Stratos Wealth Holdings, a financial services holding company based in Beachwood, Ohio, is acquiring a majority stake in San Diego-based BWM Financial and rebranding it as Stratos Private Wealth as part of the firm’s expansion of services for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, Stratos Wealth Enterprises announced today.

Stratos made its first strategic investment in BWM Financial in 2020 after five years of working with Jeff Brown and his team. In 2021, BWM acquired a complementary, Stratos-affiliated wealth manager, Truuwater Financial, also based in San Diego. A year later, Stratos increased its stake in BWM to 33%.

The new entity will be charged with identifying growth opportunities both inside and outside the firm, Stratos said.

Stratos Wealth Holdings oversees $22.8 billion in brokerage and advisory assets. Brown, CEO and founder of BWM Financial, will serve as president of Stratos Private Wealth, which will be based out of San Diego and operate as a division of Stratos Wealth Partners.

"Jeff and the team at BWM Financial have been integral in the growth and execution of our private wealth strategy. We are thrilled to take our relationship to the next level as we build an interdependent national firm that offers regarded practices, investment strategy and client services under one brand," said Lou Camacho, president of Stratos Wealth Enterprises, in a statement.

Charles Shapiro, founding partner and chief development officer at Stratos, added in a statement, "In partnership with Stratos, Jeff has achieved strong growth since joining us in 2015. I am so proud of Jeff's evolution from advisor to CEO of a leading practice in Southern California, and we welcome him to our management team at Stratos. I have complete confidence he will continue to help us develop innovative services for our advisor partners to enhance their own client offerings."

Stratos Private Wealth will be the division through which Stratos Wealth Partners markets wealth management services. Stratos Wealth Partners also offers investment advisors services through Stratos Wealth Partners.

Stratos Wealth Holdings is a family of companies focused on supporting the growth and success of financial advisors across business models and affiliation structures, Stratos said. It is made up of a national network of 341 financial advisors and financial planning practitioners working across 28 states.

Brown added in a statement, "We have had a longstanding and successful partnership with Stratos that allowed my firm to grow. It made sense to create a new entity that provides an aligned client experience that provides comprehensive wealth management services that address legal and tax issues as well as financial planning needs."