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Morgan Stanley Alumni Doug Ketterer's Atria Buys $13 Billion Indie Broker-Dealer

By Alex Padalka January 10, 2019

Atria Wealth Solutions, owned by Morgan Stanley veteran Doug Ketterer, has agreed to acquire the independent broker-dealer NEXT Financial Group, Inc., Atria says.

Houston-based NEXT Financial serves more than 500 independent advisors who oversee around $13 billion in assets under administration, according to a press release from Atria.

Under the deal, the financial terms of which the companies didn’t disclose, Atria will acquire 100% of NEXT as well as 100% of its sister firms Next Financial Insurance Services Company and Visionary Asset Management, Inc., Atria says.

Barry Knight, meanwhile, will stay on as NEXT’s president and become part of Atria’s executive leadership team, according to the press release.

"It has taken us a long time to find a partner who embodies our values as an organization and shares our passion to offer advisors a clear path to growth," said Knight. "The advisor and client experience platforms Atria is introducing will revolutionize the independent channel."

This is Atria’s fourth acquisition of a broker-dealer since 2017, according to the company. In October, Atria acquired 100% of independent broker-dealer Cadaret, Grant, whose approximately 900 advisors oversee $23 billion.

Atria also owns CUSO Financial and Sorrento Pacific Financial, according to the press release. After the close of the NEXT acquisition, expected during this quarter, Atria’s subsidiaries will serve close to 2,000 advisors overseeing around $65 billion in assets under administration, the company says.

"As Atria continues to build and grow within the independent advisor channel, we identified NEXT as a perfect partner in our mission to reinvent the entirety of the independent wealth advisor service model," Ketterer, Atria’s CEO and founding partner, says in the press release. “NEXT is the ideal partner to join us in this industry transformation.”