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Three traditional listed investment advisory firms generated more than 40% growth in assets under management in this year’s list of the largest money managers.
The biggest of the bunch is Legacy Capital Wealth Partners (#7), which nearly doubled its $560 million total in 2022. The Little Rock firm’s nearly 82.5% climb shot it past $1 billion this year.
“My goal is $3 billion in three years,” said Matt Jones, the firm’s president.
“I don’t know if we’ll achieve it or not, but that’s my goal. It’s not just through legacy business and attracting new customers. It’s growing our network of advisors.”
Earlier this year, Legacy Capital added three employees from Arvest Wealth Management: Brian Wood, Michael Peebles and DeAnn Gann. They provide the foundation for Legacy’s Northwest Arkansas office.
Jones said Rogers’ office accounts for $350 million to $400 million of its growth in 2023.
“It was a significant gain,” he said. “We’ve also had continued success in attracting new assets and attracting new customers.”
Legacy achieved its remarkable growth despite internal drama that culminated in David Trent’s exit from the ownership picture. Trent held a 32.8% stake through its Trent Capital Management since the 2020 merger with Legacy Capital.
“His share has been bought out and he is no longer associated with the firm,” Jones said.
This change is the product of an out-of-court settlement reached through mediation. Fired in June as managing partner, Trent sued Legacy Capital in July in Pulaski County Circuit Court, and Legacy Capital countered with claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
More big numbers
Little Rock’s BRS Financial (No. 41) posted a 48.6% increase in assets under management, growing from $76.3 million in 2022 to $113.8 million this year.
It was followed by Little Rock’s Naviter Wealth, which posted a 40.8% one-year increase in assets under management from $558 million in 2022 to $785 million. That gain pushed the firm to No. 11 on this year’s list of the biggest money managers.
But that amount as of Sept. 21 has since surpassed $1 billion, according to Naviter CEO Bentley Blackmon. The exact figure, provided to Arkansas Business on Oct. 17, $1,044,698,000, would rank Naviter Wealth as the seventh largest.
Blackmon attributes the recent surge to the addition of several large relationships: “When you work with families who have accumulated significant wealth, asset growth is uneven.”
In the second quarter, Naviter opened an office in Rochester, New York. This new team has contributed approximately $180 million to the firm’s total assets under management.
“That’s the only team we’ve added,” Blackmon said. “The rest is all organic growth. We are quite happy about it. We just keep our heads down and work hard.”
Managing Directors Richard and Alecia Doherty lead the Rochester office. They migrated from Echelon Wealth Advisors along with Amanda McIntoch, Operations Manager, and Amy Zaccaglino, Service Associate.
In January, Naviter Wealth hired Jackson Ratcliffe as managing director in Little Rock.
He came to the company from Stephens Inc., where he was managing director of institutional equity sales.
Natural Capital Management of North Little Rock has carved out a niche by building and managing two private funds. Total assets represented by these funds rose from $43.5 million in 2022 to $145.5 million this year.
Brad Henry, managing partner of Natural Capital Management, said most of the growth was related to new investors.
“So we’ve grown quite a bit in the last year or so,” Henry admitted. “We are different from the typical investment advisor. We only invest in private assets, both companies and real estate.”
The firm closed five investments in its second all-Northwest Arkansas fund, focused on a mix of commercial and residential developments.
“Our focus will remain on Northwest Arkansas because we believe growth will continue to expand,” Henry said.
“That will be our focus area for the next few years, maybe longer.”