Focus Financial Partners merging firms in Grand Rapids and Petoskey

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A financial services group acquired a Petoskey firm and is merging it with a Grand Rapids partner firm.

New York-based Focus Financial Partners Inc. (Nasdaq: FOCS) — a partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms — said last week that it entered into a definitive agreement under which Investment Counsel Inc., a registered investment adviser in Petoskey, will join Focus partner firm LaFleur & Godfrey (L&G) based in Grand Rapids.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

Chris Walker Courtesy Investment Counsel

Led by Chris Walker, president, Investment Counsel offers portfolio management services to high net worth individuals, families and institutions. Focus Financial said Walker and his team will enhance the investment capabilities available on L&G’s holistic wealth management platform and further expand its presence in West Michigan. In turn, the Investment Counsel team will benefit from L&G’s resources and robust infrastructure to further enhance the client experience.

“We are very excited to join a firm of LaFleur & Godfrey’s caliber,” Walker said. “This transaction will allow Investment Counsel to leverage L&G’s extensive resources and enable us to establish a long-term continuity plan so that Investment Counsel’s clients will always be taken care of.”

Dan Van Timmeren Courtesy LaFleur & Godfrey

Dan Van Timmeren, partner and senior portfolio manager at L&G, said his firm is “excited to welcome Chris and his talented team.”

“Our firms share a similar client-first service perspective,” Van Timmeren said. “Investment Counsel’s deep investment management expertise will fit well with our core capabilities. This combination will allow us to offer an even stronger set of wealth management services to all our clients.”

Rudy Adolf, chair and CEO of Focus, said Focus is “delighted” about the merger.

“This is L&G’s second transaction in the past 12 months and another demonstration of how we help our partner firms to enhance their client service capabilities through our differentiated M&A and sourcing expertise,” Adolf said. “This transaction also reinforces our expertise in structuring innovative succession planning solutions for founders seeking to transition their businesses.”

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