streamlining advisor succession planning,” said James Poer, Kestra’s CEO. “Bluespring Wealth will help advisors both within and outside of our network elevate their businesses to the next level of growth.”

Silverman said, “I understand personally what it feels like to step away from a business you’ve worked your entire career to build. At Bluespring Wealth, we ensure a lasting legacy for advisors looking to exit the business through strategic partnerships.”