Partnership is anticipated to make Summit one of the nation’s largest independent wealth management firms, and position Fieldpoint to become the nation’s premier private bank to the independent advisor community
Summit Financial Holdings, Merchant Investment Management and Fieldpoint Private announced that Summit and Merchant together will acquire Fieldpoint’s investment advisory unit, establishing a partnership that will deliver Fieldpoint Private’s banking capabilities through the Summit advisor services platform, SummitVantage™.
“The Fieldpoint brand is highly respected, and Tim Tully and Chris DeLaura are people my partners and I at Merchant consider friends”
When the deal closes, Summit expects to add Fieldpoint’s unit which today advises on $5.1 billion in total wealth management assets, which would make Summit Financial one of the country’s largest independent wealth management firms, with approximately $12 billion in assets. Moreover, the Summit partnership with Fieldpoint’s banking unit, which remains independent, will connect the bank directly with all of Summit’s advisor teams.
Summit has continued to evolve into a 21st century wealth management and financial services firm. In the five years since Stan Gregor stepped in as Chairman and CEO, the firm has executed an extensive series of technology and service enhancements. In 2019, Gregor brought in Merchant, who arrived with long-term and durable equity capital, and gave rise to the launch of Summit Growth Partners. This creative advisor capital solution, offered alongside Summit’s proprietary technology platform SummitVantage™, has helped to more than triple the assets of the firm.
Gregor views the latest strategic move, with Fieldpoint Private, to be one of the few final pieces that will make for a fully integrated chassis of solutions for use by the advisors of Summit and its clients.
The partnership will ultimately expand to north of $100 billion of assets under management within the Merchant community of independent advisor partnerships, positioning the advisors of Summit and Merchant to offer the most integrated banking platform in the independent space, and Fieldpoint Private to emerge as the preeminent bank partner to the RIA community.
Gregor emphasized that the management additions from Fieldpoint to Summit are a natural fit, specifically with proven leader Chris DeLaura, who will now be in the role of President/CEO of the Summit-Fieldpoint division. This continues Summit’s pattern of attracting exceptional senior operators such as Ed Friedman, who joined the firms’ executive ranks in mid 2020.
Tim Tully, Executive Chairman of Fieldpoint Private, said the partnership will enable the firm to accelerate its resources and technology toward serving as the leading banking and lending platform for independent advisors and their clients. “Independence has been in our genes since our founding, and this alliance is the next logical step in bringing our bank, our capabilities and our belief system to a great many more advisors, families and businesses.” Mr. Tully noted that Summit will more than double Fieldpoint’s potential client base, with Merchant potentially representing multiples of that.
Stan Gregor agreed, adding that this is a critical addition to Summit’s existing business suite of services. “As Summit’s legacy business enters its fourth decade, we are laser focused on expanding our platform, and enhancing both the advisor and client experience. Our vision has been to build the most comprehensive offering in the independent wealth management industry that elevates our culture of financial planning. That’s what we found with our new partners at Fieldpoint.”
Tim Bello, Managing Partner of Merchant Investment Management, added that close-knit partnership is a theme around Summit, and expressed pride at his firm’s role in bringing the two companies together.
“The Fieldpoint brand is highly respected, and Tim Tully and Chris DeLaura are people my partners and I at Merchant consider friends,” said Bello. “So being able to call them partners is one thing, and then having them join forces with Stan and the team at Summit, which then extends to the broader Merchant family of firms that will leverage the capabilities of the private bank as an option, in a truly open-architecture way, that is quite unique.”
Marc Spilker, Executive Chairman of Merchant, feels the truly intriguing piece to the puzzle is what Fieldpoint Private brings as a bank. He said it is coming into the Summit fold in the right way and most certainly at the right time. “It is clear that private banking has become more integral to the overall wealth offering. Deposits, credit and trust services are all key components of a family’s financial plan and experience. Now with Fieldpoint as a partner, Summit is well positioned to deliver on this promise. As Fieldpoint gets plugged into the SummitVantage offering a real competitive advantage will be created.”
Chris DeLaura, who has been at the helm of Fieldpoint’s wealth advisory business since 2016, feels Fieldpoint’s advisors will not only be able to improve their client engagement with the fully integrated advisor chassis solution between the two firms, but that the same excitement exists for what’s ahead with Fieldpoint having Merchant as partner as well. “Our goal has always been to simplify the complex financial lives of our clients with a single point of service for all of their needs,” he said. “With the group we’ve assembled under one roof, we’re well on our way to taking our client experience and service to the next level, building something very special in the process.”
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