New York-based Steward Partners Global Advisory is acquiring Freedom Street Partners, a Chesapeake, Va.-based network of 38 independent financial advisors that manage about $3.2 billion in client assets.

The Freedom Street team will be the cornerstone of a new division, said a company statement—one that caters to advisors who seek to sell their practice.

“The acquisition marks the establishment of a new ‘owned business’ division at Steward Partners,” the company statement said, “providing additional capacity for growth and creating a vehicle for advisors looking to sell their business to Steward Partners.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Steward Partners will acquire Freedom Street’s entire wealth management business, which includes client assets and a network of advisors, in addition to Freedom Street’s management team and staff.

Steward Partners is an employee-owned independent RIA. When the deal closes—expected before year's end—Freedom Street advisors will become equity partners as well as employees or affiliates of Steward Partners through the firm’s Washington, D.C., location, and they will be using Raymond James as their broker.

Even before the acquisition is complete, though, Steward Partners had nearly $28 billion in client assets. Begun in 2016 with 17 locations in the mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest regions, it currently has 36 offices, 205 advisors, and 408 partners.

"This new division allows us to expand our business model, and we believe it will be a key component of our future growth, attracting a new segment of advisors," said Steward Partners CEO James Gold, in a statement. "The acquisition of Freedom Street Partners’s wealth management business is an important step in expanding our already successful business and, as we welcome our new partners to the Steward Partners family, we will work with them to continue to build this attractive opportunity."

Freedom Street was started seven years ago. Scott Danner, its CEO, said in a statement that he expects the acquisition will “help fuel the already attractive growth we have been able to create.” He hopes to leverage Steward Partners’s “deep resources and expertise in the wealth advisory space.” He cited its experienced leadership team, growth culture, and sophisticated backend technology among the advantages it brings to the merger.

"The addition of Freedom Street Partners as the foundation of our new Freedom Street Division creates a new, valuable, high-growth business segment at Steward Partners,” said Hy Saporta, president, COO, and cofounder of Steward Partners, in a statement. “We have had high demand from advisors and wealth management firms considering a transition from their current situations,” he added. Freedom Street, he said, is “completely aligned” with Steward Partners’s culture.

Steward Partners was advised by Eversheds Sutherland. Freedom Street was advised by STS Capital Partners, with Walter Haverfield as legal counsel.