Savant Wealth Management, the $25 billion AUM giant RIA from Rockford, Ill., rang in the new year by announcing it had opened its first office in Florida after its deal to acquire FirstWave Financial, an RIA in Satellite Beach with $440 million in assets. The deal closed on the last day of 2023, said Savant in a statement. The terms were not disclosed.

FirstWave is led by Laura Chiesman, who oversees 14 employees, according to the announcement by Savant. Chiesman is co-author of a tract on business transitions called It’s A Journey: The Must-Have Roadmap to Successful Succession Planning, and she added in Savant’s press materials that FirstWave itself was sold for succession planning reasons.

“To continue to serve our clients and team well into the future at the high level we are committed to, we knew we would need a growth engine that not only offers comprehensive services, such as tax and estate planning, but that also has the important technology resources necessary to compete effectively,” she said in a press release.”

Savant said that besides Chiesman, four other FirstWave executives will become member-owners at Savant: Julie Allen, FirstWave’s vice president of business operations; Leslie Carlson, FirstWave's vice president of client operations; Robert DeVries, retirement plan specialist; and Jamie Ostrander, wealth coach.

Savant said it closed 11 partnerships last year and opened offices in six states. Its CEO, Brent Brodeski, said the move into Florida was strategic, “since many of our clients spend their winters there.” Savant now boasts 39 offices in 15 states.

Savant’s previous acquisitions included deals that closed at the end of November. That month, the firm said it had acquired Bridgeworth Wealth Management, a $2.2 billion AUM Alabama firm. The firm also acquired tax and accounting firm Peay & Associates in Clinton, S.C., as well as its associated RIA firm, SwaimBrown Wealth Management, which had $146 million in AUM.

Correction: In the original version of this story, the job titles of Savant member-owners Robert DeVries and Jamie Ostranders were incorrect.