Merit Financial Advisors today announced that it has expanded its presence in Connecticut with the acquisition of two teams with a combined total of $277 million in client assets.

The acquisitions of Cepones Financial Group (CFG) and Brook Wealth Management, LLC (BWM) were finalized on August 5 and August 26, respectively, the company said. Financial and legal terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The firms are a part of LPL Financial’s custodial platform.

Based in Ridgefield, CFG is led by managing member Christopher Ceponis, who has been in the industry since 1989, according to BrokerCheck. The firm specializes in retirement, investment, tax, educational, business, executive compensation, long-term care, and insurance planning. It manages about $174 million in client assets.

“I’m thrilled our team is joining forces with Merit Financial Advisors,” Ceponis said in a statement, noting that his firm evaluated many potential partners before deciding on Merit. “Their approach and philosophy closely align with our own, and the transition will provide our team access to the deep reservoir of resources Merit offers. This partnership will enhance our deliverables to clients and allow us more time to personally connect with them."

BWM, based in Rocky Hill, is led by Daryl  LePage, who has been in the industry since 1992. The firm specializes in wealth building, retirement and estate planning, risk management and tax planning. It manages about $103 million in client assets.

“Our team is excited to become part of the Merit family,” LePage said. “The merger will enhance the offerings for our clients, as well as streamline and centralize back-office operations.  Merit’s overall culture and client-centric approach mirrors our own, and we are proud to represent them as they expand their resources and services in the Connecticut region.”

David Brounley, regional director of Merit, noted that Connecticut has been an important focus of Merit. “Christopher and Daryl bring an incredible wealth of financial acumen and strong ties to the community, and we are eager to provide them with the support they need to continue to grow and serve their clients,” he added.

CFG and BWM are Merit’s ninth and 10th acquisitions since taking a minority investment in December 2020 from Wealth Partners Capital Group and a group of strategic investors led by HGGC, leveraging its Aspire Holdings platform. The deals also come on the heels of the acquisition of Wisconsin-based Mersberger Financial Group less than two weeks ago, which added $830 million in assets under management and $489 million in assets under advisement for Merit. 

Atlanta-based Merit has 28 offices throughout the U.S. and managed $6.1 billion in assets as of April 30 ($4.34 billion in advisory, $1.69 billion in brokerage assets and $92 million in assets under advisement). 


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