Focus Financial Partners acquires minority interest in LaFleur & Godfrey


Dan VanTimmeren.

Focus Financial Partners, a New York-based partnership of independent wealth management firms, has bought a minority interest in LaFleur & Godfrey, a Grand Rapids-based registered investment advisor since 1987.

Focus said that it has expanded in the Midwest “with one of Western Michigan’s largest RIAs,” according to an announcement.

LaFleur & Godfrey has more than 200 clients and manages approximately $400 million in client assets, with high net-worth clients all over the U.S. — although most are in West Michigan.

Focus was founded in 2006 and has more than $250 million in revenue and now has 25 partners.

Majority stakeholder

LaFleur & Godfrey was founded in 1987 by James LaFleur and Richard Godfrey.

Its two principals today are Godfrey, who is founding partner and president, and Daniel S. VanTimmeren, partner and senior financial advisor.

LaFleur & Godfrey focuses on individual securities, bonds and fixed income ETFs.

“Focus is an industry leader in the RIA space and has a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs maximize their growth potential,” VanTimmeren said. “Our ability to tap into a deep knowledge base and additional resources, while remaining independent were key factors in our decision to join the partnership. We look forward to a truly collaborative relationship with Focus and its partners as we continue to develop our practice.

“We still maintain a majority interest (in LaFleur & Godfrey), and through a management agreement, we maintain control over how we manage client assets and how we run our day-to-day business,” said VanTimmeren, adding that fact was the “appeal” of the transaction with Focus.

“We’re planning on growing,” he added.

Details of the transaction were not released.

Focus on the Midwest

Focus said the addition of LaFleur & Godfrey is its fourth such transaction in 2013.

“We launched Focus almost seven years ago to bring together fiduciary-minded RIAs to help them achieve their strategic business goals,” said Rudy Adolf, founder and CEO of Focus. “LaFleur & Godfrey’s practice centers on high-touch service, deep client relationships and a drive for growth, all of which are attributes we look for in our partners. The Midwest will continue to be an important geographic market for Focus, and we are excited to develop deeper ties and attract other talented advisory teams in this region.”

Focus said its “principals maintain their entrepreneurial independence, benefit from the synergies, scale, economics and best practices of the market leader and achieve an eventual, smooth ownership transition.”

Focus was included on Inc. magazine’s 5000 ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies in 2011 and 2010.

In 2012, Focus was named a Crain’s New York Business “Fast 50” growth firm in New York City.

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