Wescott Financial Advisory Group, an independent registered advisor (RIA) headquartered in Philadelphia, has acquired Asset Planning Services (APS), an RIA based in nearby Harleysville, Pa., the companies announced.

Prior to merging with Wescott, APS managed $800 million in assets, while Wescott managed $2.7 billion. Upon closing the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2021, the combined firm now manages a total of $3.5 billion in assets.

Led by President Rick Volpe, who founded APS in 1987, the family office primarily serves current and retired executives of Merck & Co. and other pharmaceutical companies.

In beginning his search for a partner, Volpe said in the release that he considered a broad spectrum of models before deciding on a merger - a move he was initially reluctant to transact. 

“My greatest concern was that our identity and voice would disappear, and we would simply be additional AUM on their ADV,” he said. “(But) when we met with Wescott, there was an immediate feeling of camaraderie and mutual respect. Here, our voices and expertise will matter.”

Under terms of the M&A deal, Volpe will lead the Charitable and Estate Planning division of Wescott, while remaining in charge of the APS Harleysville office, where he and his team will now jointly serve their niche clientele in partnership with Wescott.

Wescott was also founded in 1987.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Duane Morris LLP served as legal counsel to Wescott, while Morgan Lewis LLP served as legal counsel to APS. FP Transitions also represented the seller.