Integrity Marketing expands advisor business with acquisition of Gladstone

Integrity Marketing expands advisor business with acquisition of Gladstone

The Integrity Marketing Group, a large insurance platform, is making a major boost in wealth management with the purchase of Gladstone Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor overseeing approximately $13 billion in client assets.

Brian Adams, CEO, Integrity Marketing

Courtesy of Integrity Marketing Group


LPL Financial

The subsidiary that maintains its assets both as an independent investment agency and through the RIA of LPL, has a long track record of building its business by recruiting separate teams from large national brokerage firms.

Brian Adams, CEO of Integrity, said in an interview that the Gladstone team has built a “proven platform that has really managed to continue to grow at an impressive rate by being able to provide new opportunities for advisors coming from the telecommunications hubs.” “They were able to do it… with very limited capital.”

Lack of capital should not be a problem anymore. By selling to Integrity, Gladstone joins a heavyweight company in the insurance industry with thousands of employees and relationships with hundreds of thousands of outside insurance agents.

The integrity model extends from working with service providers to develop policies to working directly with clients to help them find the best insurance product, which Adams describes as “everything from the ground up.”

“We are trying to solve everything between linking insurance companies to clients and clients to insurance companies,” he said.

Moving into wealth management may seem like an important exit for a company mired in the world of insurance, but Adams sees an objective relationship.

“One of the things that we’ve discovered is that as people get older, there are two things that really worry them: it has to do with their health and their wealth,” he said.

Integrity is certainly not an entirely newcomer to the world of wealth management. Adams said that some of the insurance-focused acquisitions dating as far back as two years ago also had internal RIAs or intermediaries-dealers, but these were side aspects of the core business.

With Gladstone, wealth management is the business, and Integrity indicates that it wants to put some strength behind its extensive advisory services.

“By partnering with Gladstone, this allows us to have a much larger platform that is truly customized and much more sophisticated to build a more comprehensive plan around the wealth management aspect,” Adams said. “So this is an important acquisition for us so that we can really put all of this together and better serve people in the wealth management space.”

Gladstone will remain a subsidiary of LPL, but all independent RIA employees will join Integrity, according to Richard Frick, CEO and Managing Director of Gladstone. At Integrity, an employee-owned company, all of those employees — regardless of their tenure — will receive equity stakes, Adams said.

Adams and Frick both indicated the possibility of further acquisitions of advisors.

Because Gladstone recruited splinter teams, it generally allowed them to run their own practices and take their own brands. This strategy will likely continue, but with some twist. Frick said Gladstone plans to begin acquiring wholly RIAs, which means they will be 100% owned – unlike separate teams – but will still be able to keep their own brand.

“If we acquire another RIA in the future, we will consolidate those agreements,” he said.

“We will try to build the wealth business by recruiting a lot of wires, as we have always done in the past, and we will continue to do mergers and acquisitions now with Integrity as our partner and acquisitions,” Frick said. “When we acquire RIAs, we will have a few more RIAs; We won’t have a hundred. So we will consolidate their RIAs in our region as we make acquisitions.”

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