Merit Financial acquires two Connecticut companies with $277 million in assets under management

Merit Financial Advisors announced today that it has expanded its presence in Connecticut with the acquisition of two teams with a combined total of $277 million in client assets.

The acquisitions of Cepones Financial Group (CFG) and Brook Wealth Management, LLC (BWM) were completed on Aug. 5 and Aug. 26, respectively, the company said. Financial and legal terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Companies are part of LPL Financial’s custody platform.

Based in Ridgefield, CFG is led by Managing Member Christopher Ceponis, who has worked in the industry since 1989, according to BrokerCheck. The firm specializes in retirement, investing, tax, education, business, executive compensation, long-term care and insurance planning. It manages approximately $174 million in client assets.

“I am delighted that our team is partnering with Merit Financial Advisors,” Ceponis said in a statement, noting that his firm evaluated many potential partners before selecting Merit. “Their approach and philosophy closely aligns with ours, and the transition will allow our team to access the vast pool of resources that Merit offers. This partnership will improve our deliverables to customers and allow us more time to connect with them personally.”

Rocky Hill-based BWM is led by Daryl LePage, who has worked in the industry since 1992. The firm specializes in wealth building, retirement and estate planning, risk management and planning. tax. It manages approximately $103 million in client assets.

“Our team is thrilled to be part of the Merit family,” said LePage. “The merger will improve offerings for our customers, as well as streamline and centralize back-office operations. Merit’s global culture and customer-centric approach mirrors our own, and we are proud to represent them as they expand their resources and services in the Connecticut area.

David Brounley, regional manager for Merit, noted that Connecticut has been an important focus for Merit. “Christopher and Daryl bring an incredible wealth of financial acumen and strong community connections, and we look forward to providing them with the support they need to continue to grow and serve their customers,” he added.

CFG and BWM are Merit’s ninth and tenth acquisitions since a minority investment was taken in December 2020 by Wealth Partners Capital Group and a group of strategic investors led by HGGC, leveraging its Aspire Holdings platform. The transactions also follow the acquisition of Wisconsin-based Mersberger Financial Group less than two weeks ago, which added $830 million in assets under management and $489 million in assets under discussion for Merit. .

Based in Atlanta, Merit has 28 offices across the United States and managed $6.1 billion in assets as of April 30 ($4.34 billion in consulting, $1.69 billion in brokerage assets and 92 million in assets under advisement).

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