Audax Private Equity (“Audax”), a leading alternative investment manager and capital partner to middle market companies, announced a strategic investment in Congress Wealth Management (“Congress”), a Boston-based, independent registered investment advisor (“RIA”) offering wealth management and investment advisory services to high-net-worth individuals and families in the United States. Audax is partnering with management to recapitalize Congress through a transaction in which CI Financial (TSX: CIX) is selling its stake. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
Founded in 2009, Congress provides innovative and bespoke wealth management and financial planning solutions for HNW individuals, foundations and endowments, and family offices. With over $5 billion of assets under management, Congress has seven offices across the U.S. and serves approximately 2,300 HNW and Family Office clients. As a fiduciary and independent RIA, Congress differentiates itself through a collaborative, fully integrated “client-first” approach to financial planning with white-glove services tailored to each client. Congress has exhibited strong growth over the past several years, driven by new client acquisition and the completion of six acquisitions since 2019.
“We’re excited to partner with Audax Private Equity as we move into our next phase of growth,” noted Paul Lonergan, Founder and CEO of Congress Wealth Management. “Their experience in the wealth management space, coupled with an extensive track record driving organic and inorganic growth, positioned Audax as a preferred partner as we scale our offering and expand our reach into new geographies and within existing markets.”
“Congress differentiates itself through its ability to attract and retain clients,” said Bill Allen, Managing Director at Audax. “As independent RIAs continue to attract clients across a fragmented and evolving wealth management landscape, we believe Congress represents a compelling platform to accelerate growth.”
“Our partnership with Audax will enable Congress to accelerate both organic and inorganic growth by complementing Congress’s pipeline and relationships with Audax’ Buy & Build approach and resources,” said Scott Dell’Orfano, Chief Strategic Officer at Congress Wealth Management.
The Congress investment will join the portfolio of Audax Private Equity’s Financial Services vertical, one of six core industry specializations within its Flagship fund. Audax launched the Financial Services vertical in 2021. The Congress partnership follows recent investments in financial advisory firm Stout and in Canadian wealth manager Harbourfront Wealth Holdings. Since inception, Audax Private Equity has completed over 160 platform investments and 1,200 add-on acquisitions.
“We commend the Congress team on building an impressive business and fostering a company-wide culture of partnership,” said Adam Abramson, a Partner at Audax. “We look forward to supporting Congress in its commitment to deliver the highest quality client experience.”
Gladstone Associates, LLC served as advisor for the transaction, while Kirkland & Ellis, LLP served as legal counsel to Audax and ArentFox Schiff served in the same capacity to the sellers.
ABOUT CONGRESS WEALTH MANAGEMENT:
Congress Wealth Management is a Boston-based, SEC-registered investment management firm, developing innovative wealth solutions for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments. Congress provides a fully integrated approach to financial planning and investment consulting and management, with specialty services tailored to each client’s unique needs to protect and grow assets through superior service and sound, objective advice.
ABOUT AUDAX PRIVATE EQUITY
Based in Boston and San Francisco, Audax Private Equity is a leading middle market investment firm with approximately $16 billion of assets under management, over 185 employees, and 85-plus investment professionals. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has invested in more than 160 platforms and 1,200 add-on acquisitions. Through our disciplined Buy & Build approach, across six core industry verticals, Audax helps portfolio companies execute on organic and inorganic growth initiatives that fuel revenue expansion, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value.
Audax Private Equity is a part of Audax Group, a leading alternative investment manager with approximately $36 billion of assets under management. For more information, visit AudaxPrivateEquity.com or follow us on LinkedIn.