WA Asset Management (WAAM), a fee-only registered investment adviser (RIA) that serves high-net-worth (HNW) individuals, has acquired BT Wealth Management (BTWM) for an undisclosed amount.

The transaction was closed on 30 June 2022.

The deal marks the strategic expansion of WAAM into Atlanta and Savannah in Georgia and is expected to provide new opportunities for the firm.

BTWM was established as the wealth management division of accounting firm Bennett Thrasher (BT). The firm, led by managing partner Scott Craig, currently manages approximately $1bn in assets.

WA Asset Management CEO Josh Reidinger said: “WAAM’s philosophy is rooted in its commitment to clients and supporting them through every step of their lives.

“We see these same values woven into the culture at BTWM. This acquisition lays the groundwork for further growth in the Southeast and beyond, and we are thrilled to welcome the talented and dedicated BTWM professionals to our team.”

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Under the terms of the transaction, WAAM will continue to work with BT professionals to offer guidance and support to shared clients.

WAAM will absorb the entire 14-person team of BTWM. Craig will take up the role of regional director at WAAM while Clay McDaniel will become CIO of Private Markets, and Justin Snell will takeover as COO.

BTWM will offer its private funds to WAAM clients in a bid to enhance the combined team’s client offerings.

Commenting on the deal, Craig said: “We were incredibly thoughtful and strategic in partnering with WAAM.

“WAAM and BTWM share a very similar heritage, both coming from respected CPA firms. By pooling our resources, we can build new career opportunities for our team and take our client experience to the next level.”

Meanwhile, WAAM is planning a revamp of its brand in the coming months to reflect its ongoing growth and future goals.

WAAM president Justin Russell said: “Our goal is to honour our heritage and the valuable partnerships we’ve fostered throughout our history, while simultaneously showcasing our forward-looking momentum.”