Pursant LLC Transaction Announcement – Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management (“Savant” or “The Company”), (www.savantcapital.com) headquartered in Rockford, IL is a leading independent, nationally-recognized, fee-only wealth management firm, serving clients for 30 years with over $4.7 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant offers investment management, financial planning and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.
Savant is regularly recognized among the top wealth managers in the United States. Savant was the recipient of the 2015 Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™, part of Schwab’s IMPACT Awards® program to recognize excellence in the business of independent financial advice. Savant has consistently received other industry recognitions such as being named a top RIA firm by Financial Planning magazine (#9), Financial Advisor magazine and Investment News and recently being recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Advisors in the nation and in Barron’s magazine as one of the top 20 independent advisory firms in the United States.
On September 30, 2016 – Savant achieved a major milestone by raising over $50 million plus additional future capital commitments to address a retiring founder’s liquidity needs and create a capital structure and investor group to support future M&A opportunities. The new capital structure positions the Company to remain independent now and into the future. The transaction expanded employee ownership from 19 to 47 employees and included an additional equity investment by Brent R. Brodeski, CEO and co-founder of Savant.
Outside investors included The Cynosure Group (www.cynosuregroup.com), an asset manager and investment adviser to the Eccles family and other large family offices, three well-known single family offices: Vlasic Group, Bootstrap Capital, and Nonami, LLC (representing the Vlasic, DeBlasio and Cousins families respectively), a publicly-traded merchant bank (Kingsway Financial Services, Inc. NYSE: KFS), the retired CEO of Smith Barney and President of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Charlie Johnston), principals from two leading wealth management firms (Carson Group and Beaird Harris Wealth Management, Inc.) and 12 other private investors who can be helpful to Savant.
Unlike traditional institutional investors, Savant’s private capital investors are long-term oriented and cannot require Savant to sell the firm. The employee group will maintain a significant controlling interest and more than 75 percent of the ownership. Importantly, all of the capital is from patient investors not bound by time constraints often found with institutional investors.
How Pursant Helped
For this transaction, Pursant acted as the transaction advisor for Brent Brodeski and Savant management. Pursant leveraged its transaction expertise and vast network of capital providers to craft the transaction strategy, negotiate terms and assist in raising the capital needed to complete this transaction and provide additional capital capacity to fund Savant’s ongoing acquisition initiative.
Pursant and Savant conducted a very broad and thorough process that evaluated over 70 prospective capital sources. Prospective investors included well-known financial buyers, large and boutique private equity firms, national, regional and community banks, family offices, merchant banks, a BDC and many high net worth private investors. The process was focused on attracting equity and debt partners that could not only provide necessary capital but who were compatible with the Savant culture, shared the Company’s vision of the future, provided favorable investment terms, could offer follow on growth capital, and brought significant strategic benefit, key relationships, expertise or other prospective opportunities to the Company.
Savant CEO, Brodeski stated, “I am very excited about our new capital structure and ownership group. With nearly 50 employee owners, we solidified Savant’s team to assure long-term continuity for our clients. Employee ownership attracts, retains and incentivizes key employees. In addition, the outside investors are providing Savant both capital and expertise to support our growth and assure we remain independent. The transaction is a major step in a long-term succession plan developed to help Savant thrive well into the future and assure long-term continuity of our team. We want to continue our growth by building ideal futures for our clients, our team, and the communities we serve.”
Brodeski stated regarding Pursant’s role, “Pursant did a great job advising our management team on how to optimize the deal structure in a way that created win-win-win outcomes for our team, our new partners and for me. Just as important, they were instrumental in helping us negotiate with the sellers and select debt and equity partners that both provided capital and will bring valuable expertise, capabilities and relationships to Savant. This will be instrumental to our growth and future success.“
Keith Taylor, Managing Director of Cynosure stated, “We are excited to lead the outside investors in providing significant succession planning and growth capital to Savant. Savant is a proven leader in the independent wealth management industry with whom we share a common vision regarding how to create significant value for clients.”
Mark Herbick, CEO of Pursant, LLC, stated, “the Savant transaction is a case study for the ideal management-led recap outcome. The CEO, investors, debt providers and employee owners are all aligned with the long-term vision for Savant and each party is able to contribute in a strategic or tactical way to making that vision a reality.”
Pursant helps business owners grow the value of their companies and maximize that value in a liquidity event, partial sale or complete exit.
Our Investment Banking, Strategic Transaction Support and Business Value Enhancement business units use a deep immersion process, our expansive networks and experience as owner/operators and deal makers to successfully optimize businesses, manage strategic transactions and orchestrate liquidity events — vital, integrative initiatives for which our clients may not have the time, manpower or expertise.