Laird Norton Merges With Wetherby, Creating $15 Billion Firm

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Wealth management’s M&A frenzy is set to continue into 2022. Latest deal announced: Laird Norton Wealth Management has merged with Weatherby Asset Management, creating a firm with $15 billion in client assets.

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Last year, the industry broke records, reporting more than 200 deals for the first time, according to consulting firm Devo & Co., which tracks acquisitions of firms with assets of $100 million or more. Private equity and an influx of money from banks have helped fuel the deal. And more RIAs have sought to combine forces to achieve greater scale and efficiency.

Laird Norton Wealth Management CEO Kristen P. bauer

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photo illustration by staff; Courtesy of Laird Norton Wealth Management

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Laird Norton Wealth Management, founded in 1967, operates as both an RIA and a trust company, providing financial planning, investment management and other services to wealthy clients. This is the last M&A deal for Filament, which was signed in December 2020.

The deal with Weatherby was lucrative as the firms gained greater scale and deeper expertise to serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, according to the company.

“Coming together will create more value for customers than the sum of our parts,” Laird Norton CEO Kristen Bauer said in a statement.

Bauer will serve as CEO of the combined firm. Debra Weatherby, A baron’s Hall of Fame Advisor will retain the role of Managing Partner for Weatherby Asset Management. She will also serve on an expanded board of directors at Laird Norton.

Wetherby Asset Management ranked 63rd baron’s Top 100 RIA Firms for 2021. The firm was founded in 1990, is headquartered in San Francisco, and has over 80 employees.

According to the combined company, which has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, the firms will maintain their personal brands.

The firms did not disclose financial details of the merger.

Write to Andrew Welsh at [email protected]

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